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Today felt like one of those days I would’ve rather stayed in bed. It was still SO DARK at 6 AM when my alarm went off. My body felt tired, like all I wanted to do was hibernate.

My first instinct was to just roll over and try to get a few more winks of sleep or get up and make some coffee. But I didn’t, because I had “pre-committed” to myself the night before that I would go running this morning, and I quit the coffee habit last week. (phew!)

So, I turned on my bright light therapy lamp for 10 minutes to get a little more energy. While I sat there I imagined how good it was going to feel when I was done with my run. Then I rolled out of bed, put on my running clothes (already laid out as part of the pre-commitment), and headed out the door.

I really didn’t want to in that moment, but I did it anyway.

I gently told myself I didn’t need to run too fast, and that I could listen to a favorite podcast (I’m into Tara Brach and “The Together Show” these days and never have enough time to listen.) And, I promised myself that I could turn around early or walk a bit if I was tired. What was most important was that I just got out the door.

And you know what? I’m SO glad I kept my promise to myself.

Listening In

I’m always a big proponent of listening to the self-compassionate voice that says  “you need a rest” when I really do need a rest.

But being able to tell the difference between that request coming from my Saboteur and my Higher Self is the key. Sometimes staying in bed or having that dessert or glass of wine you’re craving is exactly what you need. And sometimes it’s a self-sabotaging voice that we need to ignore.

Now that the days are getting shorter (only 12 hours of sunlight today!) we do actually need to get more sleep. We also need to honor our desires to slow down and turn inward to stay in sync with the seasons. But finding that balance is key to warding off the lethargy and depression that can creep in.

I knew I had a full day of work ahead, which would require a lot of focus to complete. And even though in the moment it would have felt lovely to just curl up and relax more in my warm bed, I knew that the truly self-compassionate action was to get my body moving and my lungs working hard outside.

Early Fall is one of those times when my commitment to the fundamentals of eating right, moving my body, and sleeping well are so much more critical to my overall balance and vitality.

I share this little story of listening to my inner wisdom, pre-commitment to my goals, visualizing the end point, and “Just Doing It” in the hopes that it might inspire you, during these darker days when it’s harder to self-motivate, to get out there and breathe the fresh air, see the sun rising and shining, and break a sweat. You won’t be sorry you did.

How do you do it?

Do you have tips to share on how you motivate yourself to keep moving even when you don’t feel like it? Please share below so we can all learn from you! I always love your comments and feedback.