I recently saw two guys talking to each other in the gym, and one was complaining about his lack of results while the other guy gave him a pep talk.
One guy was saying to the other, “man, I’m just not getting the results I hoped I’d get.”
And the other one replied, “are you eating right, like I told you?”
The first one responded, “Ehh, I just don’t have the time and the energy, it takes a lot of time to cook, and I just got a new job and I’m working a lot…”
The other guy cut him off and was like, “Dude, if you don’t cut the crap and get rid of the excuses, you’re not going to get anywhere.”
Even though I guarantee the first guy didn’t find this conversation enjoyable, his buddy did him a favor: he shut down his “#1” as I like to call it.
Shutting down your #1 is getting rid of your #1 excuse for not eating right, exercising, or achieving your goals.
And there’s actually a very simple process to figure out your #1 self sabotage narrative (if you don’t know it yet), and overcome it.
How to Cut the Crap and Actually Get Fit
How to Figure Out Your #1 Self-Sabotage Narrative
Consistently, I find that each of us tends to have one main theme holding us back on a day to day basis.
It’s easy to think that it’s extremely complicated, but like most things, I’ve found it to be quite simple and it’s typically one of the following:
I don’t have time.
I don’t have the energy to do it.
I’m not really sure what to do and can’t figure out how to squeeze this into my busy schedule.
So the first step is to really figure out what your self sabotage narrative is, before you can actually re-write it and change things.
Step #1: Figure Out The Inner Story
Here’s the painful truth about changing habits: I (or anyone else) can give you all the information in the world, but unless you control the inner game, nothing will change.
For example, any of us can google, “how do I lose weight?”and get 500 million search results ranging from the “Alien Plankton” diet, to cleanses that involve pooping ten times a day, and anything in between.
Which one works?
It’s almost never a question of which diet works – because even if you had the perfect roadmap to losing 20 pounds, doing it is much harder in reality.
How do you do it when you get discouraged? When you don’t see results? When you aren’t enjoying the process? When the scale goes UP instead of down?
The first step is to track the thoughts that come into your head when you don’t do a habit that you planned to do.
Anytime you planned to exercise, to cook, to avoid junk food – what are you repeatedly thinking when you DON’T do that?
Oh man, I’m supposed to exercise now? It’s already 6:30, and I’m just leaving the office now. I have tons of crap to take care of when I get home. This won’t work.
Maybe it’s energy.
Ugh, I feel like crap. Let me collapse on this couch really quick before dinner and I’ll figure it out later. Just 10 more minutes.
Maybe it’s something else, like not knowing what to do.
Okay, gym time. What am I really even supposed to do there, though? Weights? Cardio? One of those rubber band things? Crossfit? A spin class? I’m not really sure… let me google this today, put together a plan, and go next week.
In less than a week, you’ll almost always see the same few things come up.
Step #3: Use Affirmations to Fix That Narrative
Now you’ve got your #1 excuse figured out.
And now I want you to write out a statement that shares the exact opposite of your excuse.
So if time is the real barrier to you actually taking action, here’s one thing you could write:
My schedule is busy, but I have more than enough time to create a breakfast, to go to the gym even if it’s 30 minutes, and do all the things I need to do to lose weight.
If it’s energy that’s stopping you, here’s another example:
I realize that I don’t have a lot of energy on most days, but I can still find a way to do an easy workout (10 minutes), go for a walk, or make a green smoothie in the morning.
And if it’s not knowing what to do, you could write out something like this:
I’m confused about a lot of things that I can potentially do to lose weight, but I’m going to pick a few habits anyway and start trying them out today.
You would be shocked how well this stuff works for re-programming that negative internal talk, barriers and excuses. The other benefit of this is that the more you become aware of the internal B.S. going on that’s sabotaging you, the more conscious of it you become in general.
I actually write it, review it, say it out loud in the morning and in the evening when possible.
Now, you’re up. Which of these narratives and excuses is the most common for you?