So You Didn’t Exercise Today? What Stopped You?

Sometimes it is hard to know if you are ditching the workout for a good reason, or you are not working out because you are making an excuse. If your motivation to work out is low, you can come up with many seemingly plausible reasons why you didn’t exercise. You might be experiencing a busy day, or you might not feel well, and those are legitimate reasons for not getting to the gym or doing your routine, but sometimes, the reasons we tell ourselves really stem from a lack of motivation.

To provide some of that motivation, you may want to engage in positive self-talk and focus on the outcome. Tell yourself how good you will feel after you exercise. You might also want to reward yourself with something for sticking to your plan. For example, after you exercise, take ten minutes to do something you enjoy like reading a book or picking flowers or doing a crossword puzzle.

If you feel you are motivated but end up skipping the workout, ask yourself, what stopped you? If you are overscheduled and really could not find the time on a particular day, perhaps you should reevaluate your strategy. Maybe waking up earlier and working out first thing in the morning will result in a better track record. If you are often running out of time, try another strategy, and keep trying something new until you find a routine that works.

Above all, be flexible. Emergencies do happen and illnesses can prevent even the most motivated exerciser from following a plan. So pay attention to any negative self-talk if you do end up skipping a workout. Then, simply make a decision to do your best every day and know that tomorrow will be another opportunity to succeed. Imagine that you are a vigorous, healthy person who exercises routinely and you just might find that the person you envision is the person you become.