Whether it’s exercise, eating well, losing the excess kilos or getting enough sleep, knowing something is good for us isn’t necessarily enough to compel taking action on it. Recognising the benefit of something and wanting and planning to make it part of your life is just half the work; the key to outsmart your excuses is to build a structure to sustain and support the habit.
If you struggle with procrastination or finding time to do something in one area of your life, you probably struggle with it in other areas too. So how do some people make lifestyle changes and are able to stick with it, while many continue to struggle with the idea itself.
Three common excuses you must get past:
1. There isn’t enough time – No one finds the time to do things they really want to do. There is always something else that needs to get done. But the truth is that it’s not about finding time, it’s about choosing to make time. For example if you want to join the gym, you need to make a real assessment about how much time you need. It’s not just exercising at the gym, but also how long it takes you to get to the gym, change, exercise, shower, change and travel back. Towards this you need to audit how you are currently spending your time. Schedule the activity as you would when blocking time for an important meeting or a social get together. Self care requires that commitment.
2. I’ll skip a workout today and work twice as hard tomorrow – People who say this are almost always fluctuating between doing too much or doing nothing. You have to set limits to attain real goals. Daily and consistent action is the only way to build a habit. Building consistency comes from taking small steps on a regular basis rather than one large step every now and then. Build a belief system that allows you to progress, and every time that voice in your head tells you that maybe you should drop that workout today, slap on the affirmation and go do it.
3. I just can’t get myself to start – I know people who have been waiting to start an exercise routine for years. Each summer they say they will join a gym or start jogging… but many summers have passed by and their list of woes and pains have increased but they are yet to start. Change is never easy nor is it comfortable, but procrastination is like a slow disease, it stops you from being your best. Take action – there is no other way. Getting started is the biggest challenge. If you can’t do it by yourself, rope in a family member or a friend. Every bit of support helps. Add layers of accountability to ensure you stay the course and work towards your goal.
Lasting success in achieving goals happens when you believe in yourself and are determined to find ways past your excuses. Always remember the only person to make a real difference in your life is YOU.