What’s Your Excuse?

*This article first appeared in Panorama Community Magazine in August 2023.

This is a question I ask myself often at the end of each week when I am reflecting on my goals and the progress I have made, or not made, towards them.  I go back to a quote from one of my coaches, Coach Bruce, and he often emphasizes “you can have results or excuses, but you can’t have both.”  There is a lot of truth in that statement whether we like to acknowledge it or not.

The wonderful thing about this approach is that we can adapt it to fit nearly any aspect of our lives, whether it be work, school, family, finances…or health, fitness, and nutrition.  In this article, I will be encouraging you to reflect on whatever area of your life it is you are working to improve or have set a goal for, and if you find you are not making the progress you desire, ask yourself the question, “What’s my excuse?”  The follow-up to that question then is identifying action steps to mitigate or eliminate your excuse(s).

I will even go first!  I had some bumpy weeks with my nutrition where I wasn’t exactly eating as well as I could be.  Each day after working at the gym all day, I was coming home and foraging for junk food.  I was eating well during the day at the gym, only to come home and eat some not-so-healthy items.  Come the end of the week (or each day sometimes), I would reflect on my nutrition goals and think about how I would like to have a different experience.  I asked myself, “what’s your excuse?”  My “excuse” was that after a long day, I didn’t feel like coming home and cooking.  This meant I had to be more diligent about prepping meals so that healthier choices were more readily available when I came home and was too tired to cook an extensive meal. 

In another example, I will even go back to when I first joined a gym and my attendance was sporadic. Again, I can reflect on the progress I was not making in improving my health and fitness and ask myself, “what’s your excuse.”  In my case, I was skipping the gym to go home and sit on the couch.  It meant I had to force myself to go to the gym even if I really didn’t feel like it.  I will add a little bit of a tough love piece of advice for you here…you won’t always feel like it.  I could probably write a whole article on that!  Maybe I will!!

An excuse I often hear from people about why they don’t begin an exercise program is that they don’t have time.  Again, I could probably write a whole article on how that isn’t true and how we all have time for something, but we let our excuses get in the way.  Some might say they don’t have time, yet their social media usage is 1-2 hours daily.  Or, they can share with you about the most recent Netflix series they just finished watching.  Please note, I am not saying don’t enjoy a few minutes scrolling or don’t watch a show you enjoy.  I am instead encouraging you to prioritize activities in your life, in this case those that positively affect your health, fitness, or nutrition, because they will reward you immensely with a more fulfilling life.  

Whatever your “excuse” is for coming up short on progress towards your goal, it does require action on your part to minimize or eliminate those excuses.  You can either do nothing and have the same results or lack of progress week after week.  Or, you can take even just one small step in eliminating your excuses and you will have made positive progress in the direction of your goals.  In conclusion, act on eliminating your excuses, and you will accelerate the progress towards your goals.  

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