I had a realization today that I make excuses for so many things.
Sometimes I am okay with it and fall back on “when I am done dancing this will change” or “when I have more of a normal schedule this can happen.”
There comes a point when reality sets in and those excuses just seem lame.
Eventually, I get that am just falling into the lure of it… because I can.
A perfect example is the state of my current workout routine:
Where I used to go to the gym four times a week with a long run on the weekend, I have let the busyness of outings, visits from friends and cold weather get in the way.
When I take a step back and look at my calendar there is always something that can get in my way if I let it.
This week it’s the extreme soreness of my body. For some reason, this past week has felt hard on it and my neck, arms, shoulders and back feel fried, which is not exactly the best motivation to hit the gym.
Today I have two options:
1. Say I’ll go to the gym another day because my body deserves it’s rest. (When – in reality – I haven’t been to the gym in almost a week.)
2. Get over the excuse and get it done.
Since working from home, it feels like I have to make much more of an effort to leave the house and get things done. Really. When I was in an office environment, my mind was always go-go-go and I got so much done even on an hour lunch break. I was dressed and ready to attack the day with a cup of coffee in my hand and excited for after-work activities when the day was through.
Now, I’m on my own schedule for the most part. And when it’s cold and snowy outside it takes something really important to get me out the door. I’ll start asking myself…”Do I really need to go and get milk today?”
Ha! It’s actually kind of pathetic when you think about it. I currently have more time than I ever had before, yet I have more excuses. Explain that one.
Sitting here with a smirk on my face, I wanted to share some of the ways I have learned to tackle the concept of making excuses. Because I know I’m not the only one who can fall into them!
• Think about what the outcome of putting your task off will be.
Will it affect you in a big way? Slow you down and push you further away from your goals? Add more to your plate later and stress you out? More than likely, it’s not worth giving into.
• Figure out where the excuse is coming from.
Are you just being lazy? Allowing others to get into your brain? Scared or shy of what or where the task will get you?
There’s a difference in being lazy and reasonably accepting a valid point:
Thinking “If I finish what I started now, it might make me late for my commitment tonight.” vs. “I can just do it tomorrow because I don’t really feel like dealing with it today.” Sadly, I can relate I do the later quite well and is what you call procrastination at it’s finest, my friends.
• Remember how it feels when you finish.
Is it a workout or assignment you’ve been putting off? Whenever you feel like shoving it to the side, think of how accomplished you feel when you finally complete it or turn it in. Hey, remember the feeling of getting off of work on a Friday evening if you need to!
Keep those achievements stored in a little box in your brain to open and dip into any time you need some “do it now” motivation.
(Or just wear motivational messages on your leggings!) 😉
• Foresee the future train of excuses.
Excuses are habitual. If you make one, more than likely another will follow.
– Today’s my cheat day, so I’m going to allow myself to have pizza for lunch. Then a cheeseburger for dinner, followed by a slice of apple pie for dessert. And another. “Because it’s my cheat day.”
– This week is too busy to add anything extra on my plate. I have to stay focused on <insert school/work/family>, so I don’t have time to do anything else not already scheduled in. I’ll have to catch up with that friend or take that yoga class another time. But next week is a holiday, and then my in-laws come into town the one after that.
– It’s just not my week. Crazy things are happening (speeding tickets, drama, injuries) and I can’t stop them. So I’ll just mope around and get through the rest of it. Until when? Monday? Because that’s the start of another one and things just magically fall into place? Only you can change the outcome and attitude of your days.
• Just say yes and move on.
Stop saying no and making excuses. Seriously. As soon as you sense a negative vibe coming at you, block it off.
Take a moment to look at the situation and decipher ways you can handle it. Option A may get you some extra time, but Option B gets you here. Which one is going to help you out in the long run and which one is going to keep you in this middle rut of thinking about it.
I’m not just hinting towards eating healthy and working out either. I’m talking about life and about allowing yourself to let the extra excitements in. Embracing last minute opportunities and not saying “no” just because it wasn’t planned. I am notorious for this, but am also learning to be more spontaneous.
You probably could have already done it by now.
And now you feel silly for wasting all of that time thinking about it.
Let me save you some time… just say “yes” and move on.
I’m no life expert, but I do run this blog and it’s here to express more than a healthy recipe, event, or workout from time to time. I don’t plan these types of posts out ahead of time and I just sit down and write them when I feel them. Most of the time, I am writing myself and hope I take my own advice!
Today it worked. While I only have limited time before having to be somewhere, I could have easily slacked and spent my time doing who knows what not doing what I need to be doing. Instead, I’m getting dressed in my workout clothes, making a list of today’s to-do’s, getting my sore booty to the gym and arriving to my commitment with a smile on my face… because I got past my excuses.
And in the end that feeling conquers all.
Questions of the Day
• What is one way you get past the urge to make excuses?
• What holds you back from always saying “yes”?
• What’s your favorite soup recipe? (I’m dying to try out a new one tonight!)
It feels like I also get more done on work days then days free of work obligations. In my brain, on work days, I know that the only time I have to get my workout done is 3-5pm. That concreteness means I’m getting it done sometime in there. On non-busy, non-work days, I can get it done whenever. It feels like that leads to putting it off. I will also get sore after too many days off. So I just get out there easy, and that normally limbers me up for a more intense workout. If not,I just take it easy but the movement really helps me.
I’m totally the same way. More time = more time to enjoy the day off. 😉
Em @ Love A Latte
Oh excuses. Yes I definitely have a few of those haha! But sometimes I think if I’m coming up with an excuse then maybe I don’t really want to do something, so sometimes I go with that gut feeling and just don’t do it (whether it’s a run or an outing). But sometimes it’s just freaking freezing out and I don’t want to get cold and then I have to tell myself my dogs would really appreciate a nice run! Great post. I love butternut squash soup and lentil stew!
Couldn’t agree more!
Mmmm butternut squash. Sounds so good!
I am making the excuse that I need to read blog posts, make dinner, and do yoga and just put off writing an English essay that is due Friday. I am going to try and start it tonight, but it is hard when I know I will have an extra hour or two tomorrow. But then I know tomorrow I will find another excuse haha!
So, how’d it go? lol.
I think your post gave me that motivational push! I finished the essay last night before yoga 🙂 Felt good to get it out of the way!
I can totally relate to this! Like big time. Lately, I’ve been more social then ever which I definitely love but it also puts my workout, food prep time, and so on on the back burner and I feel like I don’t have as much time as I did before. When I really just need to suck it up and wake up a little earlier to get my workout in and pack healthy food for the day. I kind of went through the same thing when I was at home more working because I’d totally say to myself I don’t want to go out and do so and so today, and I can just do that tomorrow. Funny how that happens;)
I feel you on the social thing. I’ve been more up for whatever which sadly has left my more structured and focused self behind. I’m doing my best to find that healthy balance this season.
Totally agree with you on needing to wake up earlier to get things goin’. Hopefully the cold weather doesn’t affect me TOO much this year! 😉
Mrs. Murphy's Law of Fitness
One of the biggest issues I’ve had with staying home is getting myself motivated to do things. I’ve noticed getting up really early has helped tremendously!
Yeah, I would definitely have to agree with you on that one. The days I get motivated early turn out to be the most productive!
I love the jacket Roadie is wearing! It looks like it might fit my dog, Indy. Where did you get it?
Indy is such a cute name! His jacket is from the Martha Stewart line at PetSmart. 😀