Is Your “All or Nothing” Thinking Sabotaging Your Fitness Goals?

Do you ever fail at your health or fitness goals? You can be honest here, we’ve all been there.

So many of us (myself included) fall in to the trap of “all or nothing” thinking, especially when it comes to diet and exercise. Breaking free of this cycle made an incredible impact on my life and allowed me to make physical changes in my body that I had been trying to guilt myself into making for years!

Before I introduced the theme of balance into my life, I‘d frequently skip exercising altogether if I didn’t feel like I had enough time to go hard and make it worthwhile. Life is busy, so as you can imagine, this led to a lot of skipped workouts and more days of inactivity than days of activity. Maybe you can relate…

Exercising is a commitment (especially for us women). When we commit to exercise, we’re also committing to the entire “getting ready” process afterward…showering, blow drying, make up, hair, you get the idea). In many cases if we don’t have time for this whole process, we often end up doing nothing when realistically we could have fit in some form of exercise in by taking a more balanced approach.

Passionately pursuing balance in all areas of life, including my fitness regimen, has helped me embrace health & exercise as a way of life – not as something to put on my to-do list. I encourage you to explore what that could look like for you.

I believe that consistency is the number one key to getting in shape and staying in shape. My clients who see dramatic changes are not the most intense, they are the ones who keep showing up, day after day, year after year. Expanding your view of what constitutes a “workout” and dropping the all or nothing approach got me in the best shape of my life and it can do the same for you.

Next time you’re tempted to take a week off of exercises because you don’t have enough time, remember that every little positive step you take toward better health counts. If you only have 20 minutes, take advantage of it! You’ll be much more successful in the long run if you can learn to incorporate exercise into your daily life.

To help you think outside the box, here is a list of sneaky ways to fit more exercise into your busy day:

  • Take a brisk walk around the neighborhood.
  • 10 minutes of abdominal work + 10 minutes of arm work (sit ups, planks, push-ups, triceps dips, light weights if you have them, etc.)
  • Lay down on the floor and stretch. (Bonus points if you include deep breathing.)
  • Jump rope. Do 3 five-minute intervals.
  • Go for a short, fast-paced run.
  • Run the stairs at a local stadium.
  • Dance around the living room with your kids or by yourself!
  • Lunges, Squats & Calf Raises (just 3 sets of 15)
  • Do sit ups and push ups during commercial breaks while watching TV.
  • Call a friend and meet for a walk instead of coffee or happy hour.

Hopefully one or two of these stand out to you as an option that could work for you. Next time you’re tempted to skip a workout for lack of time, remember that consistency can be more important than intensity. When you realize you’re getting trapped in an “all or nothing” attitude, reframe your thoughts. Remind yourself that some days you’ll have more time than others and that’s okay. It’s nothing to feel guilty about and it’s certainly not worth throwing in the towel on your fitness goals all together.

Finding balance on your journey to health is incredibly challenging and the messages we’re sent from the media certainly don’t make it any easier. Make one healthy decision at a time, incorporate a little bit of extra exercise here and forgive yourself when you slip up. Finding balance is the secret that will help you accomplish your fitness goals and keep you moving forward.