We all have those days when the thought of getting out of bed for a workout is the least appealing idea. Even disciplined athletes aren't immune to these slumps and need extra motivation to stay focused. Professional volleyball player and Fitbit ambassador Gabby Reece is no exception.
When I spoke with Gabby at a recent launch for Fitbit's latest trackers and updates, I asked what keeps her going on tough days. "I think people misconstrue that I get out of bed every day going, 'I'm excited to not eat these certain foods and can't wait to kill myself in a workout,'" said Gabby. She went on to explain that it's structure that keeps her on a healthy path.
"What I always say is to put a formula in place to be successful. I make it so I have to meet people — accountability is the number one thing."
Having a system in place ensures that you stick to a consistent schedule — there's no room for opting out. A flexible routine is the downfall to staying motivated, said Gabby. "The minute that we put too much choice into it [working out], that will be the thing that gets off the table first." You're more likely to skip the gym if you're given the opportunity to think about whether you really want to go.
Gabby also makes plans with others so that she has an obligation to show up. Having a workout buddy to hold you accountable removes the option to consider taking a day off. But if you need a break, it's OK to listen to your body — just know the difference between not being lazy and overworking yourself.
"People have to remember: exercise is a stressful activity," said Gabby. "It's called 'working out.' It's important, [but] it's also about being in touch with yourself enough to know, 'What would be the best thing for me?'" If you're already stressed at work or at home, your instinct may be to relieve yourself with a difficult workout. Although exercise is beneficial to your physical and mental health, it may be better to do something mindful instead like yoga or meditation.
So the next time you're lacking the desire to get up and moving, implement a system that works for you. Even the worst days won't stand a chance.