September 19, 2021

Dear Cassey: I want to workout but I keep making excuses

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Dear Cassey,
I’ve been struggling on my fitness journey recently. I lack motivation because other things get in the way. I tell myself I don’t have time to workout, or I make up some other excuse – be it due to stress, work, studying, tiredness, etc. How do I get out of this rut that I’m in? Every time I do a workout I feel amazing, but then the next day it’s back to nothing. How do I stay consistent and motivated to workout, while loving it and balancing life at the same time?
Much love,
In A Rut

Hey In a Rut,

I totally hear you. Working out is a habit, and not always an easy one. In fact, I don’t think we talk ENOUGH about just how hard it can be to build a new habit like fitness. It takes dedication and it takes the right attitude. It’s never easy when you start, it’s EASIER to make excuses to skip, and you have to do the work to find what motivates you.

So let’s start with finding what motivates you. You have to do a little digging to figure out what fitness will do for YOU. Once you figure that out, you’ll be able to flip any excuse that normally derails you. Let’s use your examples, shall we?

Stress – Working out can be the ultimate de-stressor. If you’re consistently active, you might notice your stress levels become much more manageable.

Work – Squeezing in some time to exercise before work could put you in a better mood and help you concentrate. If you prefer to work out after work, it will help you unwind and feel refreshed after a long day – especially if you spend a lot of time sitting!

Studying – I already mentioned that exercise will help you concentrate! You might find that making time for a workout helps you study more efficiently!

Tiredness – All of the above will make you tired. It might seem like exercise would just make you more tired, but it would likely do the opposite! Some movement might be just what you need to feel more energized.

Maybe you already know all of these things. The point of thinking this way is to change your mindset to stop short of making excuses and instead, always think “yes, I’m feeling tired and I’d rather relax BUT I’ll at least do a short workout because I know I will feel more energized.” Or “I really need to study BUT I know that I’ll concentrate better if I go on a quick walk first.”

Successfully sticking to a new habit all comes down to mindset. Guilting and shaming yourself won’t cut it! Think about what you need to get out of working out and what motivates you… and remind yourself often.

Second, you have to prioritize the time. Start small if you need to – even 10 minutes is better than nothing. It’s enough to get your body used to all of the wonderful things that exercise can do. Then the habit just builds on itself. You’ll find yourself making excuses to fit that workout in, rather than skip it.

Lastly, seek out the workouts that you enjoy. And remember that even when you get into a solid routine, you’ll have days that you just don’t feel like working out. Days when stress or fatigue from a busy day will just take over. And that’s OKAY. It doesn’t mean you’re making excuses because those feelings are valid.

There’s no rule that you need to go super hard every single day. In fact, you really shouldn’t! Get comfortable with the fact that any movement is enough – even short walks and gentle yoga. Just move, do what makes you feel good, and have fun!

Do you have any motivation tips for In A Rut? Tell us in the comments! 

PS – If you have a burning question you want to ask me, leave your questions below! I may answer it in an upcoming Dear Cassey post!