I probably should not admit this in public, but.. I’m the laziest person I know.
I might put on a really good anti-lazy act. But here’s the thing. I love comfy sofas and movie marathons. I love lazy football Sundays and sleepy basks in the sun. I can eat Cookie Crisp cereal all day long. This is my truth, and I know it. But therein lies my secret…
Secret #1: I know I’m lazy.
Secret #2: I lovingly accept that I’m lazy.
Translation: Instead of being mean to myself and feeling guilty about being lazy, I embrace my laziness. I dare say it’s the one of my best qualities. Completely ironic, yes. But if you give me a chance, I’ll show you how your laziness can do you a world of good.
I’m sorry… I didn’t mean to say you’re lazy. I’m sure you’re not.
It’s entirely possible that you have really good excuses: no time, too much work, the kids, life. I know.
But if there’s a minuscule chance you’re like me and you’re just, um, lazy… I’ve written this post, from my lazy soul to yours, to help you use your laziness to overcome any excuse to exercise.
Here’s your fail-proof guide to working out.
There’s only one rule to swear by, and then four easy steps to follow.
THE GOLDEN RULE FOR LAZY BUMS: You must make everything easier.
As you try out these four simple steps, you must always ask yourself –
what is the easiest way for me to do this?
STEP 1: Declare your non-negotiables
If you’re wondering what a non-negotiable is, it’s this: Do you brush your teeth every morning? (Please say yes.) That’s a non-negotiable. It’s a thing you decide is so important to you that it becomes an absolute necessity in your day.
The first thing you must do is decide: is your health important to you? That’s all. Yes or no.
If you decide yes, then you now need to declare that moving your body once a day is a non-negotiable.
If you feel in your heart of hearts that “EXERCISE IS IMPORTANT TO ME” then you may proceed to step two.
But here’s the kicker – this first step is the key. If you don’t really believe exercise matters to you in your life, then the next steps will not help you.
STEP 2: Decide on your favorite moves
This is where your buzz can dangerously fizzle out. Most of us immediately think: Get myself to a gym! Go to Zumba! Sign up for spinning! OMG. STOP. NOW.
You’ve been there, done that. And how long did that last?
So, let’s get real. What can you realistically do? And more importantly, what do you feel like doing?
Remember our silent code of laziness – what is the easiest way for me to do this?
Think simple simple simple. It could be just ONE thing, if you’re starting out. (Like, this.)
My great lazy girl secret: Do the moves you love, because it’s always easier doing what you love. Exercise should not equate to drudgery. If you’re not having fun, you’re doing something wrong.
If you hate the gym, DON’T. GO. TO. A. GYM! Forget about the gym, release that stress, and stop feeling guilty about it. Instead, feel good that you’re doing something you love.
Some of my favorite workouts – walking, hiking, dancing, rebounding, jump roping – come with 3 critical lazy benefits:
– zero fees
– zero distance between me and the act of doing
– near zero equipment
Lazy girl translation = ZERO obstacles to actually working out everyday.
The key to making exercise a regular part of your life is to MAKE IT EASY so that IT ACTUALLY HAPPENS. That’s it.
STEP 3: Get yourself equipped
The most obvious step. And yet, potentially your greatest obstacle.
I have a friend who only walks in summer because she hates the cold. Well, guess what? I do too (hate the cold).
But me and my lazy bum go get a nice warm fleece, some gloves, and leg warmers (yup, your 80s girl at heart). And now I’ve eliminated my major excuse #1.
This step might seem like a form of procrastination. And you’re right, it is. But shopping to look cute while you exercise is totally acceptable.
The key to this step is to make all your necessities easily accessible. Put your sneakers front and center in your closet so that you can just grab them and go.
Do whatever it takes to make it easy enough to actually happen.
STEP 4: Create an action plan
The biggest lesson I learned from being lazy is: Don’t waste time trying to not be lazy.
Instead, plan for it and plan around it. Create a clear action plan so that the thing you want to do everyday gets done. In the easiest way possible.
Give your exercise non-negotiable a defined time of day. Decide what you’re going to do and when. Be specific and write it into your schedule. Seriously. If it’s not scheduled, it’s not happening.
Once it’s on your planner, it’s now off your mind. Your goal is to avoid having to make more decisions. Make all your decisions up front, get it on your calendar. And get your move on.
And how much do you do? Be nice to your lazy self. Start with just 30 minutes. Anyone, everyone can find 30 minutes somewhere in their day to move their bum.
Start with your easiest days and the easiest times of your day. Be smart and be real with yourself. Know that you’ll need to be hydrated and fed enough to not faint. Map out all your physical obstacles.
That’s how you PLAN. You take into account all your known lazy obstacles.
Can you do this? YES!
I will tell you that, to this day, every time I finish a workout, I have this mini-celebration in my head, cheering “I did it!”
Eventually that act of doing and celebrating what you’ve accomplished – that is the making of a habit. A good habit. That is how your brain tells itself “I am capable.”
SO. Here’s my challenge for you, fellow lazy girl (or guy!). Try these four steps on one exercise option that you love. Try it for a week. Check in with yourself. See how you feel.
IF you feel good, try it for another week.
IF you feel good after week two, three, and four, you can blame me for getting you addicted to a new good habit.
My only request is that you write me in the comments below and tell me all about it. I’ll be here. Lazily awaiting.
And, in case you need proof of my lazy girl qualifications…
Psst. Need an easy ab workout? Keep a stash of Calvin and Hobbes handy. Read a few pages and your core will be sore. A true philosopher’s comic, Bill Watterson is a master healer in the art of laughter medicine. In case you don’t know his genius yet, try this or this.