Ok... I know I have young fans and readers so I will keep this PG and simply say, "excuses suck". As a Performance Coach, I hear a lot of them- Some are good, and some are bad, but they all suck. Now, I'm not saying that some excuses aren't 100% completely unavoidable. I understand that sometimes a father or mother is left to watch the kids and can't make it. I know that sometimes people get the flu, and to be honest, I wouldn't let you in my facility if you tried. That being said though, these excuses are rare and will typically be the only excuses I ever hear from a dedicated individual. Things like time, age, fitness level, and dare I say money, are never (EVER!) appropriate excuses for neglecting ones health. I've said many times, some of my best clients were the ones who had the least amount of time and money.
I like to use my best friend David "RoboCop" Chambers as an example in this situation. Dave is a single father, working a very underpaid job as a SWAT Officer. He has incredible debt, and no credit. His schedule is constantly changing, and he is often on call. Dave makes little money, and with bad credit, can typically only pay for what he can get with cash. When I first met Dave, he was overweight and unhealthy, but highly motivated. Dave had recently been in an altercation with a suspect that left him on the ground, grasping for air, and realizing his health had effected the responsibilities of his job. While Dave had every excuse that I often hear, readily available, I received none. In fact, at one time I had learned that he had recently had his cable and power turned off for a month, so that he could pay his gym rent- Never once did Dave ask for cheaper dues, or if he could pay me back later. I will admit that Dave's methods are a little extreme (which reflect the man), but as I like to say, "Great results require great effort".
Why excuses suck- Well, because in the majority of cases, they are just examples of ones own laziness or lack of commitment. Again, I understand that some (very few) excuses are truly unavoidable. Money is one of the top excuses I hear from individuals and is the one I hate the most. If you and your family have cut all unnecessary grocery expenses (drinks that aren't water, snack cakes, milk, bread, chips), eliminated all unnecessary leisure expenses (movies, dining out), cut out needless habits that cost money (smoking, dipping, alcohol) sold unused clothing and junk around your home, have been turned down for donating plasma, and are STILL unable to afford a gym membership, then you are an exception. Think these sound extreme? My gym is filled with individuals who have had to do all of the aforementioned in order to pay membership dues. Guess what? They're also my best clients. My most dedicated are rarely the ones with the most money and time on hand. Those who receive the greatest results are more often than not those who can barely find the time and money to make the commitment.
So, how can we take this negative topic and my previous paragraphs of verbal abuse, and use them to positively impact ourselves? First off, stop making excuses, and when you do, recognize that it sucks. No matter your excuse, ask yourself if there is any true way to avoid it, even if it means discomfort... If there is a way, understand that you are making a conscious effort to go AGAINST your goals by making it. If your excuses are legitimate, try to sit down and discover if there exists a way to eliminate them. Maybe to rid yourself of an excuse means you must have a yard sale or start penny pinching. Perhaps cutting off the cable... If time is an issue that you know is keeping you from reaching your best, look at ways you can increase your time by possibly cutting out things less important. It's times like these I will always be able to tell those who want it from those who want to talk about it.
If the aforementioned offends you, don't take it as a personal attack at who you are, but rather an attack at who you are being. As in all things, we can change WHO we are by changing HOW we are. So, if your toes are sore from my stomping, I hope you can use this article to motivate you to do better, and be better... We are human beings. We were created to do amazing things and are complicated creatures. Never underestimate what you are capable of and never accept less than your best!