The Top 7 Excuses To Avoid Exercise and How You Can Overcome Them

excuses to avoid exercise

A more constructive way to focus on your feelings is how you will feel after the activity. Let the feelings of pride, relief and delight be your muse to steamroll your mind’s excuses and take that first step.

Excuse #3: The Snooze Button Won…Again.

Every time you hit the snooze button, you break a promise to yourself. The domino effect that has on your self-esteem and self-trust is more devastating than you realise.

You may have already purchased equipment, signed up with a trainer or joined a walking group which is a brilliant start, but the way to make exercise a regular habit is to solidify your decision every day. It must be a daily commitment because the decision you made two weeks ago has already fluttered away.

So, what can you do to solidify the decision?

Decide the night before what time you are waking up, what the activity is, and commit to showing up to yourself by not defaulting to the dreaded snooze button. When you have already decided, it shuts down the sabotaging conversation that goes on in your mind when your alarm goes off and wants to convince you it’s early, cold, and you deserve to lie in.

Decide in advance because those ten minutes of extra sleep will always feel more tempting than your workout. You can also charge your phone on the opposite side of the room or have a reward of your favourite coffee waiting in the kitchen if you need something else to give you that extra push.

Read 10 Differences Between Someone Who Set Goals and Who Doesn’t

Excuse #4: I’m Such A Lazy Person.

Milestones often drive motivation to start an exercise program such as a wedding or a school reunion. But the problem is that you are working towards one outcome, and once the big day comes and goes, so does your habit.

You figure, “well, I’ve done it so I can go back to normal; I’ve earned it”. You were attached to the outcome.

The way out of this physical goal mindset is to transition to an identity-based goal. The action needs to be part of who you are and in alignment with your highest values. Do you value more energy for your family, health, longevity, or the ability to perform at your highest level?

When you shift to identity-based goals, your choices are about aligning actions to your values. Every time you do the action — go for a walk, get onto the yoga mat, opt for the grilled option — you are creating evidence for yourself that you have internalised the habit as part of your new identity.

Your story has changed, and the way you show up to yourself has changed as well.

Read First Impression Quiz: What Is The First Thing People Notice About You?

Excuse #5: I Planned On Doing It This Week, But It Didn’t Happen.

My mantra is, “If it gets scheduled, it gets done”.

You can’t wake up and then figure out when you will fit in the walk, yoga class or fill in the blank. You need to treat it like a meeting and allocate a designated time and place for it in your calendar. Honour this slot with the same importance you would any other meeting. Protect this time like a warrior; it must become a non-negotiable.

It will always feel like there is something more important, but your lack of action is not a discipline issue but that you put other people’s needs ahead of your own. Having an unconditional commitment to your highest values will drive you to keep the appointment with yourself and take action — even if it is fifteen minutes.

Clarity is key

Apart from when you will take action, also clarify the duration and precisely what you will do in the exercise session. I have a structured program I review the day before so I can start my session immediately. With a simple plan, you override the thought of going down the Google rabbit hole of ‘researching’ programs instead of simply doing the work.

I lay out my clothes the night before and prepare my pre-workout shake not to spend any unnecessary energy on decision-making. It is one smooth military operation. Remove all decision making so you can keep your precious energy for the workout.

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Lori Milner

LORI MILNER is the engaging speaker, author, coach and trainer. She is passionate about empowering women and equipping diverse teams with the tools and skills to fulfil their potential in their careers and personal lives. Her full-service consultancy, Beyond the Dress (BTD), helps individuals to build harmony into their personal and professional lives. Lori’s expertise is self-leadership; her focus areas include smart time and goal management, stress management, inter-personal skills, personal branding, mental mastery and leadership – and the result is happier and more productive people. Lori is married and lives in Johannesburg, South Africa with her 2 children. Lori delivered a talk for TEDxLytteltonWomen in December 2018 on the topic of ‘How to Create Micro Wins’.View Author posts