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One of the best ways to really find out what makes you tick and what can hinder your motivation is a decision balance. Here’s how:


Write a list of all the short and long term advantages you get from exercise, as many as you can think of for example:

Short term advantages

  • Lifts my mood
  • Feel good about my body
  • Maintain health
  • Gets me out of the house
  • Good quality sleep

Long term advantages

  • Good self-esteem
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Encourages family to exercise too

Then rate them from 1-10 for their importance to you 1= not at all important, 10= extremely important. For example if using exercise to lift your mood is highly valued, give it a high score (9 or 10).

What this gives you is an insight into the main reasons i.e. your motivation to exercise. Its very useful to recall this when tempted to skip a gym session.

On the other side of the coin it is important not to ignore the disadvantages of exercise. So try the same as before with the disadvantages, for example, time spent away from children, have to go out in the cold, body aches.

What you should notice when scoring is that the reasons not to exercise really aren’t a patch on the reasons to exercise and that most of the disadvantages are excuses!

However, it does give an insight into what is most likely to sabotage your motivation. Challenge your own thinking about how important that reason not to exercise is compared to your main reason to exercise.

So what are you waiting for……get down to the gym!

Laura Easter
Active Attitude
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