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Six Reasons you Don’t Work out (That Aren’t Your Fault)

Six Reasons you Don’t Work out (That Aren’t Your Fault)

I “should” work out more. Ever tell yourself that? I know I have. Exercise is one of those things that everyone wants to do, but only a few people really stick with. It certainly doesn’t help that skipping workouts is a “lazy” thing to do. No one wants to be called “lazy”, and every skipped workout leads to shame and regret and zero progress. Luckily, not working out doesn’t automatically mean that you’re lazy. There are perfectly valid reasons that you don’t work out. Understanding them can help you forgive yourself and be more consistent with your exercise.

1) You Don’t Know How.

When were you supposed to learn this stuff? I don’t know about you, but I never had classes on how to eat right, whether to do lifting or cardio, and what kind of exercises to do. There are a million exercise routines out there. Power lifting? Running? Bodybuilding? Crossfit? Interval training? Swimming? Sports? How are you supposed to know what works? With so many things to choose from, is it any surprise that you miss workouts? Tomorrow the new trend could make all of your workouts seem silly.

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2) You Didn’t Have a Fit Role Model.

Growing up, I knew a guy whose parents worked out daily in the house. He played four sports and was constantly practicing. When he was old enough, he joined a gym and started lifting. He was active his entire life, so was it any surprise that working out was easy for him?

Not everyone had a fit role model. In a lot of homes, exercise is hardly mentioned. If you didn’t start early, how were you supposed to know that this whole exercise thing was so important? It’s no wonder you don’t work out; no one was there to show you!

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3) It’s Lonely.

I was shocked at how lonely exercising can sometimes be. When I told people I was trying to get in shape, I was actually mocked. People said things like “why would you want to do that?” One of the most frustrating parts of working out is that it’s sometimes hard to share your successes. You don’t want to be that guy who’s always bragging about his workouts. It can be hard to celebrate success.

Until I started paying attention to my food, I never realized how much social interaction revolves around eating. People are constantly trying to feed you sweets or offering second helpings, and it’s hard to politely decline without coming across as rude.

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4) You’re Tired.

Working a 9-5 is hard. A full day of focus and energy is spent on your job. When you add in your commute, there’s hardly enough time left to do what you want to do. You still need to cook/eat dinner, do laundry, clean, and take care of adult life issues. All you want to do is relax. Even if you have the time, the thought of dragging yourself to the gym and doing all that other stuff is exhausting. You want to have time to be yourself.

5) You Don’t Have Time.

You might actually not have any time! If you don’t get home until 6 or 7pm, cook/eat, take out the trash, meet with friends, have a life to tend to, it’s hard enough to be in bed by 11pm. Morning workouts are possible, but waking up early means going to bed early or running low on sleep. There just aren’t enough hours in the day to do everything!

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6) You Don’t Feel Like You Belong.

When I started it felt like I wasn’t fit enough to be in the gym. The gym is a place for fit people, right? That’s where the super in-shape people hang out. It doesn’t feel like you belong there. It’s even worse if you aren’t sure what to do. What if everyone thinks the exercise you’re doing is stupid? What if people are judging you? The gym is intimidating.

All of these reasons can be overcome, but it’s not wrong to feel this way. Understand the reasons that you skip workouts. By doing that, you can figure out ways to overcome them.

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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