Embarking on a fitness journey is often romanticized as a series of motivated, well-rested, and unbusy days. In reality, life tends to throw us curveballs, and most days feel like we're playing the game of life on legendary difficulty. What we often miss is that it's the mundane consistency over months that yields results. To navigate the challenges that life throws at us on those "I don't wanna" days, I've found traction with a few of my clients in what I call going Braveheart– a method to maintain momentum, especially on the days when life feels less than inspiring.
Rather than fixating on the daunting prospect of a full workout when motivation is lacking, the Braveheart Technique handing yourself a cue that snowballs into the action you know will help you feel better. It's about tricking your mind into believing that the task ahead is not as arduous as it seems.
Do you remember the scene from Braveheart where William Wallace goes out to meet the English and as he leaves, he says he's going to pick a fight. To which his right hand man says "Well, we didn't get dressed up for nothin'"
Go get dressed. Put on your favorite gym attire and say to yourself that you're not dressed up for nothin'! Now head out the door, ready to pick a fight with the "I don't wanna's".
But that's it. You're heading out the door. You're not going to crush a workout, you're walking out the door. Now that you're out the door, go get in your car. Nice! Next step conquered. Now drive to the gym...and so on. Tackling one battle at a time remembering that you're dressed for the next battle.
Sometimes, all it takes is getting to they gym and doing one push-up, and that's perfectly okay. The key is to celebrate the small victories along the way– whether it's stepping through the door or dedicating 30 seconds to exercise. As long as you initiate the process, consider it a win.
However, the beauty of going Braveheart lies in its transformative potential. What starts as a commitment to one push-up can evolve into ten, three more sets, and eventually, a full-fledged workout. The strategy revolves around lowering the initial win scenario to overcome the expectation of perpetual motivation and lengthy daily workouts.
In a world where we often set unrealistic fitness standards, expecting ourselves to be motivated all the time, this technique provides a pragmatic alternative. Going Braveheart recognizes that life gets busy, and instead of doing nothing due to a perceived lack of time or energy, it encourages taking small steps.
So, the next time you're tempted to skip a workout because it feels overwhelming, go Braveheart. Get dressed, set the bar for success an inch in front of you, complain as you get dressed, and commit to doing literally one thing. See how you feel. More often than not, you'll discover that exercising gives you energy rather than depleting it, and that one small movement can snowball into a full workout.
Going Braveheart is a way to remind yourself that winning small battles builds momentum and that you are worth getting dressed up for.