I recently saw a sign that read:
“EXCUSES Are for People Who Don’t WANT it Badly ENOUGH.”
Wow. That hit me hard. It reminded me of a sports psychology lecture I attended at the World Spinning & Sport Conference in which the presenter Haley Perler, PhD. asked:
“What are you willing to SACRIFICE in order to ACHIEVE the goal you desire?”
The two statements go hand in hand. They force us to look at ourselves with honest and critical eyes to see where it is we are lacking in determination and focus. What is it you want from life? Do you have fitness, health, or other goals that just don’t seem to be coming together? Try this exercise:
1) Sit down and put your goal at the top. For sake of example, let’s say our goal is: “Become Healthier.”
2) Underneath that jot down some of the SPECIFIC things you’ll need to do to achieve that goal. For example:
3) On a separate piece of paper titled “Challenges” write down the reasons you think you’re not currently making that goal.
4) Now comes the part where you really put on your thinking cap. On a third piece of paper titled “Actions” and brainstorm all the ways you could overcome what’s holding you back, even if at the moment the idea doesn’t seem possible.
5) You’re making progress! Here’s where we get critical. Look at your “Actions” list. Why aren’t you doing those things NOW? If your goal is a health goal like our example, are any of these your excuses?
– Work is crazy. (So what? It’s always crazy. How are you going to work around it?)
– I just got a divorce/I just fell in love/just had a fight/just selling my house. (And that’s keeping you from reaching your goals how?)
– I don’t have time to cook. (Ever hear of the 5-ingredient/15 minute cookbooks? You have time.)
– My spouse/kid only eats ______. (Your spouse is a grown-up who should support you. You and your spouse need to model healthy eating for your kid. Your spouse can cook ____ for themselves or order it when you go out!)
And the list goes on. Now, to quote a sage old yogi and personal trainer named Mikey:
“If it’s truly IMPORTANT to you, you’ll make it a PRIORITY.”
What do your excuses say about how you prioritize your life? Are you quick to defend your excuses? Stop! Using our example of health goals, why would you let the craziness at work become more important than eating right or exercising? Why would you let your spouse’s poor choices over-ride your own desire to improve yourself? Why would you continue to skip breakfast rather than getting your metabolism going in a healthy way? In short:
What is it that you MUST come to terms with SACRIFICING in order to ACHIEVE your GOAL?
Answer that question for yourself. You will realize that you will have to change. Change might mean you will have an uncomfortable adjustment period while you adapt to new habits. That’s okay! Keep your eye on your goal and on your actions list and you’ll get through it! Your actions will start to reflect your stated goals, and you will emerge on the other side closer to what it is you say you want.
Let your life’s ACTIONS reflect your stated PRIORITIES. You can!!
So many of our “decisions” are really habits. I love the procedure here that sort of forces you to make all the connections. It’s very tempting to just stand there and go, “but I can’t.” I’ve always found it easier to choose one goal at a time to tackle. My sister and I have been blogging about healthy lunches that don’t take much time, if you need a little inspiration. Good luck to you and good for you for finding a way to think it through.
Thanks for your comments!
Your “MySistersPantry” blog would be great reading for many of my clients who tell me they don’t have time to cook. “Cooking” sounds like a big deal, but if we spin the words to merely “preparing food” then it’s not so intimidating, and with resources like your blog site and the sudden plethora of 5 ingredient/15 minute cookbooks out there, well, there’s really no excuse.
(And that’s what this post was all about: honing in on the goals and kicking out the excuses!) 🙂