Knock Out Your Obstacles Before They Become Excuses
Right now, we’re going to take the first strike! We’re going to throw the first punch so we can overcome our obstacles before they become excuses. That’s all an excuse is; it’s just an obstacle that you haven’t overcome yet.
After reflecting back on all the clients I’ve trained through the years, and all the obstacles they have had to overcome, I was inspired to create a list. This is my list of top excuses that we tend to use to stop us from getting started. We’re going to face these excuses now so we can get started on the right foot.
Here is my list Letterman style:
- I don’t know what I’m doing.
This is an excuse many people make as a reason not to start. It is always a challenge and can be a little scary when you are taking on something new. Let me just remind you that there was a time when you didn’t know how to walk. There was a time when you didn’t know how to drive a car. There was a time when you had never lived away from home. You didn’t know how to do your job or raise your children until you just did it. Like many things in life you can, and will, figure it out. All you have to do is get started. Just start small and build from there.
- Working out is so boring or I’m bored with my routine.
This is probably the main reason people stop working out or become inconsistent with their workout routine. There is an easy and quick fix to this problem. Just change what you are doing. If what you are doing is boring, then it is time to do something else. There are so many options as to what you can do for exercise. My dad used to say that the best exercise is the one you like the most because that is the one you will be able to get yourself to do more often. There is a lot of logic to his stance on this. If you are bored with your routine, then chances are you have been doing the same thing for far too long. Doing the same routine for too long can not only make it boring, but will also slam the brakes on your results because your body adapts too much.
- My _______hurts so I can’t workout. Usually this is back pain.
It can be really frustrating when you have an injury, especially an injury that stops you from doing your favorite exercises. Usually (depending on the injury) when you are injured there are still exercises that you can do that won’t aggravate that problem. If you hurt something in your upper body, then you can still do lower body workouts or vice versa. You can do your therapy exercises to the injured area while you still workout other areas. Don’t let an injury or soreness be an excuse to be completely sedentary.
- I can’t afford to be fit.
I understand personal training is a luxury that not everyone can afford, and sometimes so is a gym membership. Gyms usually have specials on a regular basis that allow you to save money. If personal training is something you feel you need, then find out what other services the trainer you like offers. You could find a workout partner to split the cost with, or start attending a boot camp. If that is not for you, then there are lots of inexpensive choices out there. You can get inexpensive equipment to use at home, borrow a home workout DVD like Insanity from a friend, or even find free workouts online. These days you don’t have to spend tons of money to get into great shape.
- I hate going to the gym alone.
I can relate to this excuse because I used to use the “don’t want to go by myself” excuse for lots of things. You can’t let being uncomfortable stop you from doing things you want to do. If you do, then you will miss out on a lot of things. If it’s outside of your comfort zone to go to a crowded gym, then try to go to a less intimidating environment to get started. You could try going to a class with friends, hire a personal trainer at a private studio, or try to go to the gym during slower times.
- I don’t have the right exercise equipment.
The days where this excuse is valid are gone. We no longer need to have a treadmill, Stairmaster, Bowflex, or any other piece of home equipment to get in shape. According to U.S. News & World Report, one of 2014’s biggest fitness trends is bodyweight exercises. I am an Insanity certified instructor, which is all bodyweight exercises, and my class participants love the workout and get great results.
- I’m too old.
Age is just a number, not a limit. You are never too old to get in shape. Fitness can make you feel and look younger. Need proof? Just watch The Expendables.
- My kids get in the way.
Most gyms have awesome daycares now a days. These daycares have jungle gyms and video games; your kids will love it. If you start taking them with you, it will give you another level of accountability because they will want to go back. If you don’t have the luxury of day care services, then schedule your workouts when your kids aren’t around. If you have your kids all day, then you can try to workout during their nap or sleep time, or, you could always include them in your workouts. Including your kids in your workout is great. It may take awhile to get them to adjust to it, but you will be setting a great example that they won’t forget.
Before we get to the top two excuses on the list, here are a few honorable mentions:
*I don’t need to workout as long as I’m dieting.
If you don’t want to work out, plan to get about half the results from dieting alone and be twice as hungry. Let’s also not forget that there are far more reasons to exercise than weight loss alone, including stronger bones, improved health, better appearance, improved posture, less pain, and so on.
*I’m too out of shape to workout.
Many times over the years someone has told me that they needed to get in shape before they hired me to train them. Just because you feel out of shape and maybe can’t do some of the things you used to be able to do doesn’t mean you can’t get started. There is no norm fitness level you need to be at to start working out or to hire a trainer. Everyone always starts at their own fitness level and grows from there. It should just be about continually doing better than you did the day before, the week before, the month before, etc.
*I don’t want to have to redo my hair and make-up.
I know that since I don’t wear makeup and have short hair, I may not fully be able to appreciate the amount of time that takes to do, but I still think this is a weak excuse. What is more important? How your hair looks or how you body looks, feels, and performs?
*I’ve heard that exercise isn’t really that good for you.
Well, I once heard that if you rub mud on your stomach it will make fat disappear. Just because you hear something doesn’t mean it’s true. I’d check your source.
Now back to the list…
- I’m too tired!
A lot of people are tired. The reason you’re tired is probably because you’re out of shape. When you get fit, you will have more energy and you will sleep better. If energy is the limiting factor in creating the life you want, try these tips:
- Go to bed closer to sun down and get up closer to sun up. Having trouble getting enough sleep? Your body’s natural clock functions better on this schedule. You may be thinking, “But I’m not a morning person!” Again, nothing will change if you don’t change anything.
- Eat real, unprocessed food every three to four hours. Never go more than fours hours without eating. A bad diet or lack of fuel can make you feel tired.
- Limit caffeine to just the morning. I am definitely guilty of drinking too much coffee. Believe it or not, that tired 2:30 feeling we get doesn’t come from lack of coffee; it comes from lack of sleep, reasonable nutrition, and lack of movement.
- I’m too busy!
First of all, everyone is busy, and there are many people in the world who are a lot busier than you. You know what? If you want to find more time, the first place you should probably look is in your television. Americans spend 15 hours per week there. Better yet, quit trying to find time and make time. If you were lost in the woods, would you go look for a fire or would you make one? If you don’t make time, it will hide forever.