Excuses are easy to make. They’re also contagious and can paralyze your progress, not only physically, but in other aspects of your life. I have had many clients get a good momentum going with their fitness and then, because of a bump in the road (a hectic schedule, business trip, vacation or illness), they drop off and then have trouble getting back into their routine. If you aren’t careful, all of your hard-won progress can slip away in a matter of days.
But I also realize that life happens — things come up for everyone, including me! The question is: How do you keep the routine going despite life’s detours? Here are five ways to ensure you stay the course and don’t get sucked into a downward spiral of excuses:
1. Let go of beating yourself up. Stop the negative self-talk before you get down on yourself. The “inner critic” will just drain your energy and make you feel like you need to live up to unreasonable standards. And what happens when you feel bad about yourself or feel like your goals are unattainable? You don’t act.
2. Start thinking about what you can do. Look around. For example, if you are on a business trip and the hotel has stairs, walk or run up them, get your heart rate up and burn some calories.
3. Block out time. Be sure to block out time in the day to take care of yourself. I find a lot of people don’t have a schedule for training. They fly by the seat of their pants. They organize their whole day with work and errands, but you never see “exercise” on the schedule. Just by seeing “workout 6pm” in your day planner you will be more apt to do it.
4. Get back on the horse. If you do miss one or two days — even a week of exercise — it’s not the end of the world. Get back on that horse. Don’t let that busy day, bad day or sick day derail your entire month’s worth of exercise.
5. Be open to ways to change up your routine. Maybe the gym isn’t as appealing after you’ve been on holiday, or your regular workout feels a little too intense after an illness or injury. Listen to yourself and, rather than give up on exercise altogether, find an appealing alternative. Go for a hike outdoors, try an online yoga class or put in a Step360 DVD at home. You will probably enjoy the change, your body will respond to the new type of movement and you’ll spice up your old routine with some new moves. Look up recipes online for new healthy eating ideas that you may not have thought of before.
No one can make you commit to fitness — it’s up to you. Remember you are the one in charge. You are the authority. It’s your internal and external dialogue, your actions and your all-around outlook and attitude toward things in life that will keep you excuse-free and healthy.
Make working out easy with fitness videos on GaiamTV.com!