If I need to exercise when my alarm rings at 5 a.m. to be a consistently fit person, I am in trouble!

I am simply not into early morning exercise. You will more likely find me at 5 a.m. sitting in my favorite chair with a cup of coffee than sitting on the rowing machine at the gym.

Now don’t get me wrong — I love to exercise. And I won’t let real-life obstacles become big-time excuses. That’s why it’s very important that we all make a fitness plan that includes rules and goals perfect for us as individuals. No one else should exercise just like you do…that likely wouldn’t be something repeated on a consistent basis. Being consistent with our exercise is very important because Real Life includes “doing what we enjoy” and “avoiding what we dislike.” Let’s talk about how to stop making excuses!

Excuse One: I’m not in good enough shape to work out at the gym.
Everyone at the gym is there to improve their situation. I always see a cross-section of beginners, intermediates, and advanced exercisers at my gym. We all have a right to be there! The next time you judge yourself and suppose that you will feel out-of-place when you compare yourself to others at the gym, please remember that no one there will be thinking about you as much as they are thinking about themselves.

Excuse Two: I’m too busy to exercise on a regular basis.
When clients tell me this, the first thing I ask them is “What does your ideal exercise session look like?” A client told me that truly fit folks workout for at least an hour, four times a week. One client also told me that it takes her at least 35 minutes to drive to the gym, so that’s over an hour of invested time, and she hasn’t yet taken a single deep breath! Consider giving yourself permission to exercise for 30 minutes using a fast-paced circuit or a walk in your neighborhood with a friend. Save a long workout for the weekend and remember that moving consistently is much more important than setting competitive records.

Excuse Three: Cardio is so boring!
Consistent Exercise at GymWhen was the last time you changed your workout plan? Are you still doing the same basic five things at the gym, with running or walking on a treadmill as the centerpiece of your efforts? What has helped me tremendously, and what I recommend to my clients, is that we all hire a fitness expert to mix-up our routine at least every six months.

Besides helping you solve the boredom issue, this also helps you get more results. Our bodies are highly adaptive, so we get used to the same old routine and this can set us up for failure over the long-term. By challenging ourselves to learn new moves, add in new machines, and stretch beyond our previous boundaries, we can see some real fitness gains using exciting methods.

What is your favorite exercise excuse when push comes to shove? A friend of mine recently told me that one year ago, she contemplated her first-ever organized fitness plan. She hired a trainer, bought all the cute gear, and put her workouts on a phone calendar. Her twin sister did the same, and they looked forward to all the health and wellness they would share over the year to come. If you haven’t already guessed, only one of the sisters kept the promises she made to herself, and the other one simply made a lot of excuses. It is amazing to see the differences between these two identical twins after one year!

How will you feel if one year from now you can look in the mirror and know for certain that a consistent effort at exercising has now become second-nature to you?