More often than not, excuses are what keep us from accomplishing our dreams. We decide that X, Y and Z are in the way of what we need to do, so we settle for less. For many, this cycle of excuses leads us farther away from the gym and closer to a life of discomfort and unhealthy habits.
When I started actively exercising, I realized just how ridiculous most of my excuses really were. A packed schedule meant I had no time to get in shape, a tight budget meant I had no place to work out, a time consuming relationship meant I had no room for more and the list goes on forever. Once I finally get my ass on the treadmill, the ifs ands and buts slipped away and transformed into sweat dripping down my face with satisfaction. I quickly replaced my excuses with solutions. A packed schedule meant waking up a little earlier to hit the gym first thing in the morning. A tight budget meant shopping around for the best deals and exercising outdoors. A time consuming relationship meant, tough luck bitch I’m going to exercise.
I found that creating my go-to gym bag was a huge way to get myself motivated. With my gym bag in place, I had everything I needed to grab and go. I didn’t need to spend a bunch of time packing or planning, it was just there, smiling by the front door waiting for me. Tonight, put together your own Golden Gym Bag and take on an incredible week of working out no matter what excuses try to derail you!
Since I often take my gym bag with me to workout in the morning, I’m sure to pack everything I need to get ready after breaking a sweat.
The gym bag is obviously, ground zero. I used to think about going to the gym and/or getting ready at the gym and figure I’d need like, 3 bags minimum to pull it off. I learned that I really just needed to focus on being precise and use 1 “perfect for me” bag with a hanger (if necessary). My gym bag is a deeper square shape versus the traditional longer rectangle. This works perfectly with the gym lockers because of their design! A large main section of my bag, side pockets and compartments give me places to hold everything. Into it.
A small combo lock used to be the ONE, yes ONE reason why I knew I couldn’t go to the gym and get ready before work. “I don’t have a lock,” I would think…. “obviously, since I can’t secure my belongings, I can’t go at all.” No. Wrong. I remembered somewhere along the way I got luggage that came with a little lock, so I dug it out and keep it on me at all times. I, personally, prefer a combo lock because I don’t have to carry a key with me. It also encourages me to keep going to the gym because I don’t want to forget the combo 🙂
A small bag of toiletries always stays in my gym bag as well. This is completely separate from the stuff I have at home so that I don’t have to pack and re-pack my stuff each time I hit the gym. Since my toiletries are already packed, I just have to throw in my change of clothes, hairdryer, brush and makeup bag.
Shower sandals also stay in my gym bag all the time. I use small plastic produce bags from the grocery store to hold them so that excess water isn’t an excuse either. I got mine for $1 at Michaels during a sale. You can find yours at any department store, craft store (usually), 99 cent store and beyond. Seriously, go spend $1 on some sandals and stop complaining.
A towel is required for showing at the gym, but obviously this is something I have to take out and wash after using. However, I do have 2 beach towels that I rotate into my gym bag. I’ve found that beach towels can take up less space and since they’re different from my shower towels at home, I can keep working out without interrupting my laundry cycle.
Headphones also stay with me at all times. I used to use “no music” as a major excuse to head home instead of the gym. I CAN’T EXERCISE IN SILENCE…. DOI!!! Ok, so then don’t! With my smart phone in hand, I can listen to music without carrying an extra device and with my headphones in my bag, I’m ready to go!
A water bottle and/or protein shake is also incredibly handy, but not required. I carry one with me everywhere and love staying hydrated while I exercise. It can also be very helpful if you’re in between meal times. While you should never deprive yourself or skip meals, I love drinking water to tide me over when I start to get hungry. Since I often workout first thing in the morning and right after work, I’m in between meals and often planning on eating after the gym. Instead of using “I’m starting to get hungry” as an excuse, I turn to a bottle of water and/or calorie and taste conscious protein shake, squeeze in a workout then head home or to work and make a quick meal.
Right here, right now…. start packing and put a stop to the excuses.
Yes, you can do it!!!
To being prepared and packing the perfect gym bag,