A lot of people want to eat healthier, exercise more and develop a well-balanced lifestyle. Sounds good, right? So what’s holding them back? Hint: it’s not about excuses.
Not Sure How (Uncertainty)
Lots of people say they don’t know how to achieve their goals: what steps to take, how to take them, in what order, and so on. The reality, however, is that no one really knows how to do anything until they actually do it. We are all making it up as we go along. This is a little secret of life – certainty is an illusion. There aren't always blueprints, guidelines or job duties to lead us. We just have to trust ourselves enough to take that next step without someone holding our hand the whole way.
I’m not saying some support and guidance aren’t helpful. In fact, I think they are tremendously valuable for building that basic trust in our own creative intelligence. But we ultimately must walk the path ourselves. If we wait for absolute certainty in everything we do, nothing will get done. Therefore, we can’t get stuck in a stage of worrying about what we want to do (hoping that this preparation will bring us greater certainty). We really need to just get started. A goal in motion is much easier to sustain that one that has only been contemplated. This is the law of inertia.
Not Enough Information
While this may have been a reasonable excuse last century, information is abundant in our wired society. We are practically drowning in it. Unless you’re looking for advice or data about an extremely obscure topic, I can guarantee a quick internet search will reveal something relevant to your goals. Want to learn how to meditate? There are numerous instructional videos online. Want to learn how to select and cook organic meals? Try reading one of hundreds natural or raw food blogs. Want to increase your flexibility? Find a free yoga or Pilates meet-up in your neighborhood. Information is out there. It’s a question of whether you want to take the time to find it.
Not Enough Time
We all have 24 hours in a day, no matter who we are, what we do, or where we live. Despite this fact, some people manage to get more done with the time they have. For most, this means multi-tasking, cutting back on sleep, and running around all day like a maniac, none of which I recommend for optimal health. Instead, being productive while maintaining a well-balanced life means shifting our focus from the quantity of time spent on a task to the quality of our attention, energy and investment. Aiming for high-quality experiences, no matter how brief, makes the most of the 24 hours allotted to all of us, even the time we spend asleep
For example, if your goal is weight loss, aim for a high-intensity 20-min bout of exercise and you will get the same if not better results than a lackadaisical 1hr on the elliptical. If your goal is to show more appreciation to your family, notice how a 15 minute conversation where you are truly present and engaged feels so much richer and more meaningful than an hour long family dinner where you are distracted and half-caring. Focus on the quality of your time and you’ll find that you might get more done and enjoy yourself more in the process.
About the writer: Jeffrey Siegel is a trainer, writer, teacher and perpetual student of human nature. As the founder of Integral Life Training, Jeff incorporates the best from neuroscience, psychology, exercise physiology, performance coaching and spiritual traditions to catalyze transformation and optimal health for all living beings.