by Catherine Censor
When it comes to getting fit, are you your own worst enemy? Are you an 'I would, but...' person? Do you find yourself thinking, 'I would go to the gym, but I'm too busy'? Or, 'I would stick to my diet, but the cafeteria doesn't serve healthy choices'? If this sounds like you, it's time for an attitude adjustment. Although it seems like the 'buts' are out of our control, they're really nothing more than excuses we make up in our heads. If you sit down and think about the 'buts' stopping you from reaching your diet and fitness goals, you'll realise they're completely possible to overcome
And luckily, getting out of your own way is easier than you think. Get started by trying this exercise that Heidi Michaels, a certified life coach (or 'motivational specialist'), uses to help her clients get through their roadblocks. The first step is simple: List your goal. Next, list all the reasons why you have been unable to reach your goal (this is where your 'buts' belong). Put down everything that's stopping you, no matter how tiny or silly it looks on paper. Now, take each obstacle and brainstorm eight ways you could work around it. These ideas don't have to be practical or even realistic - anything goes! For example, you could list, 'I could quit my job so I would have plenty of time to work out.' For now, being realistic isn't important. What is important is listing at least eight ideas. When you're done, look over your solutions. Chances are, some of them will actually make sense.
We'll try one together. Let's say your goal is to exercise for 45 minutes five days a week. One possible obstacle might be a typical workweek. My list of reasons why I can't reach my goal might include: 'I don't have 45 minutes a day to work out.' My list of solutions might read:
Get up an hour earlier so I can work out before heading to the office, and go to bed an hour earlier so I'm not exhausted
Divide my workout between my lunch break and my time at home
Get a workout DVD and exercise before bed instead of watching TV
Borrow my sister's exercise bike
Bring a packed lunch so I can spend more time at the gym
Build exercise into my weekends so I only have to worry about it on three days during the workweek
Turn the living room into an exercise room
Say no to one daily commitment so I can get to an aerobics class at the gym
See - that wasn't so bad, right? Obviously, not all of these solutions are going to work. Turning the living room into an exercise room isn't exactly fair to the family, but borrowing an exercise bike might be genuinely helpful. No matter how off-the-wall your solutions are, at least you've opened yourself up to new possibilities. So stop backing out and get a great backside.