Help for Procrastination

by Gina Paulhus, Owner of Home Bodies

1. Make a list of excuses you have come up with in the past to eat poorly or miss a workout. Really rack your brain—the average person can come up with at least ten.

2. Make two columns on a piece of paper. Group the excuses you came up with into two categories: “Legitimate excuses” and “Illegitimate excuses.” Make sure you give some thought as to which group your excuse belongs in, because you will have to stick to your choice if you find yourself trying to use the excuse one of these days. In the future, if you find yourself with a “reason” to miss a workout, you can check to see if your excuse is a valid one in your eyes. For example, let’s say that you group “I have a fever” as a legitimate excuse and “I am behind on household chores” as an illegitimate excuse. If you find yourself trying to use a legitimate excuse not to work out in the future, you still need to get that workout in at some point during your week, but you may permit yourself to reschedule it. If you try to use one of your illegitimate excuses, you are going to need to reassess whether having a fit, healthy body is important to you or not. If you decide that it is, your illegitimate excuse just won’t fly.

Make sure you tackle your excuses for eating poorly too. Examples include, “It’s a holiday and I’m going to indulge” and, “I’m too tired to make anything tonight, so I think I’ll order pizza.” Which excuses will be legitimate and which will be illegitimate?

3. A surefire way to make sure all your workouts get done is to schedule them ahead of time. If you have to miss one due to a legitimate excuse, you may permit yourself to make it up at a future time or date. Strive to maintain your commitment to a certain number of workouts per week or month and a certain level of healthy eating, barring the most extenuating of circumstances. If for some reason you miss too much time to make up the workouts, just resume your schedule as normal. In the big picture, as long as you get yourself back on track, missed workouts aren’t a big deal. The ultimate key to fitness is to maintain as much consistency as possible over the long run. The reason I encourage trying to make up missed workouts is so that you won’t feel like you can avoid working out by putting it off. Oftentimes you’ll find that you can fit your workout in after all if you just get creative, since it seems like even more of a pain to figure out how you can fit it in later on.

It’s amazing how drastically your hierarchy of priorities can change when you create a different set of rules for yourself. Your rules should be based on what you want most in life. You don’t need anyone forcing you to do your workouts and eat right, nor should you have to force yourself. You just need to understand that certain goals are going to require certain actions to get you there. There really is no “free lunch.” If you really do want that great body, you need to do the work to get it. The rules you have for maintaining your health and fitness are simply the vehicles that allow you to get what you want out of life. Workouts and healthy meals are not to be resented. If it really seems that bad, it probably won’t be worth it to you. However, if you decide that you really do want to tone up, get healthier, and feel better, you need to resign yourself to the fact that it’s going to require some effort!Keep in mind, too, that you will have rest days built into your schedule, and you’ll get to enjoy “vacations” from dieting and exercising. These periods of downtime are actually an important part of your overall progress. The danger

I’m addressing here and now is missing scheduled workouts. While missing one workout might not seem like much, missing a workout is the number-one precursor to a person giving up on a program. One missed session turns into two, two into three, and so on. Even if you don’t allow yourself to slide downhill, you still don’t want to miss any workouts. You’ll only be falling behind in your journey toward your ultimate goal, and perhaps more importantly, you’ll stop taking your goals so seriously. And I promise you, letting yourself down and not protecting your hopes and dreams for yourself is far more painful than any exercise you may do in the gym.

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