Excuses, excuses... It seems like we are universally wired to stand in the way of our own success. Our brains can go to great lengths trying to convince ourselves why a certain goal is unattainable. We like to attribute our personal failures to circumstances, bad timing, limited resources or busy schedules.
As anything in life worth pursuing, your fitness goals cannot be achieved in one day. Sculpting your body takes determination, practice and perseverance, and if you are constantly making up excuses for missed workouts or justifying your bad eating habits, you are only setting yourself up for failure. So how do you break out of this circle? The answer is simple: stop making excuses!
Here are some powerful techniques you can employ to set yourself up for fitness success:
Write your excuses down
No time? No equipment? Your gym is too far away from your home? Are you too tired after work? All of these reasons are nothing but excuses your brain comes up with to keep you in your comfort zone! Realize that and you’ve won half the battle.
Now, write an actionable goal
If your excuse is the lack of time, take a look at your schedule as a whole. You may only have 30 minutes per day to spend at the gym, but as long as you are sticking with it and working out consistently, you will still be setting yourself up for success.
Set S.M.A.R.T. goals
S.M.A.R.T. stands for specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely. Not being focused on an outcome and not knowing why you are doing something, and when you should expect results, is the fastest way to give up and make excuses. When setting up your fitness goals, make sure you determine what success looks like to you, that the goal is in fact achievable and that you come up with a timeframe for yourself to achieve it.
Push yourself, but not to the point of breaking
This goes hand in hand with setting up realistic goals. You may want to run a marathon, but if you’ve never ran in your life, your immediate, actionable goal should be to start running daily. If you have workouts that are too hard for your current fitness level, they will only create a sense of failure and you’ll want to give up. Make sure workouts are challenging you but also not pushing you past your breaking points.
Choose a workout type you enjoy
Meaning, don’t pick something you know you are going to hate. If your workout is only making you feel miserable, you’ll find reasons to give up really fast. For example, if you hate long distance running then pick something else that you may like better, like elliptical, sprints, or biking. Working out and working towards a fitness goal should be fun and not feel like a punishment!
Find a workout partner
Finding someone who has similar goals and can help keep you stay on track can be very beneficial to your fitness goals. Having the other person wait for you at the gym will help you minimize the times you skip your workouts. Your fitness buddy can help push you towards you goal, while you are doing just that for them too.
Your own mind can be your toughest opponent or your best ally. When you constantly make excuses for missing your workouts, or eating unhealthy, you are only doing yourself a disservice. Realize that behavior and take steps to achieving your goals!
Be Dissident, Be You!
Do you trust yourself? Most of us don't ask that question too often as we naturally tend to think that we all do. What many of us don't realize is that your level of self-trust can be different about different things. You may trust your instincts and yourself in some things, like driving your car or caring for pets, for example. But what about when it comes to making big commitments or decisions? Do you trust your intuition and reasoning to make decisions that are actually yours and makeYOU happy and not someone else?
No matter how you handled yesterday, there is nothing you can do about it now. Whatever tomorrow has to offer has yet to be unveiled – and you have no control over it. The only time you can control is NOW – so bring your A-GAME and make the best of it.
You may think you can just do it tomorrow – but tomorrow is a myth because there is always a tomorrow. If you are not going to do it now, then you may never actually get around to doing it. Make the best of the now and get right to what you planned to do.