“He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else.”
– Benjamin Franklin
Ben Franklin was onto something.
Have you ever met a successful person who was good at making excuses? I haven’t, either. Instead of wasting his time sitting around conjuring up good excuses, a successful person takes responsibility and does what he needs to do to achieve his goal. Simple as that.
If you want to lose weight, do it. Yes, it’s much easier to plop on the couch and crack open a bag of chips while cooking up a reason to skip another day at the gym instead of, well, going to the gym, but would you feel so great about yourself by the end of the day?
It’s easy to let your excuses discourage you from improving your body. It doesn’t have to be like that! Sometimes you just need a little push in the right direction, and what better way to do that than to debunk your lame excuses?
Excuse #1: I’m too busy.
Your life may be going 500 miles an hour, but there’s always a way to incorporate healthy behavior into your daily schedule. For example, the time spent waiting in a McDonald’s drive-through could be better spent preparing a quick healthy meal, like a cup of oatmeal or a bowl of salad. Exercise doesn’t always mean spending an hour at the gym. You can break up your exercise throughout the day or replace one of your activities with exercise (such as riding your bike to work instead of driving).
How to motivate yourself: Create a reward system. Every time you exercise or eat something healthy, give yourself a point. For every 100 points, treat yourself to something nice! Or, instead of a point, you can add a quarter to a jar and use the money to buy something you’ve had your eye on for a while.
Excuse #2: Being healthy is too expensive.
Organic food and gym memberships can be hard on the wallet, but there are plenty of other ways to eat well and work out on a shoestring budget. Did you know that you can get your daily intake of fruits and vegetables for an average price of $2 per day? That’s cheaper than a liter of soda! Buy frozen fruits and vegetables, whole grains in bulk, or prepare meals yourself instead of overpaying for already-made meals. Rent exercise videos from the library, jog around the park, or do physical labor around the house.
How to motivate yourself: Add a monetary value to everything you do or buy. This will help you go for the healthier option most of the time. A few examples include:
“Why should I buy this pack of soda when I can get water for free?”
“I’m watching cable T.V. This is costing me $50 per month. Maybe I should cancel cable and go hiking instead.”
“I spend $60 a week on gasoline, which adds up to $3,120 per year. Yearly bike maintenance costs a fraction of that.”
Excuse #3: It takes too long to lose weight.
Dieting and working out is a long and hard battle. Just because you don’t see instant results doesn’t mean it won’t happen eventually. Be patient, and keep it up. You just need to keep your eyes on the goal. You’ll get there someday.
How to motivate yourself: There are tons of ways to motivate yourself to keep going. You just need to monitor your progress and keep reminding yourself why you’re doing this. Take a photo of yourself on a weekly or monthly basis, and, whenever you feel like giving up, lay out the photos in chronological order. Just seeing yourself get thinner and thinner may be enough to motivate you to keep going. Also, you can take out an old thin photograph of yourself and put it up in a place where you will see it every day. It would also help to take an article of clothing you want to wear when you reach your ideal weight and hang it in a visible place.
Do you know someone who talks the talk but never walks the walk? Do you want to be that person? Visualize the way you want to be, and do something to turn into the new you!
About the Author: Dora Novak, author of this article, writes frequently about topics related to food or health. As a start she used low calorie protein bars when she found herself having troubles with motivation.
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