Here’s the million dollar question: How do I work out when I don’t want to? This is a question that people ask me almost every day.

If they could just figure out how to want to workout… if they could just find the motivation. So many people believe that motivation is the missing link – it’s the one thing they just weren’t born with.

Well, I’m cutting right to the chase. How do you work out when you don’t want to? You do it anyway.

When I say that to people I almost always get the same reaction.

It starts with a look of near shock which usually turns into a puzzled look, like, wait, that’s possible? Yes it is. And it’s the only way you’re going to be successful on your fitness journey.

Motivation is Not Necessary

You need to have the discipline to go to the gym, not motivation. You don’t ever need to want to go to the gym. You can be as fit as a horse and do everything – eat healthy, meal prep, lift weights, do cardio, and become excellent at all things fitness related, and never for one minute actually want to

Then people usually will ask “Why would I do it if I don’t want to?”.

That question has another simple answer: because you do want to be healthier. You do want a better physique. You do want to stay alive for your kids and grandkids.

Remember this: we must do unpleasant things for pleasant outcomes.

How many of us didn’t want to study in school, but did it anyway? How many of us don’t want to go to work, but do it anyway? How many of us didn’t want to travel 12 hours, but did it anyway? We did it for the destination – sometimes literally – we do it for the money, the degree, or the beach in Bali. Workout for the destination – the health, fitness, self-esteem and overall higher quality of life – not the trip.

Do. It. Anyway. It really is that simple. It’s so simple in fact that people dedicate huge amounts of time trying to make it more complicated. Making this more complicated can help us feel better about our ineffectiveness – it MUST be super complicated we think, therefore it’s okay that I don’t train. There must be some elusive, complex answer that I just can’t figure out! Or, even better, it’s genetics! He or she was born to want to exercise, he or she was magically gifted, and I, somehow slighted by the Gods!

Wrong. Sure, some people have it easier than others. But I guarantee you there are people that have had it MUCH harder than you and are more successful. 

Complex Doesn’t Mean Better

Humans love complexity, and in so many regards it’s what has driven our success and improvements. This is one area it holds us back. This is not complicated. It’s not gray. It’s black and white. Do it, even if you don’t want to.

Stop making it more complicated and start making it more simple. Strip away the reasons, the excuses, psychology, quantum physics, rocket science, and whatever else we use to make this as complex as possible in order to get out of it… you either want to, or you don’t, and it doesn’t matter. Do it regardless. 

When it’s time to eat healthy, meal prep, or go to the gym and you don’t want to try this: accept that you don’t want to. Think, “I don’t want to do this right now.” Take a deep breath and then say, “I’m going to do it anyway.” And then, do it. Don’t stop and think. Don’t make excuses, act immediately. I guarantee, not only will you be happy you did it, but it will get easier and easier and eventually, you might find yourself liking the things you once didn’t want to do.

Do Things to Feel Good – Don’t Wait to Feel Good

Feelings follow actions. You have to do something to feel good, not feel good in order to do something. The more things you do that make you feel good, like exercising, the better you will feel. Don’t wait to feel good to do something – you’ll be waiting a long time. 

Feelings come and go and change constantly. We can always strive to regulate our emotions and get better at controlling them, but the fact is that they are often unpredictable and unfortunately don’t have our long term goals in mind. Develop and use your discipline. Do. It. Anyway.

It’s not easy. It’s hard but it is simple. You can do hard things and you can do things you don’t want to.

So do them.

Thanks for reading!


Learn More

To learn more about how we can help you on your fitness journey, click here to set up a Free Intro and follow Parkside CrossFit @parksidecrossfit and owners Connor Green @connorgreen24 and Pamela Matew @pambition.