Overcoming Excuses

Dan DeFigioBehavior and Mindfulness

 

overcoming excuses

There’s a lot to be said for overcoming excuses. It’s easy to find reasons you can’t eat healthier or you can’t exercise. There’s always a way around an obstacle, even if just in a small way. What’s your excuse?

Overcoming Excuses

“What you think about, you bring about.”
“Energy goes where your attention flows.”

If you’re having trouble making improvements in your nutrition, your exercise habits, or your lifestyle actions, perhaps you’re putting too much thought into reinforcing all your “Can’ts” and excuses?

Sure, many times there are obstacles to making healthy changes and improvements, but there’s almost always a way to make some kind of improvement, even if it’s not a perfect solution.

Any improvement is better than none.

Just because you can’t eat perfectly all the time doesn’t mean you can’t try to do something better.

If your focus is on all the obstacles and reasons that you “can’t” do something, you’re ignoring all the inroads and workarounds to making some kind of improvement in that area.

Next time you find yourself telling yourself you “can’t because…”, add on a way to make a minor improvement in some circumstances.

How To Overcome Excuses

If your mantra has been “I can’t eat healthy because…”

“…things are crazy at work/home/school.”

overcoming excuses from stress

You’ve probably noticed that life seems crazy most of the time. If you’re waiting for a time for things to “calm down” before you put any effort into improving your eating, you’re going to be waiting a long time. Maybe forever.

Accept the fact the most of the time you’re going to have a lot going on. You should also accept the fact that just because you’re busy or feeling stressed, that doesn’t mean that you have no control over what you do. If you take 5 minutes to plan some healthy food for the next day, it will make a major improvement in your nutrition with very minimal time. Bring a healthy lunch to work with you – it takes 5 minutes, and by doing just that, you’ve introduced five healthy meals into your week. Add a healthy snack for the afternoon too!

When healthy-lunch-and-snack prep becomes normal for you, make another improvement along the way. Maybe you’ll swap soda for mineral water or tea. Maybe you’ll plan a healthy dinner for tomorrow.

Little improvements along the way add up to major changes over time. You can’t do it all at once, so don’t even try. Just find one workaround that you can sneak in!

“…I don’t want to give up (chocolate, wine, cookies, ice cream, etc.)”

overcoming excuses for sugar cravings

This is classic all-or-nothing thinking. “Healthy eating means giving up something unhealthy that I love.” This, to use the technical term, is bullshit.

Being healthy does not mean never eating something that’s not good for you. Your body is built based on your habits and what you do most of the time. Daily candy bars or doughnuts will erode your health. Occasional treats are certainly possible in a sensible, healthy eating plan.

The easy way out of this one is to stay away from the all or nothing terms like “never” and “giving up.” Instead, take each decision on a case-by-case basis. If you’ve got an urge for cake, take a moment and think about what the rest of your nutrition looks like that day. Maybe you could eat an apple instead? Delicious, sweet, crunchy, and healthy. Maybe you’ll have cake next time.

Take one decision at a time instead of swearing yourself off your favorite indulgence forever!

There is always something you can do that moves your needle closer to health. So don’t try to be perfect, just make little inroads along the way every day – you’ll be surprised how much improvement you can get from tiny actions.