Getting to the gym is hard enough with a fixed schedule, but trying to go when you have no standard day-to-day? It can feel impossible, as many people who work for themselves are all too aware. However, just because it feels impossible doesn’t mean it is. Here are a few pro tips on how to make yourself get to the gym, even when you’d rather do anything but that.
It’s 2019, and everyone is busy. You’re busy, I’m busy, my astrologist is busy. But that doesn’t cut it as an excuse to skip the gym, and the best way to build in the time is to actually schedule it in your calendar, so it’s not as easy to put off. In addition to giving it credibility as time reserved in your day, it also forces you to think realistically about the logistics of getting there, showering after and everything else around exercising. All of this in tandem can help reduce gym anxiety. Working for yourself allows flexibility of schedule, so use it to your advantage. And if you’re tempted to move it or not go at all, it’s more difficult psychologically to delete or move a scheduled event than to adjust something that was never really planned.
It’s much easier to make it to the gym if you streamline it to be as easy as possible ahead of time. (This is especially true if you plan to go in the morning.) For example, lay out your gym clothes to put on or, if you’re going later in the day, pack them away in your gym bag with everything else you’d need. If you’re taking pre-workout or supplements, have those ready to go minus the water. Many fitness pros even recommend sleeping in your gym clothes (for morning-goers) if you really want to commit. Whatever your routine will require, making it easier for yourself ahead of time sets you up for success.
Instead of trying to wing it once there, have a workout plan in mind. This will require some prior research, but it will help exponentially in going if you have the intention of what you’re planning to do. Include details like if it’s cardio or weights, which exercises or machines, number of sets and reps, etc. And if you have no idea where to start, there are online resources like r/Fitness and apps like Kineticoach that can help jumpstart that journey. (Also don’t forget to ask your gym if they offer and complimentary trainer sessions!)
This is especially important if you’re struggling to consistently hit the gym. Some form of keeping yourself accountable is essential to build the habits you want. Self-tracking in a journal can work, but sometimes it’s a bit too easy to let ourselves off the hook. It’s best to meet a gym buddy like a real appointment, but if that’s not feasible, then even a tracking buddy with whom you can exchange progress can work wonders. If nothing else, there are apps and sites like stickK that help with self-accountability.
If any point should be emphasized the most, it’s this: Learn from your patterns of wins and losses and adjust accordingly. If hitting the gym in the morning proves impossible, then adjust your schedule to accommodate lunch or evenings. If you find yourself skipping that one exercise because you hate doing it, then find a similar substitute that you like better. Overall, achieving your fitness goals can be quite similar to the flow of working for yourself: looking at what needs to be done, structuring it out and knocking out those items one by one.