“Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task.” –William James
When it comes to excuses to not exercise, I’ve heard them all. Regardless of myriad excuses, the underlying source is usually the same: procrastination.
Procrastination is merely a habit, realbuzz friends – a chosen behavior that requires wanting (and being willing) to change.
A critical step towards making the shift from putting off to taking action is to understand why you procrastinate in the first place. Here are four common reasons as they pertain to exercise:
No Time: Ask any fitness professional the number one excuse they hear from clients for not exercising – and, I guarantee, the answer will be “no time.” Time is an issue, particularly when it comes to new tasks. A new task on an already full plate can lead to feelings of overwhelm, usually because it is unfamiliar and easy to overestimate imagined time allowances. For instance, if you’ve never exercised – you may simply assume that exercise will take too much time. With this mindset (and with an already full schedule), blowing exercise off exercise may seem the easier option. Remember, anything is better than nothing -- try to devote some time (even 15 minutes) to an activity. Time management may also be an issue; click here for some tips.
Too Hard: If you perceive something as difficult, odds are you’ll do all the easier tasks first and then run out of time. One of my favorite tips, from the late Steven Covey, comes to mind: “First things first”; take care of the most important items first, and exercise should be up there! For instance, try to committing to exercise first thing in the morning so you get it done before life takes over. Also, it’s important to realize all new tasks require going through various stages (from beginner to mastery), and the beginning stage, requires patience and humility. Remember too, that challenges are essential to growth. For more on the learning stages, click here.
Not Perfect: Trying and trying (and trying) to get it perfect is exhausting and, essentially, unattainable. For one, perfection is an allusion (and I’m a perfectionist in recovery, so this is a day-to-day reminder.) Moreover, just the thought of perfection can drain you, before the task is even started! For novice exercisers, pressure to perform may deplete energy, causing them to lose focus (and get injured) or blow off their workouts entirely. For more on letting go of perfect, click here.
Fear of Failure/Success. Fearing failure or success is related to worrying about the outcome. For instance, perhaps you’ve tried to be consistent with an exercise program and failed (and, in turn, beat yourself up). Who wouldn’t be leery about starting again? Failing isn’t fun, but it’s critical for success. On the other hand, when you succeed, you raise your standards. High standards may mean increased expectations from you, and those around you, which can translate into increased pressure. Pressure leads to higher levels of stress and anxiety. Ultimately, the thought of higher standards (and the pressures that follow) may be scarier than the status quo. For more on conquering fears click here.
Remember, realbuzz friends, the first step to all success is action. First, become aware of what’s holding you back . . . and then, zoom forward!
Cheers to your good health and continued success . . . an “on-the-move” Mare
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