The Dishes Don’t Do Themselves….Nor Does Your Workout

Once upon a time I used to be a messy girl.  If you know me now this is hard to believe.  These days I love cleaning and can’t stand the bed not being made as soon as I get out in the morning or doing the dishes as soon as I am done with a meal.  But back in the day my bedroom at home was a disaster and I used to think my mom purposely made it a mess when I wasn’t there.  I hated cleaning anything and found it to be a huge chore.

And then I got my very own first apartment and things suddenly changed.  I quickly learned that when you are done with the dishes it is much easier to do them right away instead of letting them sit.  If you wait, it becomes mentally more tedious to get yourself to stand at the sink and take care of the issue and the longer you wait the harder the grime sets in.


The same goes with exercise and running in particular.  The reason I bring this up is that the other day I was at the gym and after my nice little run I ended up in the locker room alone with a girl who was on her cell phone (which also is a huge pet peeve of mine….leave the phone for after the gym!).  This girl was young and she was complaining to whoever was on the other side of the line that she didn’t want to work out, so she was calling them to kill some time.  After the call ended she sat on a bench and played with her nails and stared at her phone.  Then she got up and got in her locker and put on lip gloss and then waited some more.

I couldn’t have been in the locker room for more than 15 minutes total, but she was there the whole time.  In my head I was thinking that had she just gone and done whatever she had to take care of for the day she would have been done with 15 minutes of her workout already.

As I have gotten older time has become more and more valuable to me.  And wasting time means less time at the end of the day to sit down and relax or to spend with my husband. Sure it makes me rush from one thing to another at times but it keeps me from dawdling in between tasks.

The truth is that I don’t always want to work out either and this is what I do for a living.  I coach runners and figure skaters and train athletes on a daily basis.  I live for exercise in all sorts of forms.  And some days it takes everything in me to go get a run in.  Sure I’d rather take a nap or sit on the couch and watch The Chew (ever notice my life also revolves around food?!).  But I also know that the longer I wait to do a workout, the harder it is to get started and the more precious time I have wasted.  Fortunately I also have a husband who trains athletes and is a runner and we often use each other to keep ourselves motivated.  On days when I don’t want to run he pushes me to get it over with.  Sometimes I might say I will do it later and he reminds me that later in the day I am dragging and it will just be more of a pain to get that run in.


Like those dishes, running and exercise are much easier if you just get it over with when it is time to do it.  So what do you do when you don’t feel motivated?

Use the 5 minute rule.  Promise yourself that you just have to do 5 minutes and if it still stinks you can quit.  Odds are that once you get started you will just want to finish what you previously had planned.

Just put the clothes on and make them fun.  Have some workout clothes you love to wear.  If you feel good in them, it is a lot more fun to get started.  Once you make the effort to get dressed it is a lot easier to get out the door.

Find something you love.  If you enjoy a certain workout you are much more likely to do it.  Find a class you enjoy or an instructor that makes you look forward to going to the gym.

Mix it up.  When I have to hit the treadmill I always do intervals.  They make the workout go by much faster.  Doing intervals or fartlek workouts keeps your routine from getting stuck in a rut.  You can do this with just about any workout.


What do you like to do to keep yourself motivated?

20 thoughts on “The Dishes Don’t Do Themselves….Nor Does Your Workout

  1. I know exactly what you mean about procrastinating your workout! I will sometimes sit in my car at the trail and find a million things to do besides run (check the weather like eight times, sync my Fitbit, etc). I do what you do with the 5 minute rule but I do it with 20 minutes. It takes me a little more than 5 minutes until I’m sold on it, LOL. The one workout that I always procrastinate is swimming. It’s why I have to swim before work or I won’t swim at all – I will just sit on the edge of the pool and think about it. I do the fun clothes thing, too – at least if I have to do it, I’m going to look cute! Food is a good motivator for me, too.

    • Oh food is the best motivator. Especially if I splurged the day before I have no problem hurrying up to get out and get that run in! I think we all do it and it is completely normal as long as we don’t make a habit of it and have some ways to get ourselves out of that rut.

  2. I feel like we’re the same person. As soon as I moved out and into my own apartment, I became so OCD about cleaning! I cannot have a dirty dish in my sink.. and I go as far as rinsing/lightly washing dishes before they go into the dishwasher haha.

    I like the 5 minute rule. I don’t allow myself to get distracted. I am usually an AM runner, but if I don’t have time or need to run in the afternoon, I have to go right home and change and head right back out. If I sit down there’s no way I’ll get back out there.

  3. gahhh i wish i worked out/trained people for a living! the “mix it up” tip is def a good one. i’m still struggling with this silly running injury and i know i need to change it up, although i haven’t run in a week and it still hurts. hope all is well, girl.

  4. The other day I took out my running clothing in the morning and had it waiting for me for later that night. I put it on, started running and stopped at 3km…my body just wasn’t into it (injured and hurt my back) – slightly failed motivation 😉

    • That wasn’t a fail. When the body doesn’t feel it you have to listen. That’s what keeps us from worse injuries. But everything leading up to that was awesome and spot on!!

  5. This made me laugh but I know we all do this. The pictures of the dishes is hilarious. I was the same way as you, messy until I got married. Now if I’m not the one cleaning up then it won’t get done! I hate when I don’t get up when my alarm goes off and I just lay there. When I do finally get up I am upset with myself that I could have been a half an hour into my run… Oh the fun times. 🙂

  6. INTERESTING……. you thought that I made the mess in your room. Glad that you now realize I did not have TIME to make a mess in your room

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