Barriers vs. Excuses

Let’s be honest. Sometimes things get in the way of that healthy lifestyle you’re envisioning.
We all know that life happens. Someone gets sick, there’s a snowstorm, a job change, a minor hairstyle emergency. The list goes on.
Any plan or habit that you put in place has to fit around the idea that life is never perfect and that’s okay.
Barriers are situations or circumstances that get in the way of you pursuing your ideal plan.
Barriers have come up before and will continue to come up because that’s how life is. Barriers can prevent you from starting something. Or they can prevent you from continuing something.
But only if you let them. Barriers can be circumvented with some creativity. 
Excuses make you stop or never start. A barrier can become an excuse, but it doesn’t have to.
In your mind, you can easily turn a barrier into an excuse. (i.e. My kid screams when I take her to the gym daycare, so I guess I can’t exercise).
What to do about it.
These situations are real and you can’t always change them. But you can choose to look at them differently.
There are lots of emotions tied up in hitting a barrier because it may feel like a failure.
Emotions are good. Feel your feelings. Then take a deep breath, step back and look at the facts.
Separating the facts from the feelings can give you a clear picture of what went wrong and how to adjust your path. (i.e. I can go to the gym at a time when I don’t have to bring my kid with me. Or I can try a different type of exercise routine that doesn’t involve going to the gym.)
Just because one attempt to change a habit has not worked for you, it doesn’t mean that nothing will ever work. Recognizing what did not click for you will help you decipher what will.
Before you throw up your hands and commit yourself to a life of sitting on the couch crying into your ice cream, take a deep breath. Then start brainstorming.
Brainstorming is wonderful because everything is on the table – realistic or not. Write down everything you can think of. From there, it will be easier to identify the most doable solution.
Anything that is not going to fit in with your real life has a higher probability of turning into an excuse.
Be open-minded about your strategy. Be willing to look for all the options instead of making assumptions that your answer has to look a certain way.

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