Today is the start of Lent in which many Christians commit to fasting or giving up certain types of luxury as a form of penitence. Religious or not, I invite you to use this event as a day to give up something else that has been holding you back; excuses. We think of excuses as being truths that pardon our behavior, but in reality they are just reasons that we give to make us feel better about not doing what we know we should.
Until the end of March (and hopefully beyond) bust those excuses you normally dish out and start to creating healthy habits. Too tired to workout? Go for a less intense workout like walking or a game of frisbee. Feeling sick? Recuperate with healthy foods and do some gentle stretches to stay limber and move the toxins around. Too busy to exercise? Take the ten minutes that you would spend surfing the web and do some push-ups, crunches, or marching in place at your desk. Take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator. Want to buy that pastry that you “deserve” because you just worked out? Reach for a parfait or fruit cup instead so that you don’t negate the good work you just put into your body.
Don’t let your mind get in the way of your goals. The next time you want to reach for an excuse, reach for your workout gear instead. Just remember “Ain’t nothin’ to it, but to do it.” Maya Angelou had it right, don’t make healthy eating and healthy living more of an affair than it needs to be. Before your mind has a chance to talk you out of it, take the small steps now to get huge rewards later. Get the healthy food options, get off the bus a few stops early and walk, and push yourself a little further each day.
I hope you accept my invitation to be excuse-free for the next forty days and see what positive benefits result. I’m in, are you?