How Your Excuses Become Your Setbacks by Coach Jeanne Larson
Excuses? Feeling unmotivated? Too tired to keep your fitness routine in check? You are not alone! How easy is it to lose your fitness motivation when you had FULL intentions to stick with your plan? It’s VERY easy to lose that motivation. In fact, if it makes you feel any better, it is a common thought process by many, but it does not have to be your normal. Diving into a fitness and nutrition plan requires motivation… each and every single day. But to some, this is easier said than done. What you need are strategies to keep the momentum going and your motivation strong so you can fulfill the commitment you started.
To begin with, acknowledge your bad habits and start letting go of them. You don’t have to change everything at once. Start with the smallest and most annoying habit that prevents you from staying motivated. For instance, if you find your negative self-talk a thorn in your side, then knock it off! There’s enough discouragement out in the world, and YOU don’t have to contribute to that negativity. Start replacing your negative self-talk with positive affirmation on things like: how far you’ve come, the fact that you show up for your workouts even when you didn’t want to, and speak encouragement to your own heart that YOU CAN and WILL do this. Throw the negativity out the window and get a fresh perspective that empowers you that you CAN stick to your game plan like it’s nobody’s business, except yours!
Bad habits can also come in the form of daily self-comparison. I’m sorry to tell you, but if you continue to compare yourself with others, you will undoubtedly come up on the lower end of the stick every time. There will always be someone stronger, fitter, and leaner than you. It’s the world’s standards, and it shouldn’t be yours. Social media capitalizes on it and puts the best images forward, with no other words to build you up except “stay tuned for more.” That’s just not going to cut it. Nope. You see, the reality of what you see on social media is just NOT reality of real life. The editing, the primping, the make-overs, the tucks and the angles of photos will always look the very best. If we keep our eyes focused on what the world sees and wants, we will never measure up! Life is too short to live up to these standards. We are all made uniquely, having our own bodies, shapes, and sizes that it is futile to compare with anyone else on the planet. A great quote says, “Every minute you spend wishing you had someone else’s life is a minute spent wasting yours.” Drop the pointless habit of comparison. It wastes time and energy where you can be spending that time on YOUR health journey, and not living in the shoes of someone’s else.
Staying motivated can fall real quickly when people start their health plans fast and furious. How often do you start an exercise routine going full throttle for the first two weeks or month, and then fall back into old patterns and lose the momentum? Losing motivation occurs because fast and furious is not sustainable as a life-long pattern, nor is it necessarily healthy. Whether it is your nutrition plan or your exercise regimen, beginning with a strong, healthy mindset that you cannot change everything at once is critical. But realizing that those small changes, grow to larger changes, then it becomes your new normal, which is a consistent way of life. Motivation will thrive when you realize you can achieve one small goal at a time, then another, then another. The accomplishment you feel after tackling those goals will keep your head in the game.
With assessing your mindset of why you may lose motivation, be aware of your “excuses.” Don’t let your excuses become your setbacks of the hard work you have put forth in your health journey. Write down your excuses in a journal. Look at them and OWN them. Realize the pattern you fall into when those excuses come along. For example, if getting up early is tough because you had a rough night or didn’t sleep, think about the fact that you ALWAYS feel better when you show up and conquer that workout no matter whether you’re tired or not. If the excuse is that you are too busy, then I can say, “Welcome to Life!” Everyone is busy. Life is just busy no matter what season you’re in, how many kids you have, or what you’re work schedule is like. If we are intentional with the time we DO have free, and streamline our days so that there IS time for our workouts, then we need to commit and not allow those excuses to enter our minds. Schedule it in and COMMIT. It takes discipline on our part to schedule our days so that excuses just aren’t an option. Excuses don’t have to stop you… You stop the excuses!
Thinking about your WHY is extremely important in keeping that motivation going at full speed. When we start our health journey, there is usually a motivating factor that kick starts us into gear. It could be your health is at risk and you need to do something NOW to prevent further issues. Your WHY could be to get your health back after having children where you did not prioritize your nutrition or exercise routine. Your WHY could also be that you want to lose weight and gain lean muscle to increase your strength for not only yourself, but your children, grand-children or lifestyle as a busy working person. When we remember WHY we strive for better eating habits, better lifestyle choices, and more consistent exercise where we can see changes, we remember our motivation that began our journey. That WHY motivates us and puts a fire in our souls for pushing ourselves to complete that workout, and commit to the PROCESS of our health journey. When you start to feel unmotivated, bring that WHY into the front of your mind and let nothing stop you from pushing yourself to completion of that task at hand.
Asking a friend to be your workout buddy or accountability partner, is so helpful in keeping motivated on your health and fitness journey. Tapping into a friend who you trust, who you can share your frustrations and victories with, and someone who will not sugar coat their words, but hold you accountable to what you signed up for. You committed. Your buddy can help you stay committed. Have them text you before workouts, encourage you when you feel unmotivated, and push you harder than you would push yourself. Give them permission to truly hold your nutrition and fitness goals in the palm of their hands, meaning that they can have access to your commitment and know how to help you achieve your goals. Believe me, when you get that text at 5am on the morning you just don’t feel like showing up for a workout, it makes a difference! You will be surprised how helpful it is to have someone “know your business” and care enough to have you stick with your commitment. You will be stronger and fitter by having that buddy help you navigate through your personal health journey.If you struggle with staying motivated, realize that SUCCESS CAN and will happen! Results take time. They take persistence, endurance, and consistency on every level in order to fully see the results and goals you began to tackle on Day1 of your journey. Success is possible! The essential component is motivation through every season and every chapter of the journey. Yes, there will be days or even weeks that you may feel discouraged, or like you just want a break from working out or eating healthy, or possibly like you want to throw the towel in on all your efforts because it’s just HARD WORK. Well my friends, results require hard work. You won’t ever regret a workout. You won’t ever regret showing up and completing what you committed to. You won’t ever regret the sacrifices you make from indulgences you love when you have worked so hard at keeping your diet in line. But you WILL regret giving up. You will come to realize that a sustainable healthy lifestyle IS achievable! With patience, drive, and grit, you will see results and you will be successful. Write down your goals and place that piece of paper in a place where you can see it daily. Keep your eyes on the GOALS. Be mindful of the PROCESS. Be diligent at reaching small goals that lead to greater things ahead. And stay motivated through the ebbs and flows of the journey that is intended to be a marathon, not a sprint… steady and consistent. You’ve got this!