Don’t Let Work Get in the Way of Working Out

Oct 16, 2023
A woman with a white towel around her neck listening to her phone with ear buds while working out.

This week’s blog comes with a warning: The following activities might be dangerous and should not be attempted by those reading this blog. Usually said about stunts being performed by professionals, we are talking about the dance moves in the music videos featured in Time Magazine’s List of the 50 Best Workout Songs to Get You Motivated (Bruner, 2020). I know that if I were to do some of the those moves, I would never be able to walk again, let alone work out. From Ava Max to the Rolling Stones, every song is guaranteed to power you into action. While listening, however, I propose sticking to something a little less dangerous – like strolling down the sunny side of the street.

Why are we talking about songs for working out? This week’s Monday Kickstarters group looked at challenges in the field of mental health and wellbeing. We discovered that we all had some things in common: We often let work get in the way of working out and that music is a great motivator for us. We greeted the challenge with gusto and came out with a powerful positive frame and galvanizing generative questions.

Wanna get moving? Check out Time’s list here:

Positive Frame

Name it: I am not intentional about prioritizing my own health and wellbeing.

Flip it: I am intentional about prioritizing my own health and wellbeing.

Frame it: Feeling healthy and fit, I am energized and motivated in my life.

Other Suggested Frames:

  • Well-being, exercise, focus and intention to stay healthy.
  • I am healthy and fit.
  • I am energized and motivated in life.

 Generative Questions

Once the frame was in place, the group created generative questions that could create a conversation worth having, one in which everyone would want to participate. 

 Question for Self

  • What is most important to my health today?
  • What is my healthy goal for this quarter?
  • How do I feel when I do something for myself and my wellbeing?
  • When I have felt energized and healthy before, what was I doing?
  • When have I felt most healthy and fit?
  • What is one small step I can take?
  • What time of day can I commit to doing something for myself?
  • What activities make me feel rejuvenated?
  • Is there a habit I do daily on which I can “stack” a small, new, healthy activity?
  • How will I embed a reminder in my daily routine?
  • How might I reward myself for taking healthy steps?
  • Who might I partner with to share success?
  • Is there someone who can help me stay me accountable?
  • How am I getting in my own way?
  • What is really stopping me?


Cool Tip!

The Simultaneity Principle states that change happens the moment a question is asked or a statement is made, so it makes sense to stay open and ask questions (Stavros and Torres, 2022) … including when we are trying to adopt a new wellbeing habit. By asking ourselves appreciative questions about previous successes and how we can move forward (rather than depreciative statements about our lack of motivation), we open up the door to possibilities and personal growth.


Bruner, R. (2020, January 8). Here are 50 of the best workout songs to get you motivated. Time.

Stavros, J., & Torres, C. (2022).  Conversations worth having. Using appreciative inquiry to fuel productive and meaningful engagement. Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc. 

Monday Kickstarters

This topic came from our Fall 2023 Monday Kickstarters series, working sessions to figure out how to have a conversation worth having when faced with a tough situation, challenge, or problem on leadership or performance. Do you have a tough situation you’d like reframing? Join us in December for the winter series of Monday Kickstarters. Register at The Center for Appreciative Inquiry or at Conversations Worth Having.

Shared by: Sylvette Wake, who is a certified Conversations Worth Having and Strategic Conversations Facilitator. Her diverse background includes training emerging leaders in India, working with non-profit start-ups and teaching sailing for the U.S. Army in West Berlin, Germany. What floats her boat the most? That ‘ah-ha’ moment when clients discover a world of endless possibilities for personal growth.



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