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How to eliminate excuses

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When we were kids, we could find excuses for anything, right?

For not going to bed on time.

For fighting with siblings.

For not getting homework done.

As adults, we’ve learned to take responsibility for our actions and failures – at least most of the time. But there’s always a supply of excuses waiting within reach whenever we want to use one, including about our health and fitness.

Your spouse, your kids, the traffic.

Your boss.

Your biorhythms.

On and on…

So how do we get rid of this childhood habit once and for all? Here are some of my best ideas.

  1. Realize you’re only hurting yourself when you find a scapegoat. It doesn’t hurt the trainer, your significant other, your doctor … anyone else.
  2. Let go of the persecution complex. Traffic doesn’t happen to just you. Everyone’s boss throws a wrench in their plans sometimes. Nobody “feels like it” all the time, even those who seem divinely motivated to make it look easy.
  3. Stop comparing yourself to others. It only sets you up to feel “less than” and not good enough, which undermines your motivation and negative self-talk.
  4. Seek inspiration from others who keep getting up every time they fall. This can be someone at work, a friend at the gym, or even a figure in fiction.
  5. Acknowledge your strengths and weaknesses alike. Let’s say you’re good at getting to the gym on time, but you don’t work as hard as you want. OK – great! How can you build on that? Work out with a friend or trainer, take a group class, or meditate for a few moments before you walk in? What you don’t want to do: Tell yourself it’s someone else’s fault that you’re not quite hitting it.
  6. Scratch the surface. What’s underneath the need to make an excuse? Are you afraid of something? Feeling insecure or intimidated? Whatever it is, a little introspection can help identify the source, and from there, you’re closer to eliminating it.
  7. Repeat success. When something works for you, repeat it. Think about why – and how you can apply the lesson elsewhere.

I’d love for you to hit reply and let me know which tip is most helpful!

Bring it!


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