All Entries For excuse busters
It’s pretty clear that progress towards any important goal goes a lot better when you can maintain a positive state of mind. Positive goals, positive (but realistic) expectations, and positive self-talk all help us stay motivated and survive the inevitable setbacks and disappointments we experience.
But there are also plenty of times when “happy talk” just doesn’t get the job done. We all do things that are just plain...well, let’s just say they aren’t very well thought out. When that happens, it doesn’t always make a lot of sense to just pat yourself on the back and say, “Don’t worry, you’ll do better next time.”
In order to learn from our mistakes and avoid repeating them, we also need to take an honest look at what went wrong, and point out to ourselves exactly how and why we are contributing to our own problems. And we need to do it in a way that will help us remember this lesson before we act the next time the problem comes up.
In my line of work, we call this Toughlove, and there’s definitely an art to it, whether you’re delivering the toughlove to yourself (OK for amateurs) or to someone else (recommended only for seasoned experts with martial arts skills and/or a good lawyer). Done poorly, toughlove can and usually does cause more problems than it solves. But done well, it can be very effective, so it’s definitely worth learning how to do it to yourself the right way.
Probably the best way to illustrate the art of toughlove is by looking at a very common problem that often responds better to a little self-administered toughlove than to happy talk…
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From time to time, we've all let our excuses get the best of us. Willpower can only last so long, and sometimes, the craziness of this thing called LIFE simply wins against our desires to eat right or exercise. If you're reading this, maybe you've let an excuse or two get in the way of your healthy lifestyle goals recently. If you're ready for your goals and dreams to take priority and win against even your toughest excuses, look no further.
I've heard every excuse for not making health a priority. In fact, I've used many of them myself over the years! But more often than not, I talk back to my excuses—and win.
The next time a "but" gets in the way of your goals, change your thoughts to one of these NEW phrases to regain control and stay on track. Read More ›
We all have the days where we plan to work out and know that we should, but when it's time to lace up your shoes and go…You. Just. Don't. Wanna.
I have those days, too, but when I remind myself how GOOD exercise makes me feel, and how it will help me reach my goals, I generally suck it up and do it anyway. Getting started really is the hardest part. Once you get going, you're generally glad you did. And when it's over, you feel even better.
But some people have less willpower or dedication. Some give in to the temptation to skip exercise too easily. While that's fine once in a while, it can become a hard habit to break if you skip out on your workouts too often.
So recently, I polled members of SparkPeople.com, America's No. 1 fitness and healthy living community, asking what THEY do to motivate themselves when they don't feel like exercising. Let me tell you: These people are a creative bunch. The next time you feel less-than-enthusiastic about your upcoming exercise session, take their advice. Here are 40 things you can do (or think about) to get your workout motivation back—and get moving. Read More ›
We’re officially into the busy holiday season, but that’s no reason to let your workouts get away from you. Next time you feel like skimping on exercise to hit the mall or bake another batch of cookies remember this: It doesn't take much to get a great workout.
That's why I designed this excuse-proof workout. You can do this simple, 6-minute circuit anytime (it's whisper quiet), anywhere (no gym required) and without any equipment. All that and it'll sculpt your body from head to toe, too. Read More ›
When the temperature drops, so can your motivation to get outside and get moving. So how do you resist the temptation to stay curled up under a blanket until spring arrives? According to a poll of SparkPeople.com members, 76% of exercisers have a hard time staying motivated in the winter.
I’m no exception, especially when it gets dark so early. But keeping a consistent routine helps me avoid holiday weight gain and deal with stress during this chaotic time of year.
If you are dreading the cold, you can't always blame the weather. Your attitude and approach go a long way, too. Winter doesn’t have to be a time to abandon your regular workout routine if you’ve got a good plan in place. Here's how to stay comfortable exercising outside—and adjust your plan when getting outdoors just isn’t feasible. Read More ›
Do you ever get tired of hearing people say that no excuse is a good excuse? If you aren’t exercising on as consistently as you'd like to, it could be because you have some real obstacles—not just excuses—holding you back.
So what should you do when you really can’t exercise?
Here are three, get-started-now action steps to help you overcome some serious fitness obstacles. Read More ›
As much as I love fall, I don't love the darkness that comes with it. It's already getting darker earlier each night, and it's staying dark even when I wake up in the morning. I am not a fan of that!
It's hard enough to be a morning person and wake up to work out, but when the moon is still out when your alarm goes off, forget about it! Then again, if you hit snooze and wait to work out after work, you might be faced with the same problem.
I will admit that it's not easy for me to get up and be gung ho for a workout session. I am not and never will be a morning person. It's hard for me to wake up just about every day. But I do manage to stick to my morning workouts (most days anyway). And no, I don't have super human powers …which means you can do it, too. Here's how. Read More ›
Not everyone enjoys exercising, but it doesn't have to be that way. You CAN learn to love exercise! I know some of you may be thinking to yourself that I'm crazy and that there is no way that you will ever learn to love exercise, but it really can happen.
For anyone who knew me before joining SparkPeople and going on my journey to better health, they probably would have told you that I didn't like exercise. Back then they would have been right, but I have changed that mindset. Now I honestly can say that I enjoy exercising. But how did I change my dislike for exercise? Well, what worked for me was trying various exercises and activities until I found what I liked to do. If you find something that you enjoy doing, or at least that you don't mind doing, then you are more likely to start to enjoy exercise and look forward to it. Any time I hear anyone say that they don't like to exercise, I always recommend they try a new exercise or activity. That usually helps them enjoy working out and sometimes even love exercising.
