Pioneering humanitarian Florence Nightingale once said, “I attribute my success to this: I never gave or took an excuse.” This statement, no less true today than it was in the 19th century, should remind everyone that if you want to succeed, excuses have no rational basis. Sure, we all make them, especially when it comes to working out. Although deep down we all know we’re supposed to exercise, it’s always easier to come up with a reason not to do it.
Why are there always seemingly insurmountable obstacles that keep getting in the way of our fitness goals? It’s true that for many people, life often gets in the way; work, eating, social commitments that we’d rather do, and other activities always take precedence. But the fact is that what most people just need is a paradigm shift in their thinking. What you think of as hindrances, you can turn into advantages. We tend to make excuses because most of the time we just don’t want to try hard enough.
We tend to make excuses because most of the time we just don’t want to try hard enough.
How do you turn your excuses into action?
- Make time
“I don't have time to exercise,” is usually the excuse du jour for most people. There never seems to be enough hours in the day. However, by analysing your daily activities and getting organised you'll find that you in fact do have some time to dedicate to exercise. The best way is to get an early start, schedule your workouts visually on a calendar and develop a routine of your daily activities, which will help keep you on track.
- Exercise with your partner
"I hate exercising alone,” is another gem. Sure, it can be boring and make you feel a little isolated sweating all by yourself, even with Van Halen blaring in your earbuds. Why not involve your significant other and get them to exercise as well? Psychology Today explains that couples who sweat together stay together; working out together can increase your emotional bond, increase your happiness in your relationship, and provide you with accountability. Who better than to hold you accountable to your routine than the person you love?
- Start at the beginning
“I don’t know where to start,” is a common one and at times it can be challenging. The information overload, advertising and abundance of options is enough to overwhelm anyone. Should you start with spin class, boxing, Tae Bo? Remember that one? Or CrossFit? Start where you will feel most comfortable: a yoga routine at home, swimming or even going for long walks? Attempting too much at the beginning of your fitness journey is often the quickest way to lose motivation.
- Get a gym membership
“I don’t like being at a gym,” is a popular one, to say the least. But as we mentioned previously on Jacob Andreae, gyms help build communities and get you socialising with other people. Joining an exercise group at a gym can give people that sense of belonging. It can help build connections just through seeing the same people on a regular basis.
- Stick with it
“I’m no good committing to anything,” is generally heard around mid-January, when New Year’s resolutions go poof in a white puff of smoke. It’s true for most people that they get all hyped up with delusions of grandeur about a new routine, or a new and very expensive exercise machine, and then slowly as the year wears on so does the motivation. First start with why you want to work out and then focus on the process. Forget about the results for now.
- Get un-tired
“I’m too tired,” is generally the go-to excuse for most people. Women’s Running suggest that exercise can actually help increase your energy and wake you up? Exercise also stimulates the release of the feel-good chemicals known as endorphins, which can make you feel happier and better after your workout.
- Enjoy the workout
“I hate working out, it feels like work,” can often be heard throughout the halls of city gyms. Maybe the gym is not for you, if it doesn’t feel right then don’t do it. Try something new that you will enjoy and make your workout routine more pleasant. Through trial and error there’s a good chance you’ll find something you’ll enjoy breaking a sweat to do, rather than dislike it every time you think about it.
Should you need more inspiration and motivation to help you achieve your goals, look to inspiring figures in sport who had to overcome much more than lack of motivation. Billie Jean King who founded the Women’s Tennis Association and the Women’s Sports Foundation in the United States, faced adversity and overt sexism, yet used that to her advantage and triumphed.
Professional boxer Nicola Adams, competed in a male dominated sport and overcame sexism and discrimination to become an Olympic gold medalist at the London Olympics. She became the first British boxer in 92 years to defend that title four years later in Rio reports Coral. Adams achieved a remarkable medal count throughout her boxing career, which started purely by chance; she joined a boxing program, after her mom couldn’t find a sitter when she needed to go to the gym, and took Nicola with her. With that small step a great career was started.
What excuses, if any, are you using?
Article specially written for JacobAndreae.com
[Image Source: Hawaii Pacific Health]
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