Welcome to the second post in a new series I’m calling “Soul Food.” You can read the first post about making your morning happier here. It’s basically going to be a slightly irreverent, slightly serious series of posts about the important heart and soul things. While food is extremely important (and often the way to our hearts), it isn’t as important as the kind of humans we are in this world. And since “happiness” is part of the title of this blog, I thought it was about time to talk about it more.
So let’s do this thing.
Today I wanna give you a recipe for making your workouts better. I get it. Finding motivation is hard. Committing is hard. Enjoying it is hard. And having a “great” workout every single time – well that can feel nearly impossible. But I promise you – I’ve got the trick.
HOW TO MAKE EVERY WORKOUT A GREAT WORKOUT.
- 1 dope-ass playlist, including some Beyonce (can sub hard core rap or metal)
- 1 cute workout outfit
- 0 excuses
- 1 activity you actually enjoy
- 1000 positive thoughts (no, you can not sub negative thoughts)
- standards, very low
- self judgement, beaten to a pulp (or leave out)
- Put on your cute workout outfit. Validate how good you look, even if you don’t quite believe it. Seriously, it’s part of the recipe.
- Turn on your dope-ass playlist and start to think positive thoughts. If negative thoughts start to arise, smother them with positive ones. Might I suggest something as simple as, “You’re a human being with a body that can move, and you’re doing a really good thing by moving it.”
- Pick an activity you actually enjoy (yes they exist.) Try spin or zumba or barre or yoga or walking or even just dancing around your house. Do this activity for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Don’t make excuses. Just do it.
- While doing said activity, remember to set your standards low. Ignore numbers, scales, and other people – just do what feels good. You’re already exercising, there’s no need to beat yourself up for not doing it “well enough.”
- If comparison or self judgement arises, beat it to a pulp. Do this by adding more positive thoughts.
- THAT’S IT. You already succeeded just because you did it. You moved your body. You exercised. That’s all that is required to have a “great” workout.
I hate the question, “How was your workout?” It applies a quantitative value to something that should just be inherently encouraged. It leads to statements like, “I mean, I went to the gym but I didn’t do much.” Or it leads your brain to think that if you don’t exercise for x-amount of time or burn x-amount of calories than the effort was all for not. WELL THAT’S BS.
Don’t worry, I get it. I come from a family of collegiate athletes, and at times I causes me to add heaps of self judgement onto my workouts. I feel less than if I can’t lift as much as my sister or run as fast or as long. But the truth is that we have different bodies, and mine is going to ask for different things on different days. And guess what? THAT’S OKAY.
There are plenty of people sitting on their couch watching reality tv and you – you’ve decided to move your body. So no matter what you do – IT. IS. SOMETHING. Say it with me. It is something. And that is SO MUCH BETTER than nothing. (In fact, it’s everything. It’s the whole dang point.)
Leave the bar low. Stop being so hard on yourself and focus on health and enjoyment rather than judgement and competition. Sure, there will be days to “push yourself” because you want to. But it doesn’t make the other days less valid because you didn’t push yourself to your max. Find what works for you. Leave the judgement at home. That way, you are guaranteed to have a great workout every single time. xo