Are you ready to make some changes?

Read the statements below and choose the one that bests describes you:


I am not active and not thinking about becoming more active

  • Think about a time in your past when you were active. What did you enjoy about being active? Can you remember what you got out of it?
  • Think about what is stopping you from being active now. Write down the top three things that you feel are stopping you. Have a read of our top ten tips to getting active.
  • Next time you are with your GP talk to them about some of the benefits to your health that you may gain from being more active.
  • Visit the facility search to find out where to get active near you from beaches to parks, we've got them all.

I am not active, but thinking about becoming more active

Believe that change is possible. Most successful change comes from within and not from some outside force. We have to want to change before we can change.

Ask yourself the following questions to help you become ready to change.

  • What are the good things about not changing your level of physical activity?
  • If you become more active, what benefits would you get?
  • If you were to become more active what would the difficulties be?

Make a plan:

1. Set a date: Many people succeed by setting a date for starting on the behaviour change in the near future and then working towards it. Once the date is set confidence can be increased by making a concrete plan on how to achieve it. Choose activities you enjoy.

2. Set goals for yourself: Set one main goal for yourself to achieve. Personal achievement will increase the enjoyment for you. This goal needs to be realistic for you e.g. being able to walk for 20 minutes or to cycle for 20 minutes without stopping. 

3. Get support: It will make the activity more enjoyable and it will also motivate you to keep a regular schedule. If there are no clubs in your areas you could join an online community which encourages you to log and track your progress.

4. Set rewards for yourself: Once you achieved a goal that you set for yourself it is important to reward yourself for achieving that goal.

I am doing some physical activity and hope to do more in the next month

  • Vary your routine once you reach your goals: When you reach your goal, set a new one. Trying a new activity might provide new momentum for you.
  • Try to do some activity most days of the week: Try to set a specific time aside each day for your activity, this will help you to build it into your daily routine. It is important to weave your activity into your weekday and weekend routines. 
  • Question your excuses: Think of the excuses you use for not being active and think about how you can overcome these obstacles.
  • Be prepared: If walking is your chosen activity; leave your shoes by the front door or in your car or under your desk at work, that way you are always ready for a walk.
  • Cope positively with lapses in your behaviour: Ignore the bad day just try to get back on track the following day. Try to focus on the main benefits that you want to achieve from being more active and believe in your confidence to continue with the activity.
  • Remember the reasons you decided to become active in the first place, think about what you are getting out of being more active. Are you more alert? Sleeping better? Losing weight?
  • Join a group that has a charity focus: Join a group that combines activity goals with charity fundraising. This will provide you with training to achieve your goals for example perhaps to walk 10km all while raising money for a good cause.
  • Enter a physical activity event: Such as a 5km walk or jog with friends. Many are linked with charities and the good cause will give extra motivation.

I am doing enough physical activity but have only begun to do so in the last month

  • Reward Yourself: Set up a plan for rewarding yourself for physical activity on a regular basis.
  • Set a goal: Think about setting some physical activity goals. You can keep a record of your progress using an activity diary or a physical activity app.
  • Focus on the benefits: Think about all the benefits you have received or hope to receive from leading a physically active lifestyle (better weight control, increased energy levels, reduced risk of heart disease improved stress management).
  • Check out our top ten tips video for information on getting active.

I am making physical activity a habit as I have been active for more than 6 months now

  • Helpful strategies: Write down a list of things that have helped you keep on track so far and think about ways to make these strategies part of your daily routine.
  • Try out some new activities or clubs that you think might be enjoyable.
  • Keep setting goals: Continue to set yourself short and long term goals.
  • Cope with lapses: Think about how you would restart a physical activity if you missed a few days.

Adapted from information in: Marcus, B. H. & Forsyth, L. H. (2003). Motivating people to be physically active. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.

Take the next step.......

Read our guide to getting moving for people aged over 65 years. Remember, It’s never too late: everyone of every age can benefit from being active.

Want to go somewhere new to be active? Find out where you can go to get active on our Places to Get Active database.

How much, how hard, how often? Click here to find out more.