If you’ve ever thought, “I wish I could just get motivated to exercise more” then this post is for you.
We’re inherently lazy.
I’m not saying you’re lazy.
I’m saying us – as humans – are naturally lazy.
Our brains are constantly looking for the short-cut, the fastest way, the easiest option.
So when you decide that you want to workout more, or eat more vegetables, or go for a walk by yourself 3 evenings a week, your brain may be getting in your way.
Simply put, we have two parts to our brains.
The primal brain that acts before thinking, and the more evolved brain that thinks and then acts.
Your primal brain is what can get in the way of you reaching your goals.
That’s because your primal brain wants instant gratification.
It wants pleasure – now. Right this second. Without any kind of delay.
So the idea of getting up off the couch, putting on your workout clothes, driving to the gym, going into the gym, doing some warm-up moves, lifting some weights, having a shower, changing back into your jeans, then driving all the way back home feels like work to your primal brain.
A lot of work.
Especially compared to just staying on the couch.
Your primal brain is all “I’m good just Netflixing the night away, thanks! Because sitting here right now and eating chips is taking me to my happy place.”
This is why – if exercise is important to you (which I’m guessing it is because you’re reading this right now) – you need to ensure your primal brain isn’t driving.
If you want to get (and stay) motivated to exercise, you need to recognize when your primal brain is trying to keep you on the couch (or in bed) and convince yourself it’s a better idea to get moving.
You have to take charge and not let your primal brain run the show.
Well step 1 would be simply recognizing when this is happening – when your brain is trying to hijack your results. Step 2 would be to butt in before it has a chance to get in your way.
I was listening to a podcast episode from The Life Coach School the other day and Brooke Castillo said this…
Someone posted in one of our groups about a triathlete and they were asking him – I mean, he’s a super triathlete – and they were asking him how he was able to do all the triathlons that he does and he said, “I talk to myself more than I listen to myself.”
Light bulb moment, right?
We’re taught to listen to that inner voice, listen to our bodies, listen, listen, listen.
And this can work really, really well.
Until it doesn’t.
Until you’re sitting on the couch skipping a workout because you listened to your primal brain saying “This feels nice. Let’s stay here” instead of talking to yourself and saying “Imagine how good I’ll feel after that workout. Let’s do this!”
So if you want results, it’s time to stop listening and start talking.
Better yet? It’s time to stop listening and start moving.
Before your primal brain can say “But, but, but…” get moving. Get out of bed. Get off the couch. And just start moving.
We all know that getting started is the hardest part. But once you’re in motion, it’s way easier to keep going, right?
So talk to yourself. Remind yourself how awesome you’ll feel, how important this is to you, why you’re doing it.
And just put on your workout clothes. Grab your workout equipment. Drive to the gym. Go for a walk. Literally just start moving in some way to break the spell and make your workout happen.
Because if you keep letting your primal brain drive, you’ll never find the motivation to workout.
Remember, your primal brain wants instant gratification.
It wants to feel good now. Which means that it doesn’t see the point of getting off the couch to exercise because it’s not going to see instant results.
It’s not willing to wait 4-6 weeks to see how all your hard work is going to pay off. It’s not interested in waiting that long (or longer) to feel better, function better, get to a place where you look the way that you want to look.
It wants to feel good now. And right now sitting on the couch feels good. So it’s gonna try to convince you to stay there.
But you’re smarter than your primal brain.
You’re more motivated to get results.
You have a super strong why behind your exercise journey. So you’re ready and willing to do what it takes – even though you’re not going to see instantaneous results.
So you’re not going to listen.
You’re going to move.
Especially since you know that you’re not going to get all the results you want with one workout, but you’re certainly going to have more energy and feel happier once that workout is checked off your to-do list.
So don’t let your primal brain trick you into staying stuck.
You want those results.
You deserve those results.
So go get them.
P.S. Have you been spending too much time listening to your primal brain? Are you ready to do more moving and less listening? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.
And if you enjoyed this post, please send it to a friend who needs a loving reminder that they have the power to make amazing changes happen in their body and life.
Also people think motivation comes first and that we need to FEEL like doing something but that is False. We DO then comes motivation. Motivation is to fickle to rely on.
Jenna Dalton says
You’re absolutely right, Teresa. I can honestly say that there have been soooo many times I didn’t “feel” like working out, but when I made myself start moving I never regretted a single workout 🙂