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5 practical tips to turn excuses into actions and reclaim your fitness

As a fitness instructor, I’ve witnessed first-hand the enthusiasm that comes with setting New Year’s resolutions, especially when it comes to health and fitness. According to Enterprise Apps Today, only 9% of people are successful in keeping with their resolutions.

Over the years, I’ve experienced hurdles and have seen my clients and friends go through the same self-inflicted limitations when it comes to fitness, which hinder us from not only achieving our resolution goals but also leave us feeling unaccomplished. From time constraints to lack of motivation, these obstacles can seem impossible to overcome – but they don’t have to be.

Here are my 5 tips to turn excuses into actions and reclaim your fitness journey:

Not having enough time

It’s a common refrain: “I don’t have time to exercise, I wear many hats.” But the truth is, we make time for the things we value. If exercise is an important aspect of your life, you will find the time for it. Whenever I hear someone say they don’t have enough time, I always recommend challenging that notion. I recommend a “reality check”, which is simply starting a day plan, where you list all your day’s activities and the amount of time you spend on each activity – from the time you wake up to when you go to bed. When you put pen to paper and break it down, it’s a big eye opener to where we’re spending our time. When you have this information in front of you, you can find places where you can carve out time for activities that nourish your soul, like fitness. It’s about prioritising and recognising that investing in your health is worth the time.

Being too tired

I’ve heard this line more times than I can recall. Many people find that fitness ends up being the last item on the to-do list, meaning that it frequently gets bumped off the list because by the end of the day, we’re just too tired. So, finding the right time to prioritise exercise is crucial – whether it’s waking up 30 minutes earlier or squeezing in a short workout between meetings. It also doesn’t need to be at a gym; it could be a quick workout video online. Making fitness a non-negotiable part of your day can lead to improved energy levels and overall well-being.

Lack of motivation

Sometimes, the hardest part is getting started. As human beings, our innate nature is to be social beings, which is why sometimes exercising by yourself can get monotonous. This is where finding a supportive community can make all the difference, whether it’s joining a running club or finding a workout buddy who will keep you accountable.

Another tactic to get out of your own way is through the 5-second rule. Author Mel Robbins describes this rule: “The moment you have an instinct to act on a goal, you must 5-4-3-2-1 and physically move or your brain will stop you. There’s one thing that is guaranteed to increase your feelings of control over your life: a bias toward action.” So, if today is the day you have determined that you want to reclaim your fitness, the minute you think about it, you must physically do one small action, even if that means researching what you are going to do next.

Fear of looking silly

Depending on your fitness journey, it is easy to fall prey to your own mind where you feel like you will look silly exercising, especially in a gym or training environment. The fear of judgement can be paralysing, but it’s essential to remember that everyone starts somewhere. There is also a physiological way to ‘get out of our own head’. When we are excited or scared, our bodies release a hormone called cortisol. It’s released in the same way, but the difference is what our brains do with the information. It’s important to realign our thinking and give our brain the correct information by being determined to turn fear into excitement. By reframing fear as excitement and creating positive pathways in our brains, we can overcome self-doubt and take the next step toward growth.


Many people view fitness as a luxury rather than a necessity. We need to start changing the narrative and categorise fitness as a top priority, because investing in our health is one of the most valuable investments we can make. It doesn’t have to break the bank either; there are so many cost-effective training activities that you can participate in, and one of the great things about our information age is that we have knowledge right at our fingertips so access to information – training programmes or motivation is easily available. One way to start is by finding someone who has a fitness platform online, follow them, and start doing their home workouts. When you are ready, investigate what fitness options suit your needs and find an environment that matches that, within your budget.

In essence, we need to change the narrative of how we view fitness; it’s about overcoming mental barriers and finding balance in our busy lives. By addressing common obstacles and implementing practical strategies, we can reignite our motivation and get back on track toward a healthier, happier lifestyle.

Fitness can be as simple as spending 20 minutes playing ball with your children or taking a brisk walk in the park. Remember, every step, no matter how small, brings us closer to our goals. So, let’s lace up our sneakers, embrace the journey, and reclaim our fitness one day at a time.

Colleen Petersen

Founder: CrossFit AniWaya

Image credit: Freepik

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