Last week ended with my favorite Rest & Reflect question of Part 2 of the Summer Challenge for 2016:
What is your #1 excuse for making choices that aren’t the best for you?
My personal answer, and one I hear a LOT from my clients, is that I “don’t have time.”
The tough part about excuses is that they’re usually tangled in with a little bit of reality. Sometimes I really don’t have time, and there’s no amount of pre-planning or pre-work I could have done to carve out some time to squeeze in my workout or eat perfectly to my macros.
Like, maybe two or three times a year.
The rest of the time, “I don’t have time” is just an excuse, a code for “I’m tired”, “I’m being a perfectionist”, or “I’ve reached decision fatigue for the day”.
If I’m tired, well, let’s call a spade a spade and try better next time so that I can do my best. HOWEVER, I should still do what I can – get quality takeout that’s going to help me reach my goals, do the part of my workout that I can fit in, and get rested to do it all again the next day.
If I’m being a perfectionist, I still need to do what I can and just get the work done! No overthinking required. Done is always better than perfect. Setting a timer is a great way to overcome perfectionism-based excuses, because now there’s a limit to how much I have to do/can get done. If I’m telling myself I can’t finish the whole whatever, I can definitely get out of my head long enough to finish 15 mintues of whatever.
If my brain simply can’t make any more decisions for the day (chicken or tofu…green beans or a salad with dinner…gosh, can’t someone just bring me food already?), I should just do what I can and keep it simple so that I can just get it done. The timer can help defuse this time bomb, too; another way to shift focus back to the basics is to pick a small number (3, 5, etc.) and just do that number of things. Too tapped out to work out? Do 3 moves. Done.
Defeat any healthy living excuse by..
- Keeping healthy, tasty food options around wherever you are so that it’s EASY to choose something that’s going to help you reach your goals even if it’s not the perfect choice.
- Having go-to workouts that are quick, portable, and fun, as well as a regular fitness routine that you genuinely enjoy.
- Being aware of your excuse so that you can find strategies to make that part of your life feel better. Doing things that will help you reach your goals and taking great care of yourself will always feel better than letting yourself down.
Go ahead, try me: find a healthy living excuse that can’t be solved like that!
(There are reasons, of course, to modify your healthy living habits – things like injuries, illnesses, temporary but giant life changes – and those aren’t excuses. But don’t confuse one for the other.)