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What is your Excuse?

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New Year fitness resolutions and failures are the most common of all resolutions.

Resolutions focused on weight loss, eating better or getting in shape are quickly ended when hit by the wall of excuses. With every new year comes the same resolutions and the same excuses.

I’ve heard many excuses when it comes to why someone missed a workout or made a poor choice for a meal. I’ve put together a list of the most common excuses I’ve received over the years as a coach. Reading a list like this they might seem lame or weak but these are the excuses we tell others and ourselves on a daily basis and are often the seeds of our fitness failures.

Have you ever used one of these?

• I have no time

• I got off work late

• School/studying

• I’m too busy

• My alarm didn’t go off

• It’s raining

• It’s too cold

• It’s too hot

• It’s windy

• Working late and trying to keep a semblance of a dinner time for my family

• I don’t want to/can’t take time away from family

• My kids are sick.

• I can’t afford it

• I travel so much, I can’t keep a regular schedule

• I don’t know where to start

• I don’t have the right gear or clothes

• I am too old

• My car won’t start

• I’m too stressed

• My training partner is injured, so I missed my workout.

For the time-related excuses, you need to understand where you are spending your time and then work out a way to fit in exercise. If it’s really important to you, then you should be able to find time somewhere in your day, even if it’s when you’d usually be asleep. We all have the same amount of time; the key is how we choose to spend it.

For those who complain about weather, it is quite rare that it is ever perfect. Proper clothing for outdoors or use of indoor facilities can eliminate these excuses.

When it comes to family, friends, finances and travel, it’s important to communicate clearly, discuss possible compromises and have a plan in place.

Look at schedules and get the family active and involved with you. As far as finances, there are plenty of things you can do for free or within a limited budget. The bigger question is can you afford not to do it? People tend to find plenty of money for daily coffee or weekly wine. Travel is really never a good excuse because there are many exercises you can do in your hotel room. Plenty of hotels have good gyms.

While workout partners are important, they should never be used as an excuse for not exercising. Focus on your goals and training schedule, not your partner’s.

When you don’t know where to begin or have an age-related excuse, the best thing to do is start moving. Go for a walk around the block. A pair of shoes and any kind of comfortable clothing is suitable for exercise.

When people use the too old excuse, I think it means they are out of shape. They expect to perform at the same level as they did when they were fit (or younger). They don’t think they have to get back in shape, which takes time.

I am turning 40 this year. Can I start using that as an excuse?

Lastly, exercise is a way to relieve stress. This is the worst excuse so just don’t use it.

We all have reasons why we can’t take better care of our bodies, whether it’s time, our ‘situation,’ an old injury or that we don’t know where to start. If you are serious, tackle your goal like you would any other. There are, of course, genuine reasons, not excuses, when life gets in the way. Everyone has different obstacles, but ask yourself “If I am going to let this get in the way of achieving my goal?”

Start small, be consistent, and enjoy the process.

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