The alarm goes off at 5:15 AM. I drudgingly roll out of bed (after snoozing for 15 minutes) and slip into my workout clothes. As I lace up my sneakers, I think of every excuse not to go to the gym—"I worked out hard yesterday. I am sore. I have a long day at work today. I didn't sleep well," and the list goes on and on.
But as I sit there and think of all the excuses, a little voice of motivation pops into my head, saying, "if not today, when?" So I grab my water bottle, give hammy (my pig) a pat goodbye, and race out the door so I can make it to the gym by 5:45 AM.
Some of you may be reading this thinking "this girl is crazy! How can she motivate herself to wake up that early to go workout? Ew!" And you best believe that I thought the same thing before I set fitness related goals and made it a priority in my life.
We have all gone through a stage in our life where we are less than motivated to do something—that could be working out, eating healthy, finishing that book on your nightstand, getting a new job, or moving cities. And often, this is because we don't have a clear objective, goal, or deadline to whatever we are trying to accomplish.
When we don't know the "why" behind our actions, it can be hard to motivate ourselves to continue to do hard things (yes, waking up at 5:15 AM is hard), especially when any obstacle, big or small, gets in the way.
Now, how does all this relate to fitness? Yep, you guessed it (well, you probably already knew based on the title of this blog).
It is so important to set goals, to train for something, especially when you are just getting started on your fitness and healthy living journey.
The Distinction Between Working Out and Training
Working Out: To workout is to exercise without any long term goals or objectives.
Training: To train is to exercise with a specific goal in mind. This could include training for a 5K, training to do ten pushups, or training to run one mile in less than 15 minutes. Regardless of the outcome, there are actionable and measurable goals.
Why You Should Train vs. Workout
Although there are many benefits to working out, there are added benefits to working out with a specific goal.
1. You are more motivated to put in the work
Whether you are trying to find that motivation to get started or to keep going, having a clear and actionable objective to your workout plan will keep you motivated to push yourself.
When you don't feel like going for that run or want to walk midway through, you remind yourself why you are doing this—to be stronger, faster, healthier, and better.
2. You are less likely to throw in the towel – literally
When you are training for something, you are more likely to finish what you started.
When you have a goal you want to achieve, it is natural to want to share it with those closest to us to find support and encouragement. And now that you have shared this news with those around you, you have formed a team of accountability nazis. This makes it harder for you to say. "I'm over this."
3. You will begin to notice your results
When you begin a new training program and set goals for yourself, you have a clear understanding of where you are starting and where you want to go.
It is easy to fall into a pattern of doing the same exercises, the same reps, and the same weight every time you workout. Yet, when you are working towards a goal, you are tracking your progress and always striving to do more advanced variations of the exercises, do more reps, and lift more weight.
The idea of training versus working out does not need to be thought of only in terms of physical activity.
What have you been wanting to accomplish yet keep putting off? Can you set an actionable and measurable goal, right now, to work towards it? The answer is YES!
You are in control of your life. Every day, the choices you make get you one step closer to what you have always dreamed of accomplishing.
Make a list of everything you wish you accomplish, pick a deadline, and get after it! And always remember:
"The way you do anything is the way you do everything."