THE BLOG
06/05/2014 12:05 pm ET Updated Aug 05, 2014

Strengthening Your Do-It-Anyway Muscle

Lots of us like exercise once we get about halfway through, and everyone loves a workout after it is completed, but very few souls are skipping around the spinning room with joy prior to class.

Of course, those who, over the years, are faithful in their fitness don't mind doing the sweating, because they've started to reap the benefits of feeling and looking better.These people tend to not mind exercise at all, because they've integrated the connection between their fitness regime and good bodily results.

As Dr. Phil says, "You don't have to like it, you just have to do it." This means putting on your running shoes and grabbing your iPod, even as the voice in your head concocts various excuses and ideas to avoid sweating.

You have to approach your workout plans just like you deal with brushing your teeth. Do you ever skip brushing your teeth because you brushed them yesterday? Or do you tell yourself you can brush them tomorrow or that you know you SHOULD brush, but you just don't want to do it right now? Or how about saying to heck with brushing all together because you haven't done it in so long, why start now?

Think of exercise as your anatomical brushing. One way to get yourself moving is by using what I call self backtalk. You have to learn to respond to that voice in your head in the same way that I talk back to the Other Penny. When she suggests sleeping five minutes more, I tell her we can take a nap later, even though she never feels like it after she gets her body moving.

When she wants to skip a day, I tell her she might not feel like it but do it anyway. When she says she's tired, I respond by saying five minutes is better than no minutes and that the hardest part is getting started; then it gets easier.

I also think that every time we give in to these sabotaging thoughts, we strengthen our giving-in habits and conversely, every time we resist these thoughts and exercise anyway, we strengthen our Nike "Just Do It" habits. Another big part of a consistent exercise routine is making exercise a priority. You have to put it on your calendar just like any other important appointment. You deserve to put yourself first. Another self backtalk sentence you can use is to tell your self that you can be loose with your fitness routine OR you can be fit, but you can't be both. Or how about this self backtalk response:

I may not care if I skip my workout now, but I will care a LOT when I get on the scale.

Tell yourself NO EXCUSES.

Another important part of this self backtalk is to give your self credit when you DO do it, in spite of not wanting to.

You deserve credit every time you exercise, every time you stick to your workout plan. And every time you use your "Do It Anyway" muscle it will get stronger.

And every time you refuse to use your "I Don't Feel Like It" muscle, it gets weaker.

I really didn't feel like writing today. But I told myself I had no choice; that I would feel better if I just stop thinking and started typing. And now that it's done, I feel better, like I always do. You will too. Now get out there and do it.