It is easy to make excuses about why you aren’t achieving your health goals, but there probably are legitimate reasons why you continually fall short of getting to where you want to be.
You know the drill…you decide you want to start exercising today or cook a new healthy recipe. Then you realize you have to look up the recipe on Pinterest, or you aren’t sure of the exact moves or the right amount of time to exercise, so you decide to Google it. You get on your computer only to have a notification that you have 19 new email messages and 11 new notifications on Facebook. Before you know it, the time you were going to exercise is long past, and you still haven’t Googled your question yet.
Procrastination happens to all of us. Don’t beat yourself up. It is easy to feel like you accomplished something, after all, you spent 1.5 hours on the computer, but did you accomplish your healthy goals? Find ways to limit your distractions. Plan ahead and know the things that tend to take you off track and not get your goals accomplish. The best thing to do is work on your goals when you are supposed to, and purposely veg in front of your computer when you decide it is down time. Don’t confuse the two.
2. Letting Fear Stop You
This can be fear of failure…I can’t do this. I have never been successful before. I don’t want to look stupid. Negative self-talk can stop you dead in your tracks, and usually push you back to #1 procrastinate. But it isn’t just fear of failure; it can also be fear of success…I don’t want to be known as the health nut. If I start eating healthy, I won’t be able to go out with my friends. I may have to eat boring food for the rest of my life. Will I ever be able to eat ice cream again?
Fear can be debilitating. The best thing to do is face your fears. My favorite saying lately is “Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway.” It is so critical to vocalize your fears. Take time and list out your fears that you have about moving toward your health goals. Then let yourself feel them and do it anyway. Almost always your fears are so much worse than reality.
3. Giving up to Quickly
You have started eating better and moving your body. You have been faithful for 13 days now. You know that you are on the right track but wait, that scale isn’t moving. You still don’t have all your energy. You still are struggling to wake up ready for the day. Let’s face it; it probably has been many years that you haven’t worked on health habits. Your body is used to what you have fed it, how you have moved and how much you have slept. It takes time for your body recognize your new ways. There will be starts and stops. There is not a direct upward path to good health. Don’t give in; it takes time.
4. Listening to Others’ Criticism
It can be intimidating for others to watch you move toward a healthier lifestyle. It can bring up some of their insecurities. You might find that others may criticize what you are doing or how you are doing it. Take it as information and nothing more. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions. Be confident in your goals, and what you are choosing to do for your body.
5. Focusing on the Goal Not the Process
Goals are important. When you start on your journey toward better health, you should create SMART goals (specific, actionable, attainable, realistic and timely), but focusing on the goals can be unmotivating. Instead, create processes to achieve those goals. If you want to reduce stress, create a SMART goal for it. Then focus on making sure you meditate every day for 15 minutes, do your deep breathing exercise, and do your self-care routines. Do each every day. Your whole goal is to not miss a day. If you focus on the processes, the goals will take care of themselves.
6. Believing the Lie of This One Time
How many times have you told yourself that skipping a workout this one time won’t matter? That eating this candy bar won’t matter. That going to be late won’t matter. Stop that thinking, it is a lie. Each thing you do matters. If you want to skip a workout, then recognize why, acknowledge it, and decide to do it or skip it. You are an adult, make your choice. If you want that soda pop, recognize that is a craving or that you want it to temporarily solve your lack of energy. Recognize it does matter, and then decide if you want that soda pop or not. When you start acknowledging your choices as a choice, you then put yourself back in control of your healthy life, not your cravings or anything else.
7. Doing it On Your Own
We are social creatures. We all need support and encouragement in all we do. A “good job” can trigger a happy, content feeling. We are not isolated. Find someone to help you make the changes toward a healthier lifestyle. It can be your spouse, your best friend, an app, or a health coach. Know that it is difficult to do it on your own. You will not be motivated or feel positive about your healthy changes every day. Ask for help to get through the down days, the lack of motivation, or the confusion of a plethora of health information out there. The best Olympic athletes, the amazing vocalists, the top business execs all find coaches to push them beyond what they believe they can do, and inspire them to reach their goals. Who will help you achieve your dreams?
Comment below with which of the obstacles are you letting get in the way of achieving your health goals.