Part 3 of Exercise & Motivation: Keeping it Going

Note: This is part 3 of a four-part series. You can find parts 1 and 2 at 


Another phase of Prochaska's transtheoretical style - 'Action' - comes into play as soon as you start doing something (you guessed it). If you're at this stage, you're ready to make a change - and now. In the Action stage, you know where you want to be, how to get there, and you have started (or are about to start) doing something that makes you move. You've passed the first sticking point - overcoming inertia, but that doesn't mean it's going to be easy from here. No matter how good your intentions, starting a program is not the same as keeping it. Obstacles - whether small (like an invitation to do something during your planned training) or big (like getting sick or injuring yourself) - will arise.

Coping with obstacles 

When you encounter obstacles, take some time to get back to your goal and why you want to do it. Remember why you exercised in the first place. How will you achieve your goals and find a way around this new obstacle? Your journal can be your friend here - use it to reflect on why things may be more difficult than expected and brainstorm different ways to move forward. You can also use it to motivate yourself well before obstacles appear - to track your progress in any area you want to be good at. Along with others 

If you haven't already, create an exercise routine that involves your friends or family. Studies have shown that goals are more likely to be achieved when friends or family support them, and it's hard not to feel supported when your loved ones are by your side. . Not only that, but if you agree to meet your "exercise friend" for a workout, you make it even harder for them to fail by deciding at the last minute that you just can't bother today. .

Do business with YOURSELF 

If you're struggling to get out, make a promise to yourself that you won't finish your workout if you don't want to. Decide to finish the first 10 minutes, then if you don't feel like going any further, give yourself permission to pack up and go home. Most of the time, it's just an out and out. For a quick fix of short-term motivation, don't underestimate the power of bribery! Identify three or four different small things that make you happy and promise to make time and commit to at least one of them if you complete your workout as planned.

Get help! 

Finally, if you find it increasingly difficult to improve yourself despite all the suggestions above, consider talking to a trainer near you. A large part of becoming qualified as a trainer involves not only learning specific activities, but also learning how to motivate clients. If cost is an issue for you, seriously consider hiring an online trainer. In general, online training is cheaper than face-to-face training - and if all you want is someone to keep you interested and answer questions, that means you're not paying for the services you're doing. - don't want .

At the end of the next edition of our exercise and motivation series, we look at the final result of the Prochaska model - and what to do if you find yourself in fear of "going back" fear. Until then, may each day bring you closer to your best life!