Planning ahead is a common key ingredient to a successful story, no matter what the goal may be. Having a plan will not only help you reach your goal(s), but it can help you stay on track with your goal(s) a lot easier. Something that I have experienced and greatly believe in is having a plan, along with having alternative plans for those times of "just in case." Similarly, Coach Nicole has blogged about developing a Plan B, which has helped numerous people, including myself when times get busy or tough. I'm sure many of you have experienced those times when unexpected things come up and catch you completely off guard. When you have a plan, plan B, and maybe even a plan C, you are more likely to stick with your goal(s), which will make you happier in the end and you will have given yourself a perfect recipe for success.
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This summer, take some time to rev up your workout. Make a new playlist and clean up your exercise equipment. Renew that gym membership. Take time to find fitness opportunities, because there are a lot of them! Here are ten fun suggestions, some for the mobile and some for the less mobile.
- Take some wild pictures of yourself doing active things for your Spark Page. Snap a few photos of yourself acting silly and running through the sprinkler with the kids, playing tag or walking the long treks of a zoo or amusement park. Get the souvenir photo where everyone is screaming on their way down on the ride!
- Aqua-cise. Yes, water is the perfect place to go for a low impact ouch-less workout and it's fun, too. Check with your local YMCA for lower-fee classes or even with your doctor to see if some classes are covered by insurance for a particular physical issue you may be having. Often times they will be covered under water physical therapy. Still, even without a class, water is a blast to play and work out in. I love going to water parks. The swimming and the balancing combined with the walking make it a great workout. Read More ›
I've heard every excuse in the book and even tried some of them myself. Exercise…who needs it? You do! Here are some of the best excuses ever to skip a workout. Let's see how great they really are!
I'm in horrible shape.
That may be true, so if that's the way you want to remain, don't work out today. People who are in shape get that way by exercising. Regularly. No, they were not born with six packs.
I don't like it.
I don't like a lot of things—flossing my teeth, waking up to an alarm, paying bills—but I still do them. Be the mature grownup that you are and do the things you know you should or have to do even if you don't like them. A lot of things worth doing aren't always fun or enjoyable. (And hey, if I can learn to love vegetables, you can learn to love/like/tolerate exercise.)
I can't afford it.
Your body is yours and moving it is generally free unless you want to get all fancy. Here are 25 ways to get fit for $25 or less (many of them free), plus over 50 free workout videos. Better yet, just get out the door and walk.
I don't want to mess up my hair.
What is really more important: How your hair looks or how your body looks, feels and performs? Read More ›
When you look at your day, how much of it is spent sitting or being sedentary? For a lot of people the answer to that is most of their day. Many people might find that they spend 8+ hours sitting at work and then come home and sit some more, whether it is to watch TV or for some other sedentary activity. We then go to bed and sleep the rest of the time. That’s a lot of time spent each day being sedentary!
So what can we do that has the biggest impact on our health to help counterbalance all that sedentary activity? Dr. Mike Evans, an Associate Professor of Family Medicine and Public Health at the University of Toronto, and a staff physician at St. Michael's Hospital, created a video to help us learn what the best thing we can do for our health.
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How do you fit in the ideal amounts of cardio, strength training, stretching, balance exercises, and core training—without living in the gym?
Well, you could do multiple workouts a day: Cardio in the morning, Pilates at night. Strength training the next day and a yoga workout before bed. Or you could do one really long workout per day, such as 30 minutes on the elliptical followed by 30 minutes of full-body weight training (stretching each time, of course). While both of these options will work, they also take a whole lot of time. And when "lack of time" is number one on the list of excuses people cite for not exercising, I'll give you one guess how far longer and more frequent workouts will get you.
How about we all start working out smarter instead of harder? When you combine the right elements of cardio, strength-training and flexibility into a single workout, you're in and out of the gym in half the time—and still getting the results you crave. Read More ›
Editor's note: This is part 1 of a four-part series. Come back each Monday in January for a new dose of motivation from Jerome, who reclaimed his life and lost 100 pounds using SparkPeople!
According to various dictionaries, the word asleep has several definitions:
Adverb: 1. into a dormant or inactive state. 2. Into the state of death.
Adjective: 1. Sleeping 2. Numb and lastly dead.
There are many people who are completely asleep when it comes to living.
I am not talking about physically lying in bed, eyes closed all day. I am speaking to all those folks who are crazy busy all day. Busy with distractions that disconnect them from memorable conversations, meaningful activities, and mindful eating. Folks who are so busy making it through each day that each week blurs into the next. Don’t get me wrong. We all have crazy weeks. A million things to get done. It is when these day and weeks stretch into months and even years, that we begin to sleep through life. Denial sets in, and we no longer even realize we have stopped living. Denial is an ugly word that means refusing to recognize, acknowledge or believe.
I hear from many members of SparkPeople who joined to help not only themselves but their loved ones as well. Many I hear from are wives who are trying to help their husbands. Some are mothers trying to help their sons, others are siblings trying to help a brother. Read More ›