I’ve got this personal mantra: “The debate doesn’t matter, all that matters is the end result.”
You see, there are a million and one ways out there to justify why you can’t live a healthy lifestyle.
And every single one of them is completely valid. They’re not excuses!
Seriously, I’m not trying to trick you:
- You are allowed to say “I don’t like going to the gym, so I’m not going to go.” That’s acceptable.
- You are allowed to say “I hate eating vegetables, so I’m not going to eat them.” That’s also acceptable.
- You are allowed to say “I would rather stay up late on my phone or watching TV than get a good night’s sleep.” You are a grown up, you can have a bedtime of whenever you want.
The catch is… the consequences of not going to gym, not eating vegetables, and not getting enough sleep are also completely valid.
Example: I’m not a surfer.
I’m not a surfer.
It sure as heck looks super fun, I love being active and outdoors, and I live right by the sea.
But I can think of hundreds of reasons to explain why I’m not a surfer. For starters, that water is freaking cold and the salt water makes my skin dry. So no thank you, it’s not for me.
That’s perfectly OK right?
Well, it is for me, because I don’t want or need to be a surfer. So, the end result (not being a surfer) isn’t much of a problem.
But, if my health, livelihood, or happiness was relying on me being a surfer, then I would be in big trouble.
If that was the case, I would have to brave the cold and learn to deal with the salt water. Those perfectly valid reasons suddenly become rather insignificant compared to being killed early by obesity or heart disease, or being unemployed, or being depressed.
What is your “surfing”?
For many people, “surfing” is their “going to gym” or “eating healthily” or “getting enough sleep” or “managing their stress”.
They find all these perfectly valid reasons for them not to do it.
But, if that’s the case for you, then you are in big trouble.
Just because you can find valid reasons for not doing something, doesn’t mean you get away free of the consequences.
- Yes, it sucks.
- Yes, you are tired.
- Yes, you have FOMO.
- Yes, there is peer pressure.
- Yes, you just want to let loose or relax.
- Yes, it’s unfair that it’s so easy for some and so hard for you.
All of that debate is perfectly valid. Congratulations, you are an expert debater. You win.
Or do you?
- What’s the alternative?
- What are the consequences?
- What’s the end result?
If you are debating your way out of doing something important, the end result is probably undesirable.
So what should you do about it?
Most people spend too much time focusing on “this is a good reason why I can’t do XYZ.”
My advice is to spend more time focusing on “this will be the consequence if I don’t do XYZ, even if I have a good reason.”
You are still allowed to skip out on your health and fitness habits or behaviours. You absolutely do not have to be perfect!
I still skip workouts, eat burgers, have late nights, and work myself into a stressed-up knot from time to time. However, it happens very rarely because I’m so aware of what the consequences of those actions are.
And the times that I do skip out on my health and fitness habits or behaviours? I make sure to get back on track ASAP and not let it snowball into something much bigger than it needs to be (like missing a healthy meal on a Friday night leading to a weekend-long binge, for example).