We've all been there. Different things can set off a rut: illness, injury, stress. It doesn't matter what the cause is--the effects of a rut are similar. Reduced energy levels, feelings of lethargy, and decreased motivation.
Being in a rut in regards to working out can be especially difficult. The current rut I've found myself in stems from a change in schedule and season that often leads me to become more tired--especially after work--and a nagging injury that led me to greatly reduce my running.
Unfortunately, my rut also led me to spending more time sitting around and snacking, which means not only I am working out less, I'm also eating more--not a good combination for fitness.
After spending these few weeks in this rut, I decided it was time to stop being annoyed at myself for it and start doing something about it. I spent some time this weekend reading about ruts and what to do about them, and here are some things I came up with:
- Acknowledge and identify the problem. It's one thing to say I'm in a rut. It's another thing to identify the components. The components of my rut: lack of motivation, decrease in exercise, increase in unhealthy eating habits.
- Set priorities and goals. This is where I've been lacking. Most of my "goals" the last couple weeks have been negative as is, don't snack so much. This coming week I'm going to aim for one snack during the day and one after dinner, and to run or bike six days next week.
- Ask yourself, where do you want to be in a year? Answer the question with a positive statement. Focus on, what do you want for yourself, not, what do you want to stop doing? In a year from now, I want to be within five pounds of my best racing weight, and be working out consistently at least five days a week.
- Start now. It's so easy to tell ourselves: I'll start a healthy routine tomorrow, or next week, or when I'm feeling better. The problem is the future is never now. If you're always thinking of improving in the future, you never get down to the actual business of improving.