Updated: Jun 6, 2019
Let’s talk about exercise mindset. I’ve often been asked; “How do you stay motivated to workout?” or “Where do you find the time?” I wish there was a perfect answer - but life isn’t so straight forward. Life is more of a long hike in the woods with innumerable turns, forks, and elevation changes making one moment enjoyable and another a grueling adventure that you’re not sure if you’ll survive.
But what keeps us moving along the hike?
This month, we’ll take a look at Dedication vs. Motivation.
The silencing of your inner critic and ways to create new habits.
This week, let’s discuss this amazing tool called the 5 Second Rule; which is one way I stay committed to my workouts and, more importantly, to myself.
The 5 Second Rule was developed by Mel Robbins, a motivational speaker and author that forces you to take a look at fear and doubt, then empowers you to get what you want. My best friend, Jackie, shared Mel’s TedxSF talk with me. I can honestly tell you that watching that 20-minute video changed my perspective on my life and forced me to examine my excuses.
My best friend knew that I was stuck. I was looking for a way to get myself off the hamster wheel of life. I had to force myself to get really uncomfortable and really honest with how I wanted to define my life. And sometimes you just have to jump.
HOW YOU DOING? Shortly after watching that Ted Talk, I read Mel’s book “Stop Saying You’re Fine.” If you’ve not read it, go get it right now!
Think about it, when your barista asks you how you’re doing, what’s your immediate response?
What do you say?
But are you really good, okay, or fine? If your barista was your therapist, would you answer differently?
I have a feeling that you would, because so many people are just trudging along wishing for something different in their lives were, but they feel stuck and are too afraid to take a risk to change their life situation.
In her first book, Stop Saying You’re Fine, Mel introduces the “5-Second Rule.” But, if you really want to learn the science (yes, it’s backed by science), I highly recommend checking out her second book, The 5-Second Rule. It can change your life.
My favorite ways to implement this rule are 1) emptying the dishwasher (the never-ending gift), 2) getting up without hitting snooze (HUGE FAIL lately), and 3) getting in my workouts (yes, even trainers don’t feel like working out every day).
5 SECOND RULE & EXERCISE
Whether you’re starting your fitness journey, coming back after some time on the bench (or couch, which is just a comfy bench), or you’ve been a consistent fitness junkie - there are going to be days or moments when you just plain don’t feel like like doing it.
The 5 Second Rule empowers you do it anyway. The theory behind is so simple that it seems ridiculous.
The moment you have an instinct to act an a goal, you have to move toward doing it.
If not, your brain is going to kill it within five seconds.
Before we dive into how to make this strategy may work for you, let me provide an example of how hard your brain will work to destroy your goals:
There was a period of time (or a couple of years, but who’s counting) when I fell off the exercise wagon. I was inconsistent with working out and when I did workout - I would jump back in with this bizarre illusion that I had the same fitness level as when I was consistent, which is exactly NOT how that works, so I’d get frustrated or too sore which would implore me to “take a little break.”
Little did I know at the time that I was experiencing anxiety about working out, so my brain was taking over and killing my workout routine before it had even started.
The last few years that I was running, my brain and body were in a constant battle.
My body was saying, “take me for a run.” My brain had every excuse imaginable for not hitting the pavement.
It was brutal.
I’d make a plan to run after work, then my brain and body would enter the Battle Royale:
Brain: “ We have work to do.”
Body: “...but a run will feel so good.”
Brain: “It’s Thursday. Let’s start fresh over the weekend.”
Body: “...leeeeeeeet’s gooooo!.”
Brain: “Wait, we have plans over the weekend. Let’s start on Monday.”
On the days that I was able to get my brain to shut up, my body AND mind were grateful for the workout and fresh air.
But there were days that my brain pushed hard to convince me not to run, but when I overcame the little goal killer, I always felt better when I moved my body.
So you might be wondering how I beat that little voice that just wants to curl up on the couch and watch Friends reruns.
Once I learned the 5 Second Rule, I began using it to get those runs in when I didn’t feel like it. When I heard the voice enter with reasons/excuses, I counted 5-4-3-2-1, then got dressed.
Sometimes that voice pushed harder… 5-4-3-2-1, grab your socks, sneakers, and watch. Put all of that on outside.
My GPS watch wouldn’t sync… 5-4-3-2-1, start walking while it syncs.
I walked a half mile and it still didn’t sync… 5-4-3-2-1, just start running. Map the damn run later.
Holy crap! I ran. My watch eventually synced. Guess what, I have no idea how far I ran that day or how fast, but I remember fighting my head to get that run in.
Getting outside your head and doing something that you love or even something you don’t love, the ability to know it will benefit you in the long run is an amazing tool to have.
GETTING OUTSIDE OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE
The most rewarding feeling is to get outside of your comfort zone.
You’re probably not going to feel like it.
If you use the 5 second rule, you can FORCE yourself to do it.
If you take small steps toward a goal, it will build your confidence and create a chain reaction to other areas of your life.
I’m going to put this out into the world:
My relationship with snooze needs to come to an end. It’s an emotional rollercoaster.
I’m going to 5-4-3-2-1 the urge to hit snooze.
What are you going to do?
What’s holding you back?
What is that voice inside your head telling you that you can’t do?
Let’s 5-4-3-2-1 that goal and start crushing it!