"I want to go to the gym, but..."
Ah. The dreaded caveat.
But...I sort of feel blah.
But...I have to do laundry.
But...I need to go to the store.
But...I have to run errands.
Here's the thing. I started doing this about four years ago, and when I say "started," I am being very literal--I went from lifelong couch potato to daily gym-rat as slowly and reluctantly as possible. In that time (actually about a year and a half into it) I had an epiphany. It radically changed my approach to my health and fitness for the better. I realized this:
Every single day, from now until forever, I will have a perfectly reasonable reason to skip the gym.
It's absolutely true. There is always, always, always something else you could be doing. There is always an errand. There's always work. There's always maybe-sorta I kinda-think I might be getting a headache. Always. I could skip my workout, every day, for perfectly valid reasons.
You have to make time. You have to make it a priority. You have to make your health something that you are not going to compromise on.
My point is not to invalidate every excuse out there--look, there are some days when sh*t just needs to get done, and it isn't getting done on a barbell. It happens. And I'm not against rest days by any means; they're a necessary part of any fitness regimen. If you're sick, please rest. If you're hurt, talk to your coach, your doc, your PT, and figure out how to get yourself right--don't push a bad position. But this rationale only works if you're being honest with yourself.
I have, repeatedly, astounded myself with my ability to internally rationalize my own bullshit excuses. My brain has done the necessary acrobatics to string together four or five "rest days" in a row and still feel like I was working hard all week. It's amazing (and don't get me started on how many "cheat meals" you can "deserve" in a week). The worst part is the loss of momentum...slipping a bit one day makes it easier to slip more the next, and so on, so finally getting back into the swing can be a real bear.
If you catch yourself or your friends/clients doing any of this, guilt-tripping someone or beating yourself up doesn't help. I could go on a whole other rant about the masochist if-you-want-it-bad-enough-what's-the-problem coaching "attitude" (plague) out there--actually, I probably will write that rant--but that's not what we do here. Let's talk solutions.
Often, I've found that maintaining a realistic view of my weekly activity can make all the difference. I can't "feel like" I've been going at it when the hard data disagrees.
Try keeping a pocket notebook or planner on you, and record which days you work out and which days you rest. So when you get that hump-day slump, pull it out and look...oh, did I already take Monday off? Well shoot. Better get on it. Moleskine makes some great mini-books; you can pick them up at Barnes & Noble or just about any bookstore. Also works great for recording meals.
For the tech savvy: use the cloud! I used this when I started a new job and had a hard time settling into the new routine. I turned a basic google drive spreadsheet into a weekly (and later monthly) calendar. If I worked out, I colored that day's box. If I didn't, it stayed blank. This really helped me get a trending big picture snapshot of my habits. The really nice part was that I could access it on any device--my phone, my work computer, my home computer, my tablet. Convenient personal accountability! Woo!
Plan your errands and your rest days together. As I said above, sh*t happens. Some stuff is going to intrude on your precious gym time eventually. When possible, I try and schedule my rest days and my happening-sh*t around each other. (For example, tonight, Wednesday, I have to get downtown for a meeting--so I made sure I blocked out Monday and Tuesday nights for WODs. I'll probably knock out some laundry and some cooking for the rest of the week once I get home, as well). The key is to treat your workout time as part of your schedule, not something you fit into the margins.
These are a couple of things I've used to get myself into a healthy routine--the list is by no means exhaustive, but I will vouch for it's effectiveness. I hope it helps you out as much as it did me.
Until next time: keep earning it.