For the last several years I’ve been in the habit of exercising first thing every morning. This is a much easier habit in the summer when it’s already light out when I wake up. In the winter, however, the mornings are dark and rainy, which causes my mind to think of all sorts of reasons to skip the gym and stay in bed.
I never realized how good I am at presenting a compelling argument when I’m half asleep!
Fortunately, I’m even better at looking at all the good reasons to get out of bed and hit the gym, regardless of the conditions outside or how I may be feeling on the inside.
Isn’t it easy to come up with all sorts of seemingly good reasons (let’s call them excuses) to avoid doing what we know would be good for us to do? It’s almost automatic. The excuses leap from our minds with little effort. And, if we listen too closely to them, we find ourselves likewise giving little to no effort toward those activities that could yield significant positive impacts in our lives.
So what can we do to combat the rapidly accumulating list of excuses that we use to hold ourselves back? There must be a better way, right? Fortunately, for us, the answer is, “Yes”!
Here’s how I fight excuses, but be warned, it takes work.
When the excuses tart flowing in your mind, realize the excuses for what they are, take control of your thinking, and come up with some good reasons to engage in the activity.
Here are some examples:
|Activity that’s good for you that you’d like to do…||Excuse not to…||Good reason to engage…|
|Exercise daily||It’s too dark, cold, and rainy.||If I skip working out today I won’t feel as energetic as I will if I go to the gym.|
|Reading||I’m too tired and I’d rather just watch TV.||If I spend 30 minutes a day reading that’s 3.5 hours of reading per week! I can get a lot of books read by doing that.|
|Eating healthy||I’m too tired to cook. I’ll just wing by <insert name of fast food restaurant>.||If I eat healthy I likely won’t be so tired. Plus I’ll be improving my health in the weeks, months years ahead!|
The trajectory of our life and our personal development all starts with our thinking. So what will you fuel your thinking with: excuses to hold back or good reasons to engage?