Do you ever start something or make a new goal and you’re instantly pumped and excited for it? You just know you’re gonna accomplish it and change your life and you’re so fired up! Then a week goes by. And all of a sudden you’re noticing roadblocks that are trying to get in the way of you and your goals. Then you think” well one day of not eating well or skipping one day of exercise isn’t going to hurt anything”. Then the next day your kid comes home sick and you aren’t able to cook the meal you were planning so you order food out. Then the next day you don’t have leftovers for lunch so you wing it and get food out. Then those two days turn into 2 months, then a year, then a decade.
This is a really tough subject to talk about. I’m not here to make you feel guilty or be a Debbie Downer. Trust me, if you know me, you know I’m a positive cheerleader to my very core.
These conversations of excuses are really hard ones to have because it forces us to look inside ourselves and question why we failed or why we aren’t accomplishing what we set out to do. It makes you cringe just a little, huh?
Here are 7 possible reasons why we make excuses for putting exercise and nutrition on the back burner:
- We don’t want to put the work in to get what we want.
2. We value the short term more than the long term.
3. We don’t truly believe that eating healthy and exercise is the answer.
4. We want the easy way, not the hard way.
5. We want to believe the crap we read so we have something or someone to blame.
6. We value other things more.
7. We put too much on our plate for the amount of time we actually have.
In my line of work, I hear excuses every single day. Here are some of the top ones: “I just don’t have time to exercise”, “I’m not able to stop to eat during the day”, “I don’t have time to go to the grocery store”, “I don’t have time to cook at home”, “I’m gone every night for kids sports”, “I don’t like to cook”, “I can’t workout in the morning because my hair will get sweaty and I don’t have time to wash it”, “I’ve tried before and failed”, “my family doesn’t like to eat healthy”, and on and on and on. Also if you’re one of my clients who have said this, I’ve literally had many of these same thoughts about myself so I’m not bashing you. 🙂
Are these legitimate issues? Yes and no. But they are excuses. It’s not a time problem. It’s a priority problem. You create time for things that are important to you and a yes to one thing is a no to another thing. A yes to my kids playing sports means a no to my late afternoon workout slot. A yes to being in a social club means a no to extra free time at home to cook a meal.
I’m not saying you should say no to every opportunity. That’s not healthy or realistic or fun. We want to support our kids and their activities and we want to build friendships in certain clubs and groups. But putting too much on your plate is your choice. Choosing additional commitments rather than setting aside 30 minutes to exercise is your choice. Binge watching your favorite show is your choice.
Man, I feel so harsh saying that. I really do. But it’s the truth. Can you think about how you can change up your routine to allow some time to grocery shop? Is there flexibility in your work schedule? Could you go in 30 minutes earlier so you can exercise after work before picking kids up? Could your significant other or a friend help out with dropping kids off at practice? Sometimes all you have to do is ask for help.
Look, I get it. If you’ve been around, you know I’m a business owner, a wife, a mom to 3 daughters all in school and who all play sports (two of them are in competitive which forces us to travel out of town a ton), I volunteer, I’m in a few groups that require my time and I’m the primary parent who runs kids to appointments and school. I get it! Not to mention, all the committees and clubs like PTA at school, school room moms, etc. Time is limited, I know.
Here’s what I do to create pockets of time to make my health a priority.
- I wake up early in the mornings. Getting up at 5am to get things done and check my schedule before the kids are up is huge for me.
- I have my groceries delivered. Rather than going out to eat a bunch or running thru Starbucks daily, I spend my money on a grocery delivery service. It’s so worth it to me!
- I schedule my workouts and don’t let anything get in the way unless it’s an emergency. I can pick up the house and do the dishes at night, but won’t necessarily feel like working out at 9pm.
- I plan out my evening meals and prep my fruits and vegetables. Having a fridge and pantry stocked with good options keeps me on track. But it does take a little effort to make sure I have those things available and ready to go.
- Sometimes I just say no. I’d love to be able to help with every school holiday party and every opportunity that involves my kids and friends. But I have to be selective with my time.
If you feel like you’re struggling with not being able to stick to your plan, I recommend:
- Finding pockets of time in your day to devote to planning your nutrition and time to exercise.
- Reevaluating your time. Try time-blocking. Make 30 minute slots for your entire day. Fill it out and follow it. It will help you stay on track!
- Is there anything you can give up or change to free up a little bit of your time?
- Are there other things that may help you out? Can you have groceries delivered? Can you purchase a meal prep serving that has meals ready for you to make the days easier?
I hope you’re able to take a few of these suggestions and really think about how you can add a few minutes to your day to do something good for your health. If you’re in a busy season of life, I see you and I feel you. It doesn’t have to be perfect but maybe it can be just a little better.