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Lacking exercise motivation?:

How to get it back…
By Amanda Ferguson
Date: November 01 2011
Editor Rating:

Write down on a piece of paper, the following:

  • Why haven’t I got the results I want so far?
  • What do I need to do to get the results I want?

Set yourself 1 short term goal (~4 weeks), 1 medium term goal (~12 weeks) and 1 long term goal (~6 months).  Or if you know you have a special event – use that! What do you want to achieve at all these milestones?  Use these goals as motivation.

Give yourself a reward when you reach your goal – something to look forward too – dinner with partner in a new dress! A holiday. Buy some new shoes, make up, get a facial or massage etc.  Use

If you smash your goals, time to set bigger and better ones! Reassess the longer goals!

Think about the following when setting your goals:

  • What do you want to achieve?
  • Why are you trying to achieve your goals?
  • What are the benefits of achieving your goals – how do you think you will feel when you do?
  • What feelings do you want to experience?
  • Who else benefits from your success?
  • Who are you competing with that motivates you further to succeed?

Take a photo of yourself in something you want to look great in. Do this at all the milestones, see how great you look and how your body is changing.

Every Sunday night, evaluate how the past week went, think about where you did great, what worked, what didn’t work and reassess for the week ahead!

Take all the crap out of your cupboards – if its not there, you cant eat it. Stock it full of good food!

Every Sunday night, plan the week ahead:

  • Exercise – what days and what exercise you will do on those days
  • Meals – Plan Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Write yourself a shopping list. Don’t deviate from it. You might save some extra $ as well!
  • Plan 2 ‘naughty’ meals for later in the week (weekends are great for this), or if you know you have a meal out and want to enjoy it.
  • Plan 2 treats for later in the week – eg 2 squares of chocolate, a hot chocolate, packet of chips, glass of wine – whatever tickles your fancy. You don’t want to stop yourself having the foods you want, but look forward to them, you will enjoy them more when you have ‘earnt’ them, by being healthy for all the other meals.

Get your mindset right – Will Power. Get some! Think about how you felt last time you ate crap food, when you knew you shouldn’t. Think about how great you feel when you have lost weight, or have eaten a healthy meal, or done some exercise?

Think about your core. ALWAYS suck in your belly button towards your spine!

Learn to assess your hunger.

  • Normal Hunger – yes, I am hungry, I haven’t eaten for about 3 hours.
  • Water/Thirst/Dehydration – a lot of hunger is actually thirst or dehydration. Have some water! Drink 2 litres of it a day!
  • Getting Carb/protein/fat ratio right – if you don’t eat the right mix of good carbs, protein and good fats at each meal (including snacks), you will be hunger sooner. Eg sugar promotes hunger – gives you a high and then a mega low!
  • Cravings/Low blood sugar cravings – eat regularly. Don’t go 5 hours without eating!
  • Hormonal – afternoon cravings, evening etc.  – find what controls them.  Don’t give into them, control them. Moderation. Treat. If you do blow out, assess why, and then get over it. Move on. Don’t dwell on it.
  • Emotional – Feel upset, so you eat. Bored, so you eat.  Comes back to will power! Look for the reasons and do something about them!


STOP MAKING EXCUSES. There are ALWAYS ways around it.

I don’t have time


  • Get up 30mins earlier and go for a walk/run before the rest of the house is up. Will give you more energy for the day
  • I work long hours – get up earlier, take a break at lunch to recharge, assess your work life balance and do something about it. Work to live, don’t live to work! It’s your life. If you are fit and healthy everyone else will benefit!
  • For the mums out there - Take the kids to the park and run around with them  - play chassy, kick a ball, throw a ball, go swimming with them etc
  • Get together with another mum and take turns in looking after the kids, while you do 30-45mins of exercise – walk, run etc! Walk out the door and just go (after you have got them looked after!)

It’s raining


  • Put a coat on!
  • Put the rain cover on the pram and get outside. 
  • Layer up – when it’s raining, there is more oxygen in the air, so it will be either to breathe!
  • Think of all the bragging you will be able to do about exercising in the rain to all your friends and work mates – you will feel great and energised!
  • Dance around the house with the kids! Turn the music on and dance!

I’ve got no energy


  • When you get moving, endorphins start pumping, they will send the good hormones around your body and will give you more energy!
  • It’s easier to just grab something out of the fridge, or some chocolate etc (usually crap food)
  • Write yourself a shopping list of all the good foods – I can give you one if you want – fill your fridge and cupboard with the good food.
  • Porridge for breakfast takes me all of 3 minutes to cook on the stove.
  • Lunch – stir fry or eggs on sourdough with smoked salmon and avocado – takes me all of 5 mins to cook, chicken (grab a roast chicken at the shops, use the carcass for stock in the slow cooker overnight!) and avo on sourdough
  • If you can’t get out for exercise for some reason (I am sure there are many!), that is more incentive to focus on the nutrition!
  • Get the nutrition right, then add the exercise, even if it is a 10min walk every couple of days.
  • Get off a bus stop, or train stop earlier and walk. Park further away from the shops and walk.

Write down your excuses and then read them back to yourself, and then figure out how you will tackle them!  Just get out and do it. Promise you will feel better when you do!


Amanda Ferguson is the mum to 12 month old Chelsea and has her own business in Bayside Melbourne – Blue Sky Health & Fitness, check out the website at

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