Well we are about six weeks into the new year and if you are like me, that “New year, New You” approach isn’t exactly going great. My resolutions have been overtaken by excuses. I actually pretended to shush people in my apartment when the delivery driver dropped off the extra large pizza and chicken wings for the “big game”. I wanted him to believe I was having a party and not eating it all myself. Not to mention you can see the entirety of my apartment from the front door.
Hopefully you read my first post of Resolutions and didn’t actually make any. If you read that you are like me and are still working on your D.U.M.B. goals and you are probably at the Uh-Oh stage. Whether you are at that stage or you made resolutions its time to look at your results and compare them to your excuses and reasons.
I often thought of resolutions as cats knocking things off of a counter. My resolutions, an immovable object if you will, sitting steadfast on the counter. Resolute in their determination. Unmovable in their conviction. If I said I was going to lose twenty pounds, then that resolution could not change until it was completed.
Enter the cat. The cat, or irresistible force, was always there. Sitting, waiting for the perfect time to knock my resolution off course. Because it is a cat the perfect time is pretty much always. The irresistible force would knock that resolution off track in just moments.
Recently I have started to think of goals more like puppies. They come in amazing bursts of energy and excitement and all at once. Then they nap. The key is to embrace the energy and excitement when it is there. If you notice in the month of January, the focus on those new found goals is top of mind. You may have bought new clothes and built an excel spreadsheet to chart your progress or even downloaded a couple of fitness videos that had your tail wagging.
You embraced the excitement and energy just like the burst of playtime energy from the new puppy. But what next? The puppy naps, but do you? The key is to make sure that you find a way to keep that energy going. You don’t want your nap between energy bursts to turn to a hibernation.
When the cat knocks over your glass or your puppy nap cycle has stretched a month it is usually because of one of my favorite things, excuses. People give excuses a bad wrap. It takes a lot of energy to come up with new excuses each day and you should be proud of yourself! Anyone can keep working out but how many people can cite a 12 year old obscure internet article that mentioned that exercising the same day you sneeze could lead to a heart attack.
To some, finding excuses is an art form. A dusting of snow means you can’t go for your run but you need to find another excuse when it comes to clearing the snow. It can be too sunny, too cold, or too hot. The dog could have eaten your best running shoes, after you “spilled” peanut butter on them.
The best part about excuses is that you are the only one who really needs to believe it. You could tell your spouse and as long you can deal with an eye roll or two you are good to go. If only they knew the research that went into that excuse! It was exhausting. Almost as exhausting if you would have just done the exercise in the first place.
A close cousin to the excuse is the reason. Reason can be powerful when mixed with logic or can be lean towards the excuse side. If you don’t want to run today because you have run the last 3 days and your knee is sore, that is a good reason. If you don’t want to run today because the last time you ran in 1974 your legs felt like jelly after. That is probably leaning more towards excuse land.
A reason can keep you safer and lead to a better workout experience. It can also prevent you from achieving your goals. Using the cat and puppy scientific analysis from above, a reason is like an end table. It is important when you need somewhere to put your drink and snacks. I sure do love snacks. But slam your shin into it one night and you start to question how important it really is and how much firewood it could produce.
Don’t ignore reasons as they can be useful but don’t let reason’s stretch to excuses. I have a couch so I can sit comfortably is a reason to have a couch. I can’t leave the couch because it might float away so I can’t work out today is an excuse.
The answers are very simple and very difficult at the same time. Don’t leave a glass on the counter if you don’t want a cat to knock it down. If it’s important, put it somewhere the cat can’t get to it. Or get rid of the cat, they are kind of evil. Don’t make your goals so simple they can be easily deterred.
Embrace the energy and excitement of your goals like you are a puppy. Each time you look at your workout, look at it like its the first time you have ever gone on a walk! Remember that feeling during your “nap” times as well so you stay motivated. It is easy to forget what the excited stage feels like so change up your workout from time to time so you can wag your tail again!
If it takes you longer 3 minutes to come up with an excuse to not work out, it is no longer an excuse but more of a premeditated admission of laziness. When you have to do research on why you can’t work out one day, it is most likely and excuse. If your knee hurts, your ankle makes a crunchy noise or your arm is numb those are most like good reasons to take the day off. Don’t be afraid of rest but don’t be accustomed to it.
Finally, and I can’t stress this enough, I refer to myself as Fatman. I might not exactly have all of the answers. I have made mistakes though that have led to my apt moniker. There are good resources out there and make sure you check in with a doctor before an exercise program. That being said, you should probably read all of the posts in my “Thoughts” section to make sure you have a good mindset moving forward!
Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither were my
abs gut. They take work and plenty of help along the way. Having the right equipment and gear is important. You don’t want to take a jog in the winter in shorts and a tank top. The wrong gear can lead to excuses. The first time I hiked I did it in a pair of worn out tennis shoes and was slipping and sliding. I almost didn’t go back and would have had a good excuse. Now that I have the proper gear I have eliminated all the good excuses not to work out. Just because I eliminated them doesn’t mean I don’t still use them but at least I am half way there.
Here is a look at some of the offers from my partners to get you the proper gear and ready for your exercise program. If you decided to buy something from these links, I will receive a small commission and be able to keep bringing you this great content!
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If you enjoyed this post you may enjoy some of my other unique posts such as: “Screw it, I’m Trying“, “Hiking Alone not Lonely Hiking“, “Bad Days and Bidets” or “Fatman to Fitman: the Doctor“. You can find these and more on my Thoughts page.
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