Excuses! Excuses! Excuses! I’m too tired! I don’t have time! It’s too hot! It’s too cold! It’s too early! It’s too late! I have company! I’m getting company! I have to take the kids to practice! I’m too depressed! I’m celebrating! It hurts! It’s boring! I can’t go because I have to floss my teeth! (Someone really said this to me.) But, the best excuse of all is, “I’ll start Monday!”
Well, Monday morning arrives, and you skip breakfast because this is the first day of your new diet. By noon you have either taken the kids to McDonald’s and watched them eat French fries, or, while at work, you have circled the lunchroom twice, eyeing the last doughnut on the table. By late afternoon you are having difficulty focusing on anything because you know dinner is only a few short hours away and dessert is not far behind! You can’t wait to get home and eat, and then reality hits you. This is only Monday – day one of your new diet and exercise program! How will you ever make it to Friday? Now you begin to wonder, Can I really do this?”
It is possible! But trying to make big changes in our lives all at once usually turns great intentions into a breeding ground for failure. We have built up whatever habits we have (good or bad) over a long period of time, and they will not go away overnight.
Here’s the good news! Making small, even seemingly insignificant changes in your lifestyle will keep you from being overwhelmed. Small, more deliberate changes will provide the best foundation for long-term success. The next time you’re feeling unmotivated or lacking in willpower, try some of these techniques to get back on track. Start now – don’t wait until next Monday to do it!!
Always eat breakfast, even if it is a piece of fruit on the way out the door.
Vary your walk route.
Keep a daily log of your activities.
Remember all the reasons why you started in the first place.
Think about how good you feel after your walk.
Carry healthy snacks with you wherever you go, especially when you travel.
Keep a pair of walking shoes in your car, just in case an opportunity to walk arises.
Be flexible – life doesn’t usually go as we plan.
Get your family involved.
Check your goals – are they realistic?
Focus on your successes – don’t get down on yourself or feel bad if you make a mistake.
Schedule time for YOU in your appointment book and keep it!
Getting and staying motivated to make positive changes in our lives is a very personal and difficult challenge. There is no set formula for success, so you’ll have to experiment to find what works best for you. Take the suggestions we have made and use them as a foundation for your personal plan. Accept the responsibility for the choices you make and most of all, believe in yourself, you can do this!