How to Clear your mind of Excuses
Finding motivation can be hard at times. More so in winter months when the weather is less inviting. As a result I definitely end up with a seasonal fitness dip and I know I’m not the only one. This definitely applies a lot more broadly than fitness but here are a few ways I fit things in. Here are a few tips to Clear your mind of Excuses and get things done.
For the purposes of writing this, I chose running as the target activity. Just switch the word with whatever you make excuses about not doing to fit. It could be running, cycling, mountain biking, yoga, going to the gym. The same excuses come up for everything.
To start with, everybody has objections to doing things. The difference between somebody who does take action is they are better at overcoming the excuses in their own mind. It is as simple as that. On occasions they have built up that level of resilience, some are just that way to start. Take some steps towards being that person who just does things and stop procrastinating !
“Try not. Do. Or do not, there is no try”— Yoda, Grand Master Jedi
Tackle that to-do list
When you have a huge “to-do” list it can be overwhelming. Bear in mind everything on that list is only one thing. Do one thing. Do one more thing. It’s strangely addictive and before you know it, that list is much shorter. For example: Today you need to do the shopping; walk the dog; go to work; grab some lunch; cook the dinner; tidy up after last night; put the washing machine on; load the dishwasher; hang the washing up to dry; go back to the shop for what you forgot; collect that missed parcel and try and squeeze a run in. Looking at your day this way, it seems like an unstructured mess of 12 things. It absolutely is. Take a breath and relax.
Today you will:
- Get up and run with the dog, have breakfast, then leave a note of where to leave your parcel and throw your workout clothes in the washing machine.
- Grab lunch on the way to work and have a relaxing walk on your break.
- Go shopping on the way home with a photo of the recipe you’re making for dinner.
- Load the dishwasher and start cooking, hang the washing out whilst you’re waiting.
This way you have achieved six tasks (half of them) before starting work. And one of them was that critical “you time” run. This way the jobs are done. A little planning has even given you a few hours to crash at the end of your day. Furthermore by being a little proactive, some of the jobs took care of themselves.
Do the boring quickly and enjoy the interesting
Quite importantly, nobody wants to savour the boring jobs. By getting on and just doing them so much time is saved. Time that is now free and absolutely all yours !
When you clear your mind of excuses you can get on and get things done. Unfortunately, every day there are boring jobs. This is part of being a grown up. The “I’ll do it later” philosophy seems to just add to that to-do list. In conclusion it is another simple solution. However, it is easy to postpone things and let the excuses build up. Leading to all of these individual things to become an excuse in their own way. “I haven’t got time to run because I have to tidy up”. Turn this around. “I am going for a run and then I will speed tidy on my runner’s high!”. When you find a different perspective, you begin to wonder why there was a problem in the first place.
What are the most common excuses ?
Like cheap brand cola, excuses seem to come in similar flavours with a unique twist. Every supermarket has them, but who makes the best. Well this one is down to personal preference. This section may be offensive as I blow holes through your top excuses. If you find it offensive, this is more than likely because it is true !
These are some of the excuses I use myself and have heard others use, along with the arguments to clear your mind of excuses.
I’ve got [insert here] to do instead.
Sometimes a reason rather than an excuse. Probably the most common one. If it is something you can do in advance or afterwards, move your schedule and make that run happen. In the event of not having flexibility, run at a different time. It isn’t always a one or the other choice. Choose both.
Someone couldn’t come with me today/I don’t want to go by myself.
So your friends are busy ? Go by yourself. When you go with somebody else you tend not to mix. Go by yourself and you will meet new people. Other people by themselves. If you spend your life waiting for other people, you will have a lot of free time. To make it worse there will always be someone who says “I would have come with you”. This is normally the person who said they were too busy the last twenty times you asked.
Check out Lost Explorers, and their great idea, the green light, This signals to other people that you are approachable when you are out and about.
The weather is too hot/cold/windy/wet/muddy.
You probably want to wash your clothes and have a shower anyway. Just get on with it. The perfect weather hardly ever seems to come, especially in the UK. If I waited for the right weather I would probably leave the house a maximum of three days per year. Some of the best adventures I’ve had have been peeping out from the comfort of my goretex jacket on a rainy day.
The weather is what you make of it. Just remember, everywhere you go, always take the weather with you.
I won’t get back in time to watch [insert here] on TV.
Get Netflix. This is the 21st century. Plenty of streaming services, some are free.
My [insert body part] hurts.
Well this is exercise. Furthermore, I can confirm it only gets worse with age. There are two different types of pain. Firstly, the kind where you should stop, slow down, rest, recover. Secondly the kind that is just your body adapting to what you demand of it. This is the kind of pain you probably won’t benefit from backing away from. Get up, get out, face the pain. When you push through this type of pain and find it gets no worse or disappears, you learn to cope and push through it. Use this pain as an opportunity to build yourself up stronger. This is how you build muscle and get better at what you choose to do.
In summary, try to push yourself and if it gets no better, walk home and get the peas out of the freezer.
Yeah… everybody gets tired. There is usually enough left to get a few miles in. Tiredness is something that’s with me most of the time. Beat that tiredness with a run in the fresh air, get your heart pumping and get going. You’ll sleep better. Problem solved. On the other hand you’ll get an energy boost. Problem solved.
I’m waiting for a parcel.
Every day is parcel day when you have Amazon Prime. Remember when we had to get up and physically go to a shop?
Try to get your parcels delivered to a neighbour or safe place. Even better get them all delivered on one day to minimise time spend waiting for parcels. (I’m currently waiting for a parcel and not running).
Clear your mind of Excuses conclusion…
Unless faced with a valid reason, organise your day better, combine tasks. Deal with things that are stopping you doing what you enjoy.
The more you manage to overcome these excuses, the more your default habit becomes to dispose of them. If it wasn’t a problem last time, it won’t be next time.
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