Do excuses control your life? -

Do excuses control your life?

Do excuses control your life?

If I’ve learned one thing as a personal trainer it’s this… The margin between achieving a goal vs. not achieving that goal is measured in the number of excuses you allow yourself to make for why you CAN’T do something.


It’s probably said best by the old saying, “Excuses are like ***-holes, everyone has one and they all STINK!”  It’s funny at first. But today I challenge you to look yourself in the mirror and ask yourself if you’ve ever made an excuse for something you know you needed to do. Chances may be that you are making an excuse for something in your life right now! I’m willing to guess that about 65% of Arizona is making an excuse for the same thing right now. Our weight. Why 65%? According to a report from the Arizona Department of Health Services in December (2011), 65% of the adult population of Arizona is either overweight or obese.* When I first read that…wow. That number is quite startling to be honest. Then I realized something. 

That number is an opportunity… that number represents the possibility for change. It would be one thing if 65% of Arizonans were suffering from an unknown deadly bacteria with no cure, but that is not the case. This statistic is very reversible and we can definitely fix it. The problem right now is we let our excuses outweigh our selves.

Every day I speak with people who tell me “I want to get healthier and start working out but...”   followed by a plethora of excuses that I think people honestly believe are unique. Most recently, I met someone who is knocking on death’s door when it comes to the amount of obesity related health issues they suffer from. This person knew a change is needed, but when I asked if they are willing to begin taking small steps to save their life their response was “I can’t afford to be healthy, I don’t make much money.” That statement struck me as odd, and it’s not just because I’m a fitness professional. You CAN’T afford to be healthy, or WON’T? I’ll admit I don’t know every one’s specific situation, but from where the facts stand, you can’t afford NOT to be. Over $2,000,000,000 was spent in Arizona on morbid-obesity related hospital stays in 2010 alone.* (Yes, for all of us straining our eyes, that’s 2 BILLION dollars, just in Arizona.) At this point in time, we are letting our excuses win. The good news is, if there is a winner, there must also be a loser...ever heard of rooting for the underdog?

Again, this statistic is a tremendous opportunity for growth! We CAN stop allowing our excuses to defeat us. We must first take accountability for our situation, realize a change is needed, and persist in the direction of a better tomorrow not allowing anything to knock us off our course.  Maybe you don’t think you are strong enough to overcome your excuses, but that’s just in your head. Others believe in you. You can start chipping away at the list of excuses any day you want. In fact, you and ONLY you, have the power to eliminate those excuses. Don’t wait for others to accept the changes you want to make. Decide that you deserve better and BE the change you want to see in your life!

People who achieve their goals and do great things in this world don’t just wake up one morning with the perfect attitude, the right situation, and the best support system around them. They are constantly faced with negativity and potential excuses for why their goal is unachievable or a waste of time and effort. They live in this society too. Successful people take accountability for their situation, take control back from negativity, and start acting on life, instead of letting life act on them. I’m not going to lie, this process isn’t easy and it does take consistent practice… (This is where I’d add “if it was easy, it wouldn’t be worth it”) but to lose weight successfully, and keep it off, you have to take control of self-defeating thoughts and stop making excuses for your lack of confidence. You’re making an excuse because you don’t think you can do it, and making an excuse isn’t doing you ANY good. Excuses only do one thing; they stop us from becoming the person we dream of becoming.

The difference between people who achieve a goal they set out to achieve and those who don’t isn’t that some peoples’ lives are easier. It’ simple… people who achieve goals don’t allow anything, anyone, or any excuse to get in their way. Self doubt and excuses have a short stay in the mind for someone who reaches goals. The big question is do you want to reach your goals?

I’ll leave you with this: Next time you have a thought about something you’d like to do or to have (lose weight, time to play with your kids, be confident in a swim suit, smile more often) think about something you can DO to take a step closer to that dream. Start with just one thing. Regain control of your thought and tell yourself it IS possible. Napoleon Hill is considered to have influenced more people into success than any other person in history. One of his most famous teachings is derived from this quote, “Whatever your mind can conceive and believe, it can Achieve.”

It doesn’t matter if you want to lose 10 lbs before swim suit season or you need to lose 200 lbs to be around for your children, YOU CAN DO IT. Make the decision to change your life today and persist without exception. Commit to conquering your excuses and transforming your negative self-talk into positive self-talk. This doesn’t mean you will never stumble, or meet temporarily failure along the way.  It means that when you stumble, you won’t set up camp and stay down there. Excuses and obstacles are only barriers between where you are now and where you goal takes you. Commit to breaking through those barriers EVERYDAY and start moving in the direction of your dreams. Persist. Without exception.


*Arizona Department of Health Services. Article: Obesity Epidemic. December 2011.