It’s Monday and I told myself Sunday… the Sunday before and the Sunday before the last Sunday that I’d be up 6:30 every day of the week for a 20-30 minute workout. I’m 18 months post-baby and not yet fitting comfortably in a lot of my wardrobe items. Although I’m eating well and generally active, I need to up the ante to shed the last bit of my stubborn baby weight that has me feeling less than my best self.
Decide to stop delaying your goals
It’s 7am and I have an hour to set out school uniforms for 4 children, fill water bottles and quietly escape for school runs without waking up my 18month toddler who had me in a choke hold nursing the whole night.
I’m exhausted from the lack of quality sleep and the overwhelming feeling of not following through on what I set out to do is messing with my state of mind. The guilt and frustration of procrastinating is starting to feel worse than the pain of doing the workout.
Do I postpone my workout to tomorrow and spend 10 minutes mindlessly scrolling through TikTok and Instagram, or do I push through with a 10 minute workout cause I know I’ll feel incredible for getting it done and out of the way.
“The hardest part of any important task is getting started on it in the first place. Once you actually begin work on a valuable task, you seem to be naturally motivated to continue.” Brian Tracy – Eat That Frog
I know what I need to do. I need to follow through with my plan and take responsibility for the results I want.
I mustered up some willpower and went with the latter. I managed to survive the school run and thankfully wasn’t exhausted the rest of the day.
Aim for good enough- Taking small steps is the key to any goal
It’s been 2 months of my daily 10 minute full body morning routine. It’s not 30 minutes, but let me tell you, most days I’m not far off the 30 minute mark. What I’ve come to realise is, motivation comes once we get the ball rolling but if you wait for it to come…
“All big things come from small beginnings. The seed of every habit is a single, tiny decision. But as that decision is repeated, a habit sprouts and grows stronger. Roots entrench themselves and branches grow. The task of breaking a bad habit is like uprooting a powerful oak within us. And the task of building a good habit is like cultivating a delicate flower one day at a time.”
― James Clear, Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones
Wake up earlier and get it done first thing in the morning
Prior to having my 18-month-old (and before cohvid), I could hit the gym at 6am most days of the week and on days I couldn’t, I’d be able to fit in an uninterrupted afternoon or evening session at home or the gym. I’ve always preferred exercising in the mornings as my energy levels are typically highest at this time and I find it much less of a decision. To add to it now as a mum of 5 and having my toddler with me throughout the day, waking up before the rest of the family means very little is demanded of me- I’m not distracted by kids whinging and fighting, constant asking for food or wanting to join in with mummy! Mornings spent doing my own thing are a treasure.
Eliminate the obstacles standing in your way
In the past, one of the obstacles to training has been the fuss of finding and pairing my workout outfit. These days I don’t bother. For time and procrastination reasons I go straight into working out with my pyjamas; whether that’s an old tee-come-sleep-t-shirt with frilly pyjama shorts or a camisole set (I’m a sleep shorts kind of girl; cotton or jersey)- I sweat it out and throw it in the wash pile when I’m done. To save me the hassle of finding workout wear early in the morning and risk catching a corner of my room that needs tidying and ending up pushing my workout to ‘never gonna happen’ o’clock’, I now invest in sleep wear that doubles up as gym wear. You’d be surprised how something as simple as changing into workout wear can throw off your workout plans. Avoid this slippery slope by showing up as you are.
Stick with the process
If like me, you want to get in shape but struggle to find the time, why not commit to this low impact beginner friendly, low impact routine that focusses on your entire body for a minimum of seven days.
I call this routine ‘My morning mat workout’. It’s a gentle way to energise your body first thing in the morning and the best thing is, it can be done from the comfort of your bed. If you don’t want to dent your bed or disturb your significant other, it’s a good idea to keep an exercise mat in your room you can conveniently reach for.
Side leg raises 10-12 reps
Knee push-up to child’s pose 10-12 reps
Glute raises 10-12
Flutter kicks 20 seconds
Plank reach 20 seconds
20 second rest between each exercise, repeat x2-3
I’ve noticed the difference in my state of mind, energy levels throughout the day and my muscle tone but most of all I like the smugness of showing up for the commitment I made with myself.
You can see benefits from working out 10 minutes a day especially if you watch your diet; also 10 minutes of focussed movement is better than none. Remember it’s not about perfection, it’s about effort.