There is this push to have an “all or nothing” or “go big or go home” mentality when it comes to goal setting. Especially in the fitness industry.
This mindset can actually be a stumbling block for many because it can cause feelings of anxiety and fear that end up pushing you from doing anything because you are not in that space right now.
I have had clients who have said to me “Well, if I can’t work out for 60 minutes, then I will skip because it isn’t worth it to me.” Why is 45 min, 30 min or even 15 min not worth it? If we put expectations on our workouts to be perfect every time, then we are setting ourselves up for failure.
This is not about lack of motivation but rather the fact that life happens.
We can plan for 3×60 minute workouts each week. Then a child gets sick and we lose time and only have 30 min of spare time. Or maybe we end up stuck in traffic and do not get home until 8:30 pm, now that 60-minute workout does not seem feasible. If we see our workouts as something that can “ONLY” work if we hit that 60-minute mark, then we will miss opportunities.
Another example of this mentality gone wrong is when we expect every workout to be the best version of ourselves each time.
This again has nothing to do with motivation. It is a matter of science. Our bodies cannot perform 100% every day. That is not a sign of weakness or not working hard enough but a sign of being human. Have a poor night of sleep? Your workout will be affected but it does not mean you need to skip it, instead, adjust. Perhaps use this day for some mobility work (which most people tend to neglect) or decrease your workout sets from 3 to 2.
I know that we all want to feel awesome with every workout. It is possible to have a lot of great workouts if you have the right amount of sleep, low stress and consume good nutrition. However, this isn’t going to be the way of life everyday for everyone (myself included) and that is okay.
So next time you are feeling tired, stressed and groggy, instead of “this workout isn’t going to be good enough, I’ll skip” mentality, accept that your body is lower in energy or stiffer than usual and still move your body.