Change Your Exercise Expectations

Do you have trouble sticking to an exercise routine? It may be because you think it should be a certain way. Every movement counts toward the bigger goal. Give yourself credit for that.

Exercise does not fit in a specific box of “This is how you do it”. There’s no correct way to exercise (well, within reason) and it should be individualized for each person. If you feel discouraged about exercising, try to change your expectations of what exercise is and how it can fit you best. There are no rules.

I wanted to share this thought with you because of my husband’s recent transformation. It’s been in process for a long time to figure out the most sustainable way. And that’s how it should be done. He would not set aside time to exercise and didn’t find it to be a good use of time unless he could multitask. He recently challenged himself to 50 days of finding time to do increasing reps of two of four chosen exercises when it fits throughout the day. This particular way is the X-Effect (Not exactly sure the origin, but more info here). It takes like two minutes. Now that’s a start.

What would not be an attainable goal is if he had tried to set aside 30 minutes to do some sort of workout session. This is harder to achieve based on the commitment. It’s easier to find two minutes (if that) to complete 10 push ups.

The “Make Time For Exercise” calendar

This exercise routine is very attainable and easy to complete and also more motivating to continue. I also tend to exercise using this “do what you can” mentality when many days there is no time. I may throw in 10 push ups here and there or some squats while my kids play.

What Exercise Does Not Have To Be

Exercise does not have to be these things:

  • A set aside, uninterrupted time
  • At the gym
  • An entire body workout every single time
  • Sweating
  • Using weights
  • Unenjoyable

What Exercise Should Be:

If your exercise habit is not working and discouraging you, find something else. Get it out of your head that exercise has to be a certain way.

For example, stay at home moms and working moms alike do not have a set aside time to be able to exercise and some may think it’s not good enough then and give up. Expecting that we cannot get a workout in because we simply do not have time is not useful.

How To Make Exercise Work For You

Try to do a set of exercises here and there throughout the day or whenever there is time. If it works better to have unstructured time as long as it isn’t hindering your ability to maintain it, go for it. But using that as an excuse to not achieve your goals is not a legit excuse if there are other options.

Find A Way

We all know that bodies should move and any type of safe movement is good for us. Find a way to say “Yes, I can do this.” Find a way that works for YOU, not for everyone else. What you choose does matter and will work only if it’s sustainable and enjoyable.

  • Do 10 squats while waiting for something to cook
  • Do 10 push ups on the counter
  • Walk around while on the phone
  • Get down and do some crunches while the kids play
  • Get up and walk around every hour if you’re working at a desk
  • Take a walk with the family
  • Get outside and play ball
  • Do your favorite hobby such as gardening

Remember, these are initial steps. These small steps can lead to bigger changes down the road. Be patient and see what happens. Don’t expect exercise to be a certain way and be discouraged when it doesn’t go as planned. Make it work. Find a way.

Fresh Idea: Change your idea of what exercise is. Try something that works for you, whether it be the smallest thing or the shortest amount of time.

Let's get healthy together!


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  • Ronita

    May 18, 2020

    Loved the post. I love to exercise and I’ve seen positive results taking effect when I focus on doing the things that work best for me.

  • Andrea

    May 18, 2020

    Trying not to beat myself up if I don’t exercise daily


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