Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Why Excuses Are The Enemy Of Progress

Hi Everyone

I haven't blogged in forever, since ummm July, aka five months, two photoshoots, approximately 150 workouts, more clients than I can remember, three trips to Barcelona, one trip to Cancun and a birthday ago (heres a few pics to summarise).

Basically loads has happened. Since going self employed and leaving my work in PR, I am never ever in front of a computer. My blogging has gone down the toilet. I'm constantly in my studio, in my car in my gym, or on holiday... and none of these give me a chance to sit down and type.

Actually. That's a lie. Really i'm just making excuses. Instead of spending hours scrolling on instagram or wasting my time on crap, I should have been here, writing, being productive.

So last week I had enough of my own excuses and decided to pro-actively go out and buy a desk. And a chair. And a little desk lamp. And I set myself up a workstation (I figure if I have a workstation then I really have to do work admin type work). So here I am a couple of days later, writing a blog again, hopefully I can start as I mean to go on.

Today I want to talk about making excuses. As you saw above I made excuses about why I hadn't blogged. I made an excuse basically because I didn't want to look lazy...(see how even now i'm making an excuse about making an excuse - it's really that easy).

'He that is good for making excuses, is seldom good for anything else' - Benjamin Franklin

Unfortunately, we are humans and this is human nature. We all make excuses. We make excuses for things we do. We make excuses for things we don't do. We make excuses for other people. We make excuses for bad behaviour, lazy behaviour, pretty much everything in between.

For example, I'm late. I'm a late person. I was late to primary school (blame my health freak mum who made us walk the mile to school even though we had a car). I was then late to secondary school (and had detention every single day because of it). I was late to college and put on warnings the whole two years I was there. I was late to university. I was late to work, then my next work, then my work after that.
I'm often 5 minutes kate to my clients (I'm sorry you know I love you all). My friends know I will be late, my family know I will be late, my ex knew I would be late, my colleagues knew I would be late. Yet I still, despite 27 years of lateness, try and make excuses for my lateness. Sometimes my excuses are true, often they are exaggerated. There was traffic, there was bad weather, missed my train. Bla bla bla. It's all crap. The truth is if I organised my life and left earlier I would be on time and that's as simple as it is.

My punctuality is a flaw in my personality. I know this and I need to work on it instead of making excuses. Most people who know me in life generally (I like to think), consider me quite a 'real' person. I say things as I see them, I always try my best to be honest, often to the point where I might hurt your feelings (sorry). So why do I think it's ok to bullshit about my punctuality, or other flaws in my personality? I guess partly for other people, so they aren't too annoyed at me. Partly for myself, to make me not look like such a 'bad' person. I also guess just because that's what we do, we are humans and it is a common habit to make excuses when we know we're slacking, and in turn it makes us feel better about ourselves.

We pick up bad habits, then make excuses for the bad habits rather than actually facing the truth and changing the situation. I used to smoke cigarettes and I made the excuse that I was just a social smoker, even though by this point I had started to smoke every day. I used to make excuses for someone close to me's behaviour. It's because of this, it's because of that, it's because of me... when really, the more excuses I made the worse the behaviour got.
Excuses become a way to get away with something that we know is wrong, but still feel ok with ourselves when we go to sleep at night.

So... why does this relate to health and fitness? Because as a personal trainer I see people make excuses all the time. My clients. My family. My friends. Randoms. I swear, since becoming a personal trainer I hear it 24/7. If I bump into anyone these days they have the urge to give me a full and complete breakdown of their fitness regime, diet issues and excuses as to why they're not where they want to be with their fitness goal.

'It's my routine you see...
I can't go gym in the morning I'm too tired.
I can't go gym in the evening, i'm too tired.
I can't go gym in the day, I'm at work.
I can't go gym at lunch, there's not enough time.
I can't go on the weekend - it's the weekend!
It's money....
I cancelled my gym membership, I just didn't go enough.
I can't get a PT, I can't afford it!
It's the time of the month....
I can't come to tonight's session, I'm coming on my period.
I can't come to tonight's session, I'm coming off my period.
It's everything in