Breaking Down Barriers

When it comes to being happy, healthy and adventurous we can often feel like a lot of things  are standing in our way. Sometimes it feels like your being asked to climb a mountain when it’s really just a mole hill, but the stress is piled on and preventing you from taking that first step. It’s about time we break down some of those barriers. 

To often this happens and we say “oh well” and carry on, with that ever nagging feeling that we could have more. This is both a product of our own beliefs and the world around us. The key to breaking down those barriers and stepping though them, is first naming them and then cutting them away, piece by piece, like an axe to a giant tree.

Intrinsic vs Extrinsic Motivation

Motivation can often be the biggest thing standing in your way, and I get that, the couch is so comfy, and oh look, Netflix added some new movies. But no ones ever met their goals while binge watching the Gilmore Girls.

Motivation can either be extrinsic, meaning that it comes from outside of yourself, or intrinsic, from within. Both are great motivators and understanding what motivates you is your first step to reaching goals.

Extrinsic motivators are friends, family, the environment, your trainer or your job even. It’s something that is not in you, but pushing you to do better. These are great motivators and they often keep you accountable to what you said that you would do, but you have to value the opinion of these external motivators and you have to want to do it.

Intrinsic motivation comes from your own heart and soul. Only you will know when you fail that little voice in your head, but it will be there, nagging, always. Intrinsic motivation is more successful because its power comes from what you want, value or need. When your goal is personal, like getting fit or writing your novel, the outside world can’t help you the way you can help yourself. Be confident that you can do what you have set out to do and that you are motivated by those goals.


One of the most common barriers is time. We never seem to have enough of it (unless your counting down the days to a grand vacation). Time is probably the number one reason that people don’t participate in physical activity, and that is just not a good excuse. You have the same 24 hours in your day as everyone else does, and there is always a way to work your goals into that time.

Best piece of advice I can give you is to start getting up a little earlier. If you are already up at 5am and running off to work by 6, I get that this isn’t that appealing, but even an extra 15 minutes can make a huge difference. In 15 minutes you can complete a full body rejuvenating yoga session, or get your blood pumping with a bit of at home cardio before you jump in the shower. Find extra time other places to, like on your lunch break at work, or after the kids are asleep.

If you’re still thinking there’s no way that you could make any extra time in your day I suggest you create a time tracker. Either pull out your bullet journal or your day planner and start recording what you’re doing with your day. I am sure that you will find some time spent meaninglessly scrolling through Facebook or mindlessly watching TV, which should be put to better use. If you’re like me and you really love that time spent scrolling and pinning, start multi tasking. I used to make fun of those folks at the gym on their phones, but it really does take your mind off the exercise (if you’re not the kind of person that enjoys exercise). Scroll away while you pedal the bike or walk on the treadmill. At least your moving! There really is always a way.


This is another thing that absolutely shouldn’t be a reason for not staying fit. Health is not for the wealthy. Gym memberships can get a little pricey, but the gym isn’t the only place you can work out. With the miracle that is the Internet, there is never before seen access to information and work out plans that you can try. If you are going to try something you found online, use caution, take it slow and remember not to do it if it hurts. Keep your back straight and pelvis in neutral and your core tight. This protects your back from injury. Correct your posture before you work out to clarify.

You need a surprisingly small amount of space to do a full workout in, the size of a yoga mat will do, but if that’s not possible for whatever reason, there’s also a big awesome world out there, ready to be explored. Go walk around your neighbourhood or explore somewhere new. Be a tourist in your own town and get in those 10,000 steps a day. Do lunges in the park and pull-ups on the monkey bars. Don’t let money ever be an excuse!

Lack of knowledge

Considering information on fitness theory changes before you can finish your last set, it’s really hard to keep up with what’s right. There are a couple different ways you can start gathering advice and techniques. If you are working out for the first time I highly recommend you see a trainer, at least once. If you can’t continue with them, just tell them that you want an overall introduction to the gym and machines, a safety lesson and maybe a push in the right direction. Some gyms will have an introduction lesson on the house. It’s worth looking into. Most gyms also offer their classes free with a membership and classes are extremely useful. Take different types and you will get a full rounded education and a list of different exercises you can do on your own.

If you’re not going to the gym and you are going to work out at home instead turn to youtube… please see the advice above on staying safe.

If you really want to go all out all learn it all, look into becoming a certified personal trainer. Your local YMCA might offer training free in turn for volunteer hours, or if you want to get the full meal deal look into CFES or BCRPA for training options (Canada).

Read books, articles and talk to professionals and friends. If you just don’t do it because you don’t understand, your unlikely to figure it out.

Make yourself a Priority

This barrier comes solely from within. Your internal motivators aren’t as strong and you’re not putting yourself high enough up on the list. I understand that your family will always come first, or that you’re very important at work, but you have to take care of you first. The people who depend on you are not getting the best you have to give if you aren’t taking care of yourself. Lack of exercise will lead to chronic fatigue, weight gain, body and joint pain; break down of essential organs and diseases. Take time out of your day to take care of you, prolong your life and make it a life worth living!


If you are feeling like you’re stuck behind a wall, keeping you from your dreams sit down and pin point exactly what’s stopping you. If your barrier was not in this list send me a message and let me know what’s standing in your way, and I will try to help you out.

Are you following me of Facebook and Twitter? Please come over and say hi! You’ll find extra tips to keep you motivated and help you through!

Stay happy, healthy + keep adventuring!




I love using my Bullet Journal to plan out all the aspects of my life! It’s a fun and creative way to stay motivated and organized. That being said it’s time consuming.  SIGN UP below and you will get access to my full library to Printable Layouts. New pages added all the time! 

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  1. Some great tips! Really want to travel to Australia but friends, family commitments and money keeps holding me back 🙁 i agree that it shouldn’t be a barrier to fitness though. So many don’t realise the benefits of walking. It is always free and can improve the fitness of those with limited fitness. It’s the best starter to exercise!

  2. I really like the overall tone or ‘get started and work it out along the way’ – I constantly come back to this with clients and attendees, there are way more ‘right ways’ than ‘wrong ways’ when you take that FIRST STEP and the action of taking the first step is the biggest step to confidence and sustainable change you can make! Nice article!

    1. Thanks Asja! You totally got what I was going for!

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