We all make excuses. Had a crazy leg workout on Monday. You’re too tired. It’s too hot. You had a tiring day at work, you deserve some time off. But that’s fine, you will workout next week and it’ll make up for the break today. That’s generally how excuses manifest themselves.
Our brains come up with excuses all the time, but you don’t usually notice until it’s too late. These excuses aren’t conscious decisions we make about our lives: rather, they just seem to appear automatically.
Your mind is a genius at crafting up seemingly completely sensible reasons why you simply cannot follow through with that promise you made to yourself yesterday. It also rationalizes every excuse you make for not holding yourself accountable for meeting your fitness goals.
This is generally a very hard one to beat, but keep in mind that you’re the one in control of your own mind. You can learn to tune out those excuses and keep on moving right through them no matter how much you don’t want to.
How? For starters, by letting go of your need to be perfect at everything you do.
If you want to succeed at work and one day your boss tells you that you need to improve your work on your next project, you aren’t going to walk out of the office for good just because you didn’t perform as well as you could have.
Your mind might try to convince you that you’re not the right person for this job, or you need to take a break to ‘figure things out,’ but you know those are just excuses. Instead, you put in the graft and do what it takes to get better at the tasks.
This is how you progress professionally. Ultimately it’s those challenging times that push you on to learn and grow your skills and get better at what you do.
Bring this same attitude to the gym and you’ll find that challenges help accelerate your fitness progress too. When you understand that, you’ll stop wanting to run away and hide from workouts you find tough.
Making progress is not about doing workouts perfectly, in fact, if you only do workouts you’re already good at you’ll find it very difficult to make progress. It’s certainly not about only exercising on days when you feel like it or when nothing else is going on in your life. It’s about embracing the fact that it’s a challenge and getting your workouts done regularly and consistently rather than caving into the excuses.
It’s important to realize that your mind will probably never shut up entirely. But it does get much quieter when you stop listening to it so much.
The more you pay attention to the excuses in your head, the louder they become. So loud they’re almost impossible to ignore. When you do ignore them, though, and go through with your workout anyway, usually by halfway through your workout, you’ve forgotten why you didn’t want to do it in the first place.
Motivation is fueled by positivity, so when you get to the end of your workout, give yourself credit for getting it done, that alone is a big win. Sure there might have been aspects of it you could get better at, if there aren’t you probably need to change up your workout! Don’t focus on those at this time, instead focus on all exercises you nailed and how amazing it feels to have got to the end of it. Lap those good feelings up and remember that they’re always waiting, just a workout away.
No matter how imperfect you feel, no matter how much you don’t want to do it, just do it – then come tell me how much it was worth it.
If you’ve been feeling stuck and unmotivated because of your mind being taken over by these excuses, some extra support might be what you need to turn down the volume of all those excuses and turn up your motivation.