What I think about when I work out — or my tips for getting through the mental game of working out

Wang Yip
5 min readMay 4, 2019

When I travel, I make it a rule for myself that I work out every single morning that I am in a new place. If I travel to somewhere I haven’t been before, I always make sure that I book a hotel that has a gym and that I figure out where the gym is as I check in.

I realized a while ago that if I didn’t make time for myself to work out, meditate or exercise, nobody would make the time for me. Things inevitably gets busy at work and you can’t rely on having the time for yourself later, which is why mornings are incredibly precious times to get the things that you want to get done for yourself. Charlie Munger often said that one of his keys for success was that he sold himself the best hour of every day to himself. I’d like you to do that too!

But waking up early and going to the gym is not that easy (believe me, there are days where I would rather snooze the alarm, stay in bed or browse social media than to get up, put my gym clothes on and get in a good sweat). There’s a lot of self talk that I go through to get myself to the gym, to get myself through a particular workout or to motivate myself to continue working out despite being dead tired or having worked out a few times already in the past week — and I’d like to share what I say to myself and why:

To get myself to go to the gym — “If you aren’t going to work out now, when?”

Like I said, the line of my work is such that we work late on projects. I’m not really sure why that is — I suppose that it is easy to keep on working when you are already in the office but I rarely see other consultants getting in early and leaving early. When most of your team gets in later and works later, I think that affects you in much the same way that spending time with people around you that get fast food all the time will affect your diet and health. We tend to be similar to the people that we spend the most time with so if everyone around you is working late, you will work late as well (and that means that you are working extra if you are going into the office early). I don’t think there is anything wrong with working late but I do think that if you plan to work out after work, it will be much harder to do when you get out of the office at 6 or 7 PM…

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Wang Yip

Author of Essential Habits. I write about personal development, work and managing your career. Connect with me at www.wangyip.ca