I can’t stick with it.”
“I’m too busy.”
“I started strong but then life got in the way…”
Any of these comments sound familiar? The past few weeks have been full of conversations on the topic of accomplishing goals and these are several of the comments that I heard. Since it’s the beginning of the year, this is a timely topic.
Many of us get frustrated at our inability to achieve a specific goal and often times the goals are related to health and fitness. As someone who’s been on my own fitness journey the past two decades and since I recently added fitness coaching to my line of services, I am familiar with this frustration.
Why is it so hard to maintain a workout program or a healthy lifestyle? Why do we start strong but then stop? The answer is, quite simply, life.
Yes, life gets in the way. We can all relate to this, can’t we? Life happens and interrupts our best-laid plans to workout, to choose the healthy eating option, to go to the gym, etc. But I’m here to tell you that “life” is an excuse, not a reason. The reason life gets in the way of the fitness routine or the healthy eating plan (or anything else we try to do to improve our lives) is not because of life itself, but because we choose to let it get in the way.
We choose to make time for and to commit to the things that are important to us. It’s not a matter of finding the time to workout or to grocery shop for healthy foods; it’s a matter of choosing to make the time. It may be quicker to stop by the fast food place for lunch or dinner, but if eating healthy is as important as so many of us claim it is, then we will choose the option that supports healthy living.
Of course, you get busy. Children and pets get sick. You have to work later than expected, but how all that impacts your health and fitness goals is your choice. You can choose to let it be the reason you stop working out for a day, a week, or forever. Or, you can reschedule the workout just as you would any other important appointment that got interrupted. You can choose to schedule your workouts first thing in the morning before the day takes ahold of you, so nothing can get in the way of it, or you can sleep an extra 30 minutes – it’s up to you.
There’s no right or wrong answer. It’s simply a matter of deciding what’s most important to you and, if health and fitness is not a priority right now that’s okay! Make that your choice and be okay with it. Don’t continue to say that you try and try and cannot make it stick. You can, if you want to. I’m sure there are many examples in your life where you’ve made a choice to achieve a goal and nothing (and I mean NOTHING) got in the way of you reaching it.
I also know that for many people, their job (that they might not even like that much) is one of those things they don’t let anything get in the way of; in fact, that’s the most common excuse I hear from clients about why their healthy living habits take a backseat. Imagine if you treated your health and fitness with the same dedication as you treat your job? I guarantee you’d be super fit and healthy. Again, it’s all a choice. It’s your life so you get to choose what works best for you. But, please don’t make excuses that life is getting in the way of you being healthy and fit because it’s not. You are the only thing getting in the way. Choose differently and you might just have a different outcome.
Oh, and in case you’re curious, I’ve made my health and fitness a priority since I was a young adult. I workout at least six mornings a week. I know if I don’t do it first thing in the morning chances of it happening are less than 50%. On days I don’t workout, I have much less energy than days I do. If my workout gets interrupted (yes, of course life happens to me too), I will reschedule it to later in the day or make up for it on my rest day. I try to eat as healthy as possible but don’t count calories. I also have a huge sweet tooth and am a big believer of, “everything in moderation.” I rarely overeat because it makes me feel like crap. And who likes to feel like crap? I occasionally drink too much and always regret it because again, who likes to feel like crap?
What I do works for me. And you can do it too but I suggest doing what works for you. Make a plan and stick to it. You CAN if it’s truly a priority. You can do anything you want, if you make choices that support the outcome you’re trying to achieve. And, I think the start of a new year is the perfect time to start making choices that support YOU.