I always have good intentions of exercising, but I don’t follow through. There’s always some reason I’ll use (no time, don’t feel like it, etc), convincing myself that it’s okay to put it off until tomorrow and before I realize, a week (or a month) have gone by. I sometimes have motivation and do exercise, but it’s sporadic.
How do I become more consistent with exercise?
Dear Procrastination Pete,
Thank you for writing in with your question! The first thing to acknowledge is that you have good intentions to exercise. That is an excellent starting point! It is clearly “in you” to be healthy, otherwise, you would not be thinking about it and it would not be bothering you. The seed is planted. The second thing to appreciate is that you do sometimes get a spark of motivation and are in action around fitness. So, you are not a complete couch potato. These are both strong points.
First, Inconsistency can occur when we set a goal too big. If we have an “all or nothing” view of exercise, it can be a set up for failure. Consider your current idea of exercise and how well is it working for you. Exercise programs can become outdated. What worked at the age of 25 may not work at the age of 45 due to changing life priorities and other commitments. Consider what is the least, smallest action you can take consistently? A 15 minute brisk walk done every single day will provide greater benefit over time than a 60 min intense workout done only occasionally. Remember the old saying “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”, it’s not “seven apples on Sunday” or “30 apples once a month”.
Second, Inconsistency is also present when we are not fully committed to a goal. We might think about a goal, talk about it and say we want it, but if we are not focused with taking consistent action, then we are probably not entirely committed to it. Most people would take a million dollars if it were handed to them. Committing one’s life to becoming a millionaire is a different story. Most people are not willing to do the work, make the sacrifice, and endure the patience, etc. So, you have to ask yourself if you really want it and why you want it.
Ask yourself the deeper questions. This can create a spark for inspiration into more consistent action. What is it that you really want for your life and how does exercise fit into that goal? What does exercise provide for you? Why it is important to you to exercise? Knowing your underlying reasons and being able to connect them to deeper values (freedom, peace, health, kids, family, career) is like adding jet fuel to your motivation.
Last point: It is vitally important that your motivation be generated from positive internal feelings, not negative ones. Being motivated by anger, frustration or fear may get you started, but it will not keep you going. Forgive yourself for however far you have slid regarding self care & accept where you are in this moment. Begin to explore the areas where you are willing to take responsibility for your health. Self love & compassion for yourself go a very long way on this journey. And, remember, it is a path, not a tightrope. Be gentle with yourself.
Supporting you with distinguishing your core values and deeper motivations is something a life coach can help you explore in order to generate more consistency and get in action in the areas of life that are important to you.
Wishing you clarity, peace & power,
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