Yesterday will be the last day you made an excuse. After this, you will have in hand the tool to enslave willpower and subjugate excuses. Not only will you no longer make excuses and cite lack of willpower, you will completely dominate the concepts. Annihilate, if you want. They no longer play a role in what you do or don't do.
Let us tackle wellness. Do you have a plan for wellness during a worst-case scenario?
That is, what specifically WILL you do on your most overbooked stressful week? If there’s no plan for this, then there is no plan. I guarantee an excuse is forthcoming until you rectify this.
It was no different when I managed large teams. It is no different when I coach people in senior executive roles. Among my repeated review questions with clients is, “how will you do that on an ‘impossible week’?”. We agree on a next step, an action item, a process goal. Cool. It could be meal prep. It could be Blue Zones. It could be daily walks. It could be tracking. It could be three-day-per-week workouts. All of it is ripe for excuses and "loss of willpower" until you thoroughly answer the next question. How will you do that plan when you wake up late, feel like crap, global pandemic hits, you remember you have an anniversary this weekend, you pull a hamstring, power goes out, car breaks down, kids get sick, etc.? If you don’t INSTANTLY have an answer for these and more, you’re planning on NOT doing it. It’s an impotent plan. It’s a non-plan. It's a plan for excuses.
When you want to accomplish anything, plan what you would do toward that end WHILE sick, injured, in pain, overwhelmed, unsupported, traveling, broke, caring for a health-failing family member or friend, during monsoon or snowstorm, unmotivated, uninspired, anxious, depressed, negative, and so on.
999 out of 1,000 times when I hear people talk about fitness endeavors, the forthcoming week they describe is a fantasy. When reality hits, there is no more practice. Excuses reign.
The obvious remedy is to plan as if the week will be almost impossible. That way, when challenges come, no big deal. When challenges are moderate or low, you thrive. There is no such thing as a challenge-less week. Please stop planning as if such a thing existed. Stop planning for excuses.
This is critical. People who are expecting or waiting to have a fantasy perfect week will never follow-through, because there is no such thing. There will always be a holiday, a weekend, a tweaked muscle, a low energy day, a life or work issue, and so forth. Always.
If you just examine basic holidays, weekends, and important dates for the people in your immediate circle, there are only about 5 blocks of 3-5 consecutive days per year that look anything like what people describe in their goal-setting for weight loss or for New Years resolutions. Part of the reason why popular fitness franchises pitch 4-to-12 week programs is because they’re counting on your NOT planning for what life looks like 9-to-11 months out of the year.
The people I’ve known to be most successful at anything, including fitness, don’t have ONE less stressor or barrier to success than those who are least successful. Usually, they have more. THE differentiator is what they will tolerate as a pretext to excuse themselves from their practice. And that takes a hard examination of how to incorporate health and wellness endeavors into a packed calendar, a low energy week, a high stress day, an overspent lifestyle.
Once you embrace this, you will have made your last excuse.