May 12, 2009

When it comes to my writing, my motivation fluctuates: Some days the words pour out faster than I can type them, while on others it's all I can do to turn on the computer. The same is true with exercise. I go through stretches where I ca't wait to hit the gym each day, followed by periods where I can barely work up the energy to walk my dog around the block. Here are some strategies I've developed to get me off the couch-even on my laziest days.

1. Set mini-goals I don't need to break a world record every time I go for a run. Sometimes being less ambitious-like wanting to break a 10-minute mile-is enough to get me moving.

2. Work out first thing in the morning I can always come up with a million things I'd rather do than exercise. By getting it out of the way early, I cut down on opportunities to think of excuses.

3. Give myself a break One of the most important things I can do is to remember that getting in shape is a journey and any progress is better than none. So if I have an off day and only run one mile instead of three, it doesn't have to derail me. Some days, the mere fact that I laced up my shoes and headed out the door is an accomplishment in and of itself.