After-work workouts and consistency.

Speaking | Kourtney Thomas Fitness

I’ve had a few weeks in a row of being not-as-consistent-as-I’d-prefer-with-my-fitness for various reasons (travel, sickness, general poor scheduling and fatigue). And since Consistency is Queen, I knew I needed to up my game and take care of myself. Put my money where my mouth is, and quit saying I was going to make it happen this week.

I lamented quite a bit in each weekly update to my coach about how “meh” things had been. “Oh, the week started off so good! And then…” or “I swear, I’m going to get my cardio in.” or “I had to cut this one short, but something is better than nothing, right?” Essentially, a pile of excuses that I was making for myself because I was (or wasn’t!) dealing with stress.

Important to note, though, that I’m in a more structured personal goals mode, and I can’t make progress on my structured goals if I don’t make them a priority. By no means am I a “NO EXCUSES!” kind of coach, but I’m pretty matter of fact that if I want to achieve something, I have to actually take the steps to work toward it. Which, in this case, includes consistent, fully completed workouts.

This past weekend, I attended an all-day clinic Friday and Saturday. I did a good job of getting in my workouts in the early part of the week, planning to get them all done by Thursday, just in case I didn’t want to wake up early Friday. And then…the wheels fell off on that last one. Back at 3/4. Definitely not a bad thing by any stretch, but again, personal frustration and disappointment running rampant. And overall annoyance with myself.

So I go to my clinic Friday, get out around 5:30pm, tell myself I’ll head to the gym. It’s not that late! Realize on the way there that I forgot my gym bag. Eye roll. Have to go home. See husband and immediately want to stay home and snuggle after a long day. Sit down on the couch and start whining about how I want to go but maybe I won’t. It’s late now. Maybe it’s fine.

But in this bargaining I was doing with myself, I quickly realized that this was an important moment. First of all, I remembered very quickly that this is what the vast majority of people are dealing with, and absolutely the majority of my clientele – an 8-to-5 job and limited energy to go to the gym at the end of the day. I’ve been doing this entrepreneur thing for almost five years now, and I do sometimes forget how great it is to be able to go to the gym at 3pm. This often takes these kinds of situations completely off of my plate.

Next, I appreciated even more the choices we make in determining, and then taking action toward, our priorities. My top three are my husband, my fitness, and my business. This was a mashup of all of them. And I think it’s something we all go through. Sometimes, we do choose our self-care over family time. Sometimes we do choose work over fitness or time with our partners. Sometimes we put everything else on hold for quality time with the right people.

In the end, I went to the gym. It wasn’t my best workout because I was fatigued from sitting all day and not fueling right, and I was distracted because I wanted to be home. Still, it wasn’t necessarily a bad decision. It certainly supported my goals for consistency for the week, and I felt accomplished at that. And the main point is that it was a decision.

One of my main coaching tenets is taking control of your choices. Certainly, know and live from your values and priorities. But when it comes down to the day-to-day stuff like this, make the choice and own it.

Some weeks or days, that will mean going home and playing with the kids after work, skipping a planned workout. Some, it will mean exchanging it for a quick at-home workout. And some, it will mean having a snack, heading to the gym, and getting home late. Whatever your priorities, it’s always a bit of a balance, or really an integration, to cultivate everything at once, or at its proper time. And yes, sometimes it will feel like the wrong choice, but there’s always something to be learned in that too.

So really, what to do when you’re tired after work but still want to do a workout? As we love to say in the fitness world: it depends. What are your priorities? Breathe them in and out for a moment, then make the choice. And in consistently taking control of your choices, you’ll find exactly the consistency you need to support your priorities.

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