Excuses are funny little things really. You make a plea of bargain to yourself to allow yourself to do (or not do) something. Even if ultimately that excuse is stopping you from achieving a bigger goal and you know it’s counter productive. It’s a completely backwards way of thinking; in the world of psychology it’s called self-handicapping.
So here’s a little excuse I made for myself…
“I can’t do fasted cardio in the mornings, I don’t have time and I need to get to work as a priority. If I get up any earlier I’ll be too tired.”
…I was going to the gym pretty much every night of the week to get all my training and cardio in, and I wasn’t getting much time to myself (tiny violins please). Something needed to change, but as far as I was concerned there was no way around it.
In my mind there were many reasons why this wouldn’t work. I already get up at 5:45am, walk Captain (my dog), feed him, clean his run, cook my food for the day, have my breakfast, get ready for work and leave the house for 7:30am. If I got up any earlier I was sure my world would implode, I’d be arriving at work resembling an Orc and I’d be tired all day. (I’m sure there are some sleep deprived parents rolling their eyes at this!)
But the thing is deep down I knew I did have time, I just needed to be more organised and motivated.
Sometimes you’ve just got to give yourself a kick in the proverbial.
Challenge excuses with solutions
If you have excuses yourself, analyse what the deep rooted motivation is behind them and then challenge those thoughts. Is the ‘reason’ you’ve given yourself really true? Is there a way round it…?
I figured that if I prepped my meals and had my change of clothes packed and ready the night before I would only need to get up 15 minutes earlier. I’d still have time for a 30 minute dog walk and to do cardio before heading to work.
So then my two excuses became a bit void and the real reasons reared their heads:
- I’ll be too tired e.g. I love my sleep and I’m a lazy oik
- I don’t have time e.g. I can’t be bothered to do all that extra stuff before bed
Now for the motivation… start small
I said to myself: “I will trial this morning cardio business for one week; 3 morning sessions. If you do turn up to work resembling a creature of the earth and it negatively impacts on your performance then you can re-evaluate, but first, you must try.”
I wasn’t scaring myself with crazy over-commitment, but it’s enough of a trial that I’d feel like I gave it a good go. Because in my mind this was just a trial it didn’t seem quite so distressing to wrench myself out of bed for a few days, after all, it wouldn’t be forever.
Since Sunday is a relatively free night for me to do all my food preparation I agreed with myself a Monday morning would be my first go. I peeled myself out of bed at 5:30am and zombied myself to the gym by 6:45am. And hey presto I got my cardio done with all limbs and organs intact!
The thing that came to me as a shock most of all; I felt awesome.
Mountain, molehill; excuses abolished.
Fasted cardio is now well and truly part of my routine.
Now time to challenge your excuses, write a list and then ask yourself each of these:
- Is my excuse really valid?
- What is the real reason I do/don’t want to do this?
- What is a realistic solution?
Set yourself a mini-trial to see if you can do it… you might just surprise yourself.