So someone asked me recently about how I find motivation to workout / be healthy (as a new mom). To be honest my answer is not all that helpful. I’m a type 3 on the #ennegram scale (the achiever) and am pretty internally motivated to do things I consider important.
However, I too have days I don’t “feel” like it and just like I need to read blog posts by people that are NOT like me and be friends with people who have strengths in areas I don’t, I hope some of these things can be helpful ideas when you don’t feel like it either 👊🏽.
So here ya go! These are my go-tos:
1. Write out a to-do / priority list for the following day. Put “workout” in the top three. I have to prioritize it… it’s one of the first things I do during Freeland’s FIRST nap time, that way if he only takes one really good nap , it’s already done! I can clean and cook (somewhat) with him awake… working out is harder.
2. Prep a good breakfast. I’ll be honest, I’m not an expert at #foodprep but I’ve come to realize making and eating healthy food is significantly harder one handed. Anyone else find this a rude awakening 🙋🏻♀️? And since I almost always eat breakfast while breastfeeding in the morning I have to have things made before hand.
Staples include: Spinach and egg muffins, protein waffles or pancakes (frozen and toasted in the morning), overnight oats, baked oatmeal, and I always add collagen peptides to my coffee.
3. Get dressed for the workout first thing. I do this after breakfast during Freeland’s play time. That way the second he goes down for a nap I don’t have to waste time. He likes helping me make the bed and get dressed … it’s part of our morning routine 😉.
4. Have a few pieces of simple equipment and a plan. If I don’t have a plan I waste a lot of time! With a plan all I have to do is open up to the workout and go. On Saturday’s I try to go to the gym alone and I always write out a workout for myself before I get there! At home I use a yoga mat, 2 sets of weights, and resistance bands. I am SO lucky to have a treadmill for easy cardio days but my friend Megan always inspires me with her walking or kickboxing workouts she gets from YouTube. Here’s a link to some cardio ideas as well!
Expecting and Empowered – Postpartum Cardio
5. On that note, accountability can be such a powerful encouragement and motivator. I have a group of gals doing the same workouts as me in a message group and we like to check in on each other, build each other up, and just say hey. Often just seeing that one of them got in their workout… despite work and kids and sleeplessness, helps me do the same!
6. Lastly (and this might not be helpful for everyone) but I like to take weekly progress pictures. It helps me stay accountable when I want to eat chocolate instead of a salad (too many days in a row) and helps me see muscle and composition change rather than using the scale as a goal.
Maybe this goes without saying but find something you ENJOY doing. If consistency is key then trying to force yourself into an activity that you just don’t like is silly. If Zumba were my only workout option I probably wouldn’t workout much. But for some people that’s the only way they like to workout. Obviously there are days I don’t feel like doing anything, but if I am going to build the discipline of working out it might as well be an activity I desire to be good at or that I know I can have fun doing. I enjoy lifting most days but I also add swimming and hiking in regularly and it always re-motivates me because it’s so fun for me!
Remember that even little things here and there make a difference. If you only have time for 20 minutes today… do it anyway! You’re strengthening your mental muscle and building habits! Those muscles can flex when you do have an hour to get a workout in and the habit has already been established!
If nothing else, do it for your little one! Your example is setting the stage for how they take care of themselves, if they like being outdoors, what food choices they think are “normal” etc. Your health is a gift to them ♥️.