Q: Hi Gary. I have been going to the gym for the first time these past two months. It’s tough because I have been going inconsistently and I feel that feeds even more into me not going. I read your other Weekend Questions about how to feel like going to the gym and still struggle. I don’t know if it is just me being lazy or because I work all day long and just don’t have the energy to put more weight on my shoulders. What do you think?
Welcome to another Weekend Questions. By the way, that post he mentioned was this one, in case you were looking for it. This is another great question to ask, because often times we just do not know whether or not it is true fatigue we are experiencing. Let me try to help with that.
Laziness is something people do not want to talk about, so I’m glad you brought this up to face it on your own. It is actually tougher to identify laziness on its own, so I would suggest looking deep into your own goals and why you’re in this for the long run. Look at something like your end goal. What is it? What do you hope to accomplish? And by when? If you find yourself feeling stressed out about it and unable to comprehend the fact that the road to get there will take you several months, then I do believe you are experiencing laziness or just no desire to work for your goals.
However, it could also be the other way around. If you actually have the desire to go through with your goals and you know exactly what it takes to get there, whether that be going to the gym 4 days a week or just trying a morning walk in a bid for a more active life, then I strongly believe it is just fatigue and lethargy you are going through, a really common problem in today’s adults, where we are all working much more than ever before. You already know what it takes to get to where you want to be. You are willing to do the work. The only problem is it’s just tough to put yourself in the gym because you have already done hours worth of work. You don’t go in the morning either — though I highly recommend it! — because either work begins in the morning or your sleep is way too important to you. We get it. This happens to the best of us, even myself.
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My most important tip for those struggling with these dilemmas is this:
Put yourself in the gym, regardless of how you feel
I know, you’re either tired or you’re lazy. It doesn’t matter at this point. Regardless of what time of day it is and how you feel, just put yourself in the gym. Drive or walk there and then see how you feel. Since you’re already there, you are going to have a much different mindset than you were sitting at home or after clocking out of a work shift.
Once at the gym, just do a few reps of anything related to your workout regimen. Your brain will start to activate itself and get into workout mode. If it doesn’t, then you are seriously tired and you need to rework your entire system of sleep and schedule in order to incorporate the gym into your life. Even if it feels like you can’t catch a break in your hectic life, trust me you have time and energy once everything is optimized. Trust me, I have seen friends who felt like they were unable to even eat dinner because of how tight their schedules were. After suggesting they change their entire schedule and prioritize, they found they could cut a lot of time for more important stuff, like going to the gym or stretching yourself out in the mornings.
With work and prioritization you can combat fatigue and laziness. It is all a mental game, despite what people tell you.