Maybe baby steps are the best way forward

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Last week I was talking motivation and how you can find some. So how about you start to form an active bucket list?

What would you do if you could? A 5km run? A 10km charity walk? Climb a certain mountain you visited once as a child? Do an adventure race? Swim the Channel? Bike around the Isle of Wight?

Make the list and then set some smaller but appealing goals to lead up to the greater, bolder challenges.

Let yourself walk the first 5km. Set your sites on biking or hiking a nearby nature reserve.

Get swimming regularly, increasing the lengths each week. Consider what would be genuinely fun.

What would bring excitement to your life? Commit to one ‘bucket list’ item (small or big) every week, and document every accomplishment.

For some people, finding an exercise buddy is enough.

The comfort of a friendship feels safe and encouraging. When you’re just trying to get moving at all, going out for a daily walk with a friend can feel like genuine quality time.

You’ll crave the socialization and support, which will make you want to get up and do it each day.

Be aware, however, that many (if not most) friends aren’t going to necessarily be your best long-term bet for making serious progress.

This could mean hiring a trainer who is going to understand where you’re at and who will work creatively with you – but who won’t accept excuses.

Sure, you pay that person for a service, but most trainers I know don’t enjoy taking clients who aren’t interested in putting in the work.

Not only does it make for boring, frustrating sessions, but they recognise their clients are walking (and talking) advertisements for them.

A client who makes good use of the service will always be the better investment of their time. This said, good trainers want all their clients to succeed.

They enjoy working with people and are passionate about seeing people through major transformations.

If you can’t seem to talk yourself out of your excuses, their no-nonsense approach might just get you in line.

Being realistic about how exercise will fit into your life really helps and sometimes the time you have chosen to go to the gym or do an activity may not work for you if you don’t want to get off the couch.

Does this mean you don’t want to get off the couch at all or you don’t want to get off the couch at 8pm after a long day when you finally get the kids to bed?

Seriously, not a lot of people in those circumstances want to go work out then. The problem in this scenario probably isn’t you as much as the unrealistic timing. You have a right to be exhausted at 8pm.

By all means, spend an hour of quality time with your partner and then go to bed if you need to.

What I wouldn’t suggest doing is keeping it parked in the recliner for another three hours only to feel exhausted again the next morning and continue the endless cycle. (Remember that definition of insanity – doing the same thing time and again expecting different results?)

If evening doesn’t work for you, scratch it off the list of available times and find a time to get moving that does work.

Maybe if you go to bed by 9.30pm, you’ll actually be okay getting up early to work out in the morning.

Alternatively, get up early to go into work early and flex the time to make for a longer lunch hour.

Or prepare for an early departure, which may allow for a pre-dinner workout. It’s possible that keeping a saner sleep schedule might allow you to make better use of your evening.

If you need some help with motivation please get in touch

Nikki Caputa is a health and fitness coach who works one-to-one with clients and runs her own fitness camps in Fareham where she trains groups.

Nikki is also an ambassador for Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution and a UK Hypo-presive Method Trainer.

She helps people master a fitness technique that targets the core.

Visit Follow Nikki on Twitter @nikkifit mum1