Dear Cassey: I want to workout but I keep making excuses

Dear Cassey,

I’ve been struggling on my fitness journey recently. I lack motivation because other things get in the way. I tell myself I don’t have time to workout, or I make up some other excuse – be it due to stress, work, studying, tiredness, etc. How do I get out of this rut that I’m in? Every time I do a workout I feel amazing, but then the next day it’s back to nothing. How do I stay consistent and motivated to workout, while loving it and balancing life at the same time?

Much love,

In A Rut

Hey In a Rut,

I totally hear you. Working out is a habit, and not always an easy one. In fact, I don’t think we talk ENOUGH about just how hard it can be to build a new habit like fitness. It takes dedication and it takes the right attitude. It’s never easy when you start, it’s EASIER to make excuses to skip, and you have to do the work to find what motivates you.

So let’s start with finding what motivates you. You have to do a little digging to figure out what fitness will do for YOU. Once you figure that out, you’ll be able to flip any excuse that normally derails you. Let’s use your examples, shall we?

Stress – Working out can be the ultimate de-stressor. If you’re consistently active, you might notice your stress levels become much more manageable.

Work – Squeezing in some time to exercise before work could put you in a better mood and help you concentrate. If you prefer to work out after work, it will help you unwind and feel refreshed after a long day – especially if you spend a lot of time sitting!

Studying – I already mentioned that exercise will help you concentrate! You might find that making time for a workout helps you study more efficiently!

Tiredness – All of the above will make you tired. It might seem like exercise would just make you more tired, but it would likely do the opposite! Some movement might be just what you need to feel more energized.

Maybe you already know all of these things. The point of thinking this way is to change your mindset to stop short of making excuses and instead, always think “yes, I’m feeling tired and I’d rather relax BUT I’ll at least do a short workout because I know I will feel more energized.” Or “I really need to study BUT I know that I’ll concentrate better if I go on a quick walk first.”

Successfully sticking to a new habit all comes down to mindset. Guilting and shaming yourself won’t cut it! Think about what you need to get out of working out and what motivates you… and remind yourself often.

Second, you have to prioritize the time. Start small if you need to – even 10 minutes is better than nothing. It’s enough to get your body used to all of the wonderful things that exercise can do. Then the habit just builds on itself. You’ll find yourself making excuses to fit that workout in, rather than skip it.

Lastly, seek out the workouts that you enjoy. And remember that even when you get into a solid routine, you’ll have days that you just don’t feel like working out. Days when stress or fatigue from a busy day will just take over. And that’s OKAY. It doesn’t mean you’re making excuses because those feelings are valid.

There’s no rule that you need to go super hard every single day. In fact, you really shouldn’t! Get comfortable with the fact that any movement is enough – even short walks and gentle yoga. Just move, do what makes you feel good, and have fun!

Do you have any motivation tips for In A Rut? Tell us in the comments! 

PS – If you have a burning question you want to ask me, leave your questions below! I may answer it in an upcoming Dear Cassey post!

20 thoughts on “Dear Cassey: I want to workout but I keep making excuses”

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  1. Someone who needs help says:

    I lost weight and I feel good because of what others think is a good thing. It is good because I am taking care of my health but I am extremely hard on myself and been in a troubling phase for a long time.

  2. Shaina says:

    This was me this last week. I’ve been pretty good doing the calendars here since the end of December but now it’s like I’ve fallen into a mental pothole. I think it’s because I have been going so hard and I had the mindset of “either do all the workouts on the calendar today or none at all”, which, I know is a TERRIBLE mindset and now I probably have burned myself out. As mentioned, doing a little is better than nothing, and I know it’s probably better to allow myself to think and get used to the idea that doing one or two videos a day is much better than doing nothing at all and being mad at myself over it. Just as others have said, starting is one of the most difficult steps, but a close second is getting back on after you’ve fallen off.

  3. Smita says:

    Thank you Cassey, for the valuable reply. I also feel demotivated at times to workout but I have noticed that it is not about motivation but because of laziness or procrastination .So, I just push myself saying I will just do 10-15 workout or only one workout out of 3 & without thinking much I just start so that will confuse myself thinking I will workout or not. After starting the workout I get into it & o complete the whole 3 workout s. Fixing a time can also be problematic. Earlier I was not OK if I don’t start the workout on time & many a times I didn’t do. Now I OK even if I am 30mins late. I also try to change my workout types so that will not fell bored & I am also starting to acknowledge & being grateful to the 10 mins exercises in a day. At least I am moving. I am also going for a walk or cycling so that there will be a new place & way to stay fit.

  4. Elizabeth says:

    I find it helpful to think in terms of discipline instead of motivation. It’s really nice to feel motivated to work out, but when motivation fails, discipline kicks in. I’m most successful at working out when I don’t ask myself, “Do I want to work out today?” but rather just plan to do it (unless I am injured or truly exhausted — there are exceptions!)

  5. trying to help says:

    for me, it usually helps to remember that “starting is the hardest part”, be it working out, studying, doing the dishes or whatnot. so i think to myself “ok, i am going to do this thing for 5 minutes and then go and do something else”. after those five minutes, i find myself already in flow (or, at least, not dreading the thing *that much*) and i even come around to finish it.

    So my best advice is just to push yourself just *a tiny, tiny bit*, just to start. if you end up continuing, THEN THAT’S GREAT. if not, well, at least you’ve got 5 min of something done, and something is always better than nothing.

    to whoever needed to hear this, i hope it helps.

    1. Nevaha says:

      I totally agree ! That’s my biggest trick for myself, “I can stop after 5 minutes” and I realize i rarely want to. There are days where I only do those 5 minutes, but it’s 5 minutes more than what I originally wanted to do so I count it as a success!!

  6. Picky Eater says:

    Dear Casey, I’m a young one (13) and I like to do workouts when bored and to help me with my sport (cheering). Your videos are my favorite because you provide different options and other ways to simplify which I much enjoy when I can’t be too sore for my next practice. I hope to have a mindset just like you someday. Any way, I’m working really hard on feeding my body properly so I can stay in shape and most importantly keep my young bones healthy and keep myself energized. The problem is that I’m a super picky eater and most of the things I do enjoy are unhealthy. My go to healthy options consist of yogurt and granola, strawberry’s, carrots, granola bars, oatmeal, and a PB and J. Any suggestions on how to find recipes for picker eaters or on how to expand my taste. I really do want to enjoy more things and be as healthy as possible (I really don’t want bad muscles and achy bones this early, or any injuries) but I find myself grossed out by most and can’t seem to get over it. Love you 💕Thanks, ~ Picky Eater

  7. Cristina says:

    Dear Cassey,
    I’m a teenager, and I don’t know what workouts are appropriate for my age and which ones are not. I want to start working out, but it’s all confusing, and I don’t know where to start. Also, my mom won’t let me do the meal plans, but I want to start eating healthier. Help!

  8. Elin says:

    Hi! Cristine (simplynailogical) said something wise in one of her podcasts. I’m paraphrasing liberally, but basically it was this: don’t sit around and wait for motivation, just do it, and motivation will eventually come. I found this very helpful, because sometimes it doesn’t help to know all the great things working can do for you, I still find excuses. So I tried just doing it, even though I didn’t feel like it, and the habit I formed actually increased my motivation! (At least a bit, I’m not saying this is a foolproof method or anything). So if you still struggle with motivation, try doing it anyway and see what happens. I mean we can force ourself to do other things we are not motivated to do, so why not exercising? And as Cassey says, maybe start with just ten minutes a day, something small. I find that it gets harder to keep doing things if I try to do too much right from the start. Good luck! Now I just need to go follow my own advice… ☺

  9. Elsa says:

    I’ve lost my motivation

  10. Jay says:

    I think doing the right exercise and following the right instructor is the key for me to keep up. I am a challenge driven person and then I met Cassey! and i have been working out with her I would say almost daily now. That just shows me that i am in the right place and I hope this continues for a long time. All this leads me to my biggest motivation that iis to live a long healthy life.

  11. Unsure says:

    Dear Cassey,

    First of all I appreciate you so much!! Not just your workouts but more importantly your inspiring personality. I’ve been following blogilates for a few years now, and it has been inspiring to see you reach your personal goals despite what the media throws your way. Keep up the good work and stay strong!!!

    I have been vegan for a couple years now, and I really enjoy this creative way of eating. However, I am reaching a plateau in my fitness goals because I find it difficult to incorporate an adequate amount of protein to build muscle. I have incorporated more resistance in my workout routine for the past several months, and I have increased my plant-based protein intake, such as beans, nuts/seeds, soy, whole grains, etc. (I avoid isolated soy protein or other protein powder isolates because they are not very affordable and also have debatable health effects.) I am beginning to feel like I may never reach my fitness goals on a vegan diet, and I am undecided if I should give it up at this point. I appreciate any input or thoughts you may have!!

    <3 <3 <3 Unsure

  12. Victoria Gessford says:

    A thousand times Thank You! You post so many blogs that I connect and relate to, and sometimes don’t even know that I should ask the question. Thanks for being so relatable and amazing!

  13. Funny bunny says:

    I enjoy working out a lot. I want to lose weight and saddlebags for good! I am in a healthy weight ,but cellulite and saddlebags are killing me . I just wanna make them better . Please give me some tips
    With love ,
    Funny bunny .

  14. Abe says:

    Hey Cassey
    I’m 17 years old and I have struggled with a lot of body shaming within my family. My mom is the main reason why I feel insecure in my body, she was the first one to tell me that you have to lose weight, she used to compare to her saying that I’m fat than her when she was pregnant with my brother. I developed a toxic relation with food now and I can’t go back.How do you handles these? Have any tips for me

    1. Chanee says:

      Hey, your mother is probably projecting her worried on you which is absolutely wrong of her. I’m sure it will take a lot of time and effort to redo your relationship with food. Food is not bad or good or evil or anything like that. Food is food. You are 17 and growing, your body will change and adjust itself a lot. Your family’s insecurities should not have been projected on you i am so sorry to hear that. Your body is getting you through a pandemic. Be gentle with yourself. I am not sure how to rewire thinking toxic thoughts surrounding food, but perhaps baby steps. That sweet treat isnt “bad” its just food. That salad is just food too.

  15. Nabila Kh says:

    I suffer from stiff muscles, so although I really want to work out it is demotivating because my muscles hurt so much the first days (on top of them hurting without work-out). How to deal with this?

  16. Viktoria says:

    Hi! I have noticed that I’ve got varicosis already developing on my legs almost up to the buts, maybe you can advice on some excersize to stop the process, hope so, waiting and thank you

  17. Wants to be healthy says:

    Dear Cassey, I’m 15 yrs old and I want to do your 90 day journey, however I’m feel like I’m to young for this. I also get comments that I might start being focused on losing weight in a bad way. But I want to eat healthier, i mean I already eat like a ton of fruits and veggies throughout my day, but I feel like I should be doing more. Should I do this? Love, wants to be healthy