Stop Making Excuses, Get Moving Again
By Melissa Brandon | November 25, 2020
I’m a fairly disciplined person, or rather, I used to be a disciplined person. Ever since March, I’ve been taking a slow trip down the road to “bad habitville”. I have all types of excuses, possibly valid reasons on some level. However, when you boil it down, they are still just excuses. So how do I stop this and return to the good habits I practiced prior to the coronavirus?
First, I’m going to show myself some grace and forgive myself for the slip ups. Although I’m disappointed with myself, I need to let that go. If a friend offered an apology to me for a slight, I would eagerly accept it and move forward. I must treat myself with the same respect.
Second, I’m going to pay attention to my thoughts, stress and anxiety levels. Am I having negative thoughts about myself and the world? Am I worried about the future? If so, I’m going to recognize those thoughts when they appear and I’m going to remind myself that just because I have a thought does not make it true. Noticing thoughts but not believing them is an important element of creating a positive mindset.
Finally, I’m going to set small, daily goals for myself and I’m going to track my progress. I came up with eight objectives that I will try to accomplish each day. They are not all easy, but definitely doable each day. These goals may not seem connected, but together they add up to me being a more productive person and that is my ultimate goal.
You may find yourself in a similar situation, making excuses. You may have stumbled since life changed dramatically in March. You too may be making excuses. Recognizing that you are doing this is an important step in getting yourself moving forward again.
Next, what is your ultimate goal? For example, do you want to get out of debt, or lose 30 pounds, or quit smoking, to name a few? The ultimate goal is the big goal. Well, you can’t just snap your fingers and reach the ultimate goal. There are many daily activities that go into accomplishing the ultimate goal. These small, daily steps are the roadmap that take you to your ultimate goal.
If you find yourself saying “I want to lose 30 pounds, but…” you are simply overwhelmed by the size of the goal. But if you tell yourself, “everyday this month I’m going to drink water instead of soda and I’m going to walk for 30 minutes a day”, you have just created two healthy daily habits that you should be able to accomplish each day. Two healthy habits are great first steps to losing 30 pounds. Now your focus has shifted from losing 30 pounds, to smaller habits. And you don’t have to stop at two activities per day. You can add more. But I wouldn’t recommend adding too many at once, especially if these are big changes to your lifestyle.
It is important that when you make promises to yourself that you keep and honor them! I doubt that you are the type of person to go back on promises you make to friends or family. Why then is it okay for you to renege on commitments you make to yourself?
If you need more assistance in this area, I have created a monthly habit tracker. Please contact email@example.com for more information.