Living with #NoExcuses

This week’s prompt for the Sweat Pink #NoExcuses challenge is to blog about what #NoExcuses means to me… a timely topic, as I was just sitting here trying to think up excuses to avoid going to the gym to lift at o’dark-thirty tomorrow morning. I don’t know about you, but I find making excuses way too easy sometimes: “I’m too busy.” “I’m too tired” (that’s the one I want to use for tomorrow).  “I have to do XYZ first.”

But let’s be real: all those excuses actually mean the same thing: “I don’t want to.” So when I find myself making those excuses, I need to look at the root of the problem. Why don’t I want to? Is it because it’s a mundane task (hello, laundry-folding)? Because I’d rather be doing something else? Because it’s hard, and I’d rather take the easier path (*coughsleepcough*)?

photo 2 (6)Recycled picture from a time I didn’t make excuses not to lift. 

Once I’ve found the root of the problem, I can reanalyze the original task I’m making excuses about. Some are non-negotiable: I have to do laundry if I want clean clothes. I have to grade papers if I want to be decent at my job. For the non-negotiable tasks, I then have two options: Find a way to make it more enjoyable (listen to cheesy music or a podcast while I do chores, for instance), or just suck it up and do it.

Other tasks aren’t do-or-die, but they’re still important — things like getting out of bed when the alarm goes off to get in my workout or prepping the bulk of our meals on Sunday afternoon. For those things, I remind myself of the benefits of doing them — avoiding injury, finally getting that dang marathon PR, not eating everything in the house because I’m too hungry to wait for dinner to cook on Thursday night, etc. Reminding myself of the payoff almost always motivates me to push my excuses aside and get to work.

Inspirational image from the Internet. Source

And then there are the minor to-dos that I find myself making excuses to avoid — that Thirty-One/Norwex/other come-buy-stuff party at a vague acquaintance’s house, inservice day lunch with colleagues at the restaurant that I really don’t like, wearing pants without a drawstring on Saturday — and I realized that for most of those, it’s okay to not make an excuse. For those, “I don’t want to” is a perfectly fine reason (except maybe the party. That would be a little rude). So I don’t need to make an excuse; I just need to not do it.

Next time you find yourself making an excuse to skip your workout, not prep your meals, or blow off that pile of work yet again, ask yourself what you’re really saying.  If the task is worthwhile, find a way to make it happen. If it’s not… don’t do it. No excuse necessary.

And if you need a little extra motivation to bust those excuse, search the hashtag #SweatPink on Instagram or Twitter, and you’ll see tons of pictures of people like you getting it done.

What’s your secret for avoiding excuses?

4 thoughts on “Living with #NoExcuses”

  1. Lists! I make a list of all the shit I have to do on the weekend. Usually it is stuff I don’t want to do. Clean, wash, etc. But I feel a sense of satisfaction crossing it off!

    As for fitness related stuff, I find that if I don’t get it done before 7am, I will not do it and make an excuse!

  2. Like Meg, I am a huge list person as well. When I find myself making excuses, that’s when I realize that I need to do it the most. So I just tell myself to start and I can quit after 5 minutes. That never happens. I always finish.

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