Overcoming Excuses

Is this subject getting a little repetitive?

Physical activity is good for you! How much more evidence do you need to be convinced? Probably none!

It is more likely that you need to work out how to overcome the daily obstacles to acting on your best intentions rather than hear more research telling you that being active will add years to your live and life to your years (yes it can do both).

Instead of hearing more about how good it is for you to be active, you likely need to develop a management plan to overcome the barriers you face to doing the many things we know are good for you.

One of the key skills to this self-management plan is problem solving. The excuses we all make for not being active and really not excuses at all, they are simply problems that we experience along the way to long-term behaviour change – problems that we can become more skilled at solving.

The first step in problem solving is one of problem definition. Many people say that they have no time for activity. This problem needs more definition. On examination we may find that activity is simply a low priority in a busy day.

Many possible solutions can be generated, including a morning walk for a paper, a noon hour swim instead of the usual fast food lunch, and setting up a treadmill in front of the TV in the evening.

In the end, it may be that simply using a pedometer on a daily basis to monitor ‘incidental’ activity works to raise the awareness of the many opportunities we have presented to us during the day to move more.

In the end a solution is generated because the problem was more clearly defined, giving the person the ability to generate alternatives to overcoming the barriers that were preventing the intention of activity being realised. With a little practice we can all mange our own behaviour a little more successfully! Why don’t you try starting today?