Yesterday I shared all about a fantastic book to motivate you beyond excuses and mental games when it comes to working out. If you missed it, head on over because a giveaway is involved. Ends tomorrow!
Today, I’m going to give you my own version of the tough love, get real approach related to the all too common excuses that inhibit us in our fitness goals. I had this topic planned for weeks, so I figured, after all the the comments for the giveaway, I would address those common excuses now.
I know them all too well. Yes, I get sucked into excuses too. How do I push past them? I honestly give myself a little reality smack upside the head to regain perspective and get my booty moving.
Loved this video that reader, Julia, pointed out to me:
Excuses don’t fool me anymore (well, at least very rarely) and they don’t have to fool you either. Here are some responses to have at the ready when those pesky voices trying to convince you to skip a workout decide to visit.
Excuse: “I’m too tired”.
Response: “Let’s make a compromise. Laying on the couch will NOT give me energy, anyways.” I understand that it’s HARD to get moving when you feel like you got beat with the tired stick. So compromise. Decide to take 20-30 minutes for a workout at a lower intensity than normal. You may surprise yourself doing more than you anticipated, but at the very least you will feel more energy after getting in at least some activity.
Excuse: “I have no time”.
Response: “Do you really not have time? What about that time spent on Twitter / watching TV / primping for an hour / organizing the pantry again?” It boils down to the fact that we MAKE TIME for the things that matter to us. Fitness should matter to us. Let me phrase it differently…does your life matter to you? Then, yeah. Fitness should matter to you too. You can get in a quality workout in under 30 minutes. If you’re a beginner, you really only need that much time to get started. If you’re more advanced, you can bust out some intervals or an intense circuit that will challenge you more than you think.
Excuse: “I need to _______.”
Response: “What truly matters more?” My health? Or having dishes put away? This goes back to the whole time thing. YOU MATTER. Make time for yourself, even just 20 minutes. The things that need to get done WILL get done. Think of your priorities and align them accordingly. And health should be a priority, people. Besides, it’s been proven that working out gives you better focus to accomplish things. So work out, then tackle that to-do list in less time than you would otherwise.
Excuse: “I feel guilty not spending that time with my kids/spouse/friends/dog/etc".”
Response: “I’m a better person when I take care of myself.” I PROMISE YOU! I cannot emphasize this enough. When you take care of yourself, you have more energy, higher self-esteem, a more positive mindset, feel better, and so much more. I dare you to get in a healthy, balanced workout habit and honestly tell me you aren’t a better person from it. I also bet you that your loved ones will thank you and notice a difference.
Excuse: “It’s too hard”.
Response: “It’s really not”. Too many people have made the fitness industry a booming business with conflicting information. Sure, there is no cookie cutter approach and you may need some help learning the basics. But, that’s the thing – THE BASICS WORK! Go on a walk or jog. Do some squats, lunges, push-ups, and rows. Eat a bit less. Move a bit more. Continue educating yourself along the way or seeking outside support or advice to continue challenging yourself, but to get started? You don’t need to make it more difficult than it really is. Plus, I imagine the negative side effects of a less healthy lifestyle are harder to deal with.
Excuse: “I had a bad day”.
Response: “And skipping my workout will help my day get better….HOW?!” Seriously. How will skipping your workout really make you feel better. Once again, compromise to do something. Even though it doesn’t make you a failure, skipping out will likely have some repercussions of guilt or feeling like you failed. That is not going to make you feel better.
Excuse: “I already missed X workouts this week”. OR “I ate ‘bad’ today”.
Response: “SO?!?” Yet again…how would skipping the workout help this situation? It wouldn’t. Plain and simple. Scrap the all or nothing mindset by focusing on each decisions as separate. Each meal. Each workout. Each decision is its own. And each decision can bring you closer to or further from your goals. You decide.
Excuse: “I’m too sore”.
Response: “So, I will scale back the workout and stretch well afterwards”. The fact of the matter is that when you’re sore you probably need to move more. It will get blood flowing to the muscles. Keep things at a lower intensity and capitalize on the movement by stretching well after the workout when your muscles are most primed for a good stretch.
There are plenty of others, but I wanted to focus on the most prevalent ones I hear. Also, you may certainly encounter times where you should skip a workout and rest – injury, illness, family crisis, or something similar. Don’t feel bad for those times. Lastly, if you DO give in to excuses, don’t let it become a cycle. Eventually, the excuses will become fewer and farther between and working out will be a habit you can’t break.
What workout did you do today or do you plan to do today?