Not every day is going to be filled with motivation. You’re not always going to feel like lifting heavy weights and getting all sweaty.
I know. I had one of those days today. I was feeling down for no really good reason and just didn’t want to do much of anything. I just felt like I wanted to crawl back in bed and take a good, long nap.
So what do you do when you just don’t feel it?
The answer’s easy. You get off your ass and get to work.
Look, when you have goals you want to achieve, you have to put in the work to achieve them. It doesn’t really matter what it is.
As a writer, one thing I get infuriated with are the people who are bitching about how they wish they could write a book. Well, I’ve written four full-length novels, a non-fiction book, a novelette, and a ton of short stories. I’ve made money off of most of it, too. I’m going to tell you how you write a book.
You sit down, put your fingers on the keyboard, and tell a damn story.
With physical stuff, it’s not really any different. I want to get lean and stronger. That isn’t going to happen unless I put my hands on the barbell and get to work.
But I didn’t feel like it.
Didn’t matter. I got up, changed my clothes, went outside, and did it anyway. The only variance I allowed myself was that I wouldn’t use the music I listen to in order to keep time. I was basically giving myself permission to spend a bit more time resting.
Honestly, the way I felt, that was the only way I was going out there.
Yet when I started lifting, something happened. Maybe it’s the increased work capacity over the last few weeks. Maybe it was the act of lifting screwing my head on straight, but I found myself training hard. I wasn’t spending a whole lot of time resting. I was eager to go and ready to roll, so I did.
In the end, my workout took only a fraction more time than normal, despite not having something to set my pace. I just trained.
But more importantly, though, I just felt better. I mean, I was sweaty and tired, but I didn’t feel down or depressed anymore. I felt deep satisfaction for a good training day.
Honestly, if nothing else, that alone would have made today a big win. The thing is, that’s not all.
You see, it was a reminder that I can do this. I can do it again and again if I need to. I’m going to have other days when I don’t feel like lifting, but I don’t have to let those days dictate a damn thing to me. I can still go out, train, and train hard knowing that somewhere along the way, the dark cloud eclipsing my mood will break apart.
Then, I’m one step closer to my goals. I’m one step further along the path I want to be on.
No one is going to have all good days. I don’t care what they say on Facebook or Twitter. On social media, people only show you what they want you to see. That’s not necessarily the same thing as what is really there.
I’ve known people who are contemplating suicide post nothing but inspirational quotes on social media. Maybe they’re trying to convince you that everything is fine, maybe they’re trying to convince themselves, but they’re not telling you the real story.
Because of that, though, it becomes easy to think that everyone has their crap together except for you. Well, that’s not the case.
Everyone has bad days, and whether it’s a bad day while you train (I’ve had those, after all) or a bad day beforehand, you still have to take care of business.
I could formulate countless strategies and tell you to do them before you hit the gym, but you know what? Getting off your butt to go to the gym is the biggest step, and it’s really the only step you generally need.
Besides, trying to tell you how to do something you already know how to do–get up and go to the gym–would make me sound like some kind of narcissistic self-help guru. I’m not about to try that crap.
You just get up and get to work.
But, when you think about it, that applies to everything. It’s how you start writing a book. It’s how you learn to woodwork. It’s how you fix a car. At some point, it’s the first step to any task in the world.
As you might be able to tell, the black dog hasn’t come barking at me since I came back in, and that’s a good thing. I don’t really have time for that kind of BS. I have way too much to do.
Thanks to a good training day, though, I can do it.