I can't do this. Why am I putting myself through this torture again? Eh, just start fresh and try again tomorrow. Is it even worth it? That chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream is calling your name—no screaming—screaming your name! All of these negative thoughts try to keep me away from greatness by flooding my brain with doubt. Fortunately, I've found ways to override my brain's negativity.
1. KNOWING I WILL ALWAYS FIND MORE ENERGY
During high school cheerleading practice, we completed several different sets of exercises. We started with sit ups, following with suicides, next pushups and so on and so forth. I wouldn't push myself all the way for the first exercise because I was too busy anticipating the amount of energy I would need for the next exercise. I was saving my energy and strength for the next workout so I wouldn't be too tired to complete it.
My cheerleading coach told me something I will never forget. She said to focus on one exercise at a time. She wanted me to put everything I had into each exercise set because I would ALWAYS find the energy to continue the rest of the workout. I would ALWAYS find the energy somewhere inside of me to make it home to my bed to rest so I might as well work as hard as I could during practice.
Also, while working out, I remind myself that this moment is only a small portion of the timeline entitled 'the rest of my life'. I won't be in pain 50 years from now let alone 1 week after the completion of this workout so I just need to push!
2. HAVING A BOMB MUSIC PLAYLIST
This has to be one of the most effective ways to get me pumped for a workout. The music shifts my focus from the pain of the workout to the beat of the song. The music energizes me and unleashes this will for me to work hard. I have a very diverse playlist consisting of soca, trap, reggae, gospel (yes I said gospel), pop and hip hop.
3. SPEAKING POSITIVE WORDS TO MYSELF + MENTAL IMAGERY
Before every workout, I talk to myself and say things along the lines of, "You can do this. You are capable. You've got this. Kick butt! Don't give up. You're going to have a great workout". The key is to actually say the words aloud in order to speak good vibes into existence.
I envision successfully completing the workout and being proud of myself at the end. I love to focus on my end goal and remind myself that all this hard work will pay off.
4. GET A KICK OUT OF PROVING MYSELF WRONG
Working out is a confidence booster and a reminder that I am capable of way more than I give myself credit for. When I go running, and have practically less than 20 seconds left to run, I start to set myself up for failure by allowing negativity to enter my mind. I will tell myself "I'm not going to make it. Just walk I don't have to run all the way to the end. I've run long enough. Just stop, I'm in too much pain! I can't breathe". Boy, do I love to prove myself wrong by finishing strong! I start to force those thoughts out of my mind because I know the fate of my workout rests in me maintaining a positive mental state. "Shut up and just take deep breaths! Stop being like that! Finish strong! I am almost there! I can do it!".
5. SET AN ATTAINABLE GOAL
At the beginning of each workout, I come up with a plan of what I want to accomplish—no what I WILL accomplish. I won't reach for anything crazy like running 25 miles in 10 minutes because that is once again setting myself up for failure. Instead, I push myself within reason and stick to a workout plan. Having a plan helps me focus on an attainable end goal instead of just going into the workout blind with no expectations. I do this by writing out a workout routine (I either make one up or find a routine on Pinterest) and setting a personal goal for myself such as doing 50 sit-ups straight with no break until the next set.
Spotify playlist: C.Lovely's Workout
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