Have you been away from exercise for a while?
Perhaps you stopped working out because you got too busy at work or family obligations ramped up. Or did you stop because you found it difficult to gear up mentally for it? There can be a million reasons why you’ve stopped exercising, but somewhere in the back of your mind, there is probably a voice telling you that you need and want to return to it.
Whenever I miss two or more workouts, I lose my mental drive to exercise, and I have to work to recapture an exercise mindset. One of my favorite tools for returning to exercise after an absence is setting an intention for it by journaling about it. Writing about my desire to return to exercise sets my mind toward that objective, and I find that I resume my workouts more quickly.
Whatever the reason you gave up on exercise, it’s still waiting for your return. Your body is waiting for it too. If you’re at the point where your mind and body are telling you that you need to get back to exercising consistently, why not use your journaling practice to help? While many people find journaling helpful for productivity and health or habit tracking, it’s also valuable for releasing new ideas. Expressive writing can help you reach goals such as weight loss and fitness by helping you get in touch with your feelings, gain perspective on obstacles and build a mindset that supports your goals.
If you don’t have a journaling practice right now, don’t worry. It’s as easy as picking up a pen, a good journal/notebook, and writing. Read up on writing for wellness before you start if you like, but know that there is never a wrong way to journal. You can simply begin writing and see where your words take you!
Lose the Negative Self-Talk and Set Your Intention to Workout
Instead of beating yourself up for stopping exercise, feeling bad for not wanting to return to exercise, or feeling fearful that you don’t have what it takes to stick to a plan, use some of your journaling time to work through these journal prompts.
Writing about how and why you will return to exercise can set a strong intention for making good on your plans. I find that writing about exercising makes me get off the couch and do it. I remind myself of its benefits and start to question why I ever let go of it in the first place.
Return to Exercise: 10 Fitness Journal Prompts
- What do you miss most about exercise?
- Write about a time when you had your best workout. What were you doing? How did your body feel?
- Did you stop exercising for a particular reason? Write about it and reflect on whether that obstacle is still there.
- If you were to return to exercise, where would you start? What’s an easy workout that would offer a good experience to resume your workouts?
- Can you accept that you might only be able to exercise once or twice a week? Would that be good enough?
- What are the two biggest obstacles to exercise in your life? How can you work to eliminate them?
- Is there a way to remove judgment from your workouts?
- How would you feel if you stuck to a commitment to exercise once or twice a week for a whole year?
- Why should you return to exercise now?
- Write about one exercise-related action or habit that you feel comfortable committing to today.
Wellness can start through words. Happy journaling! Happy fitness!
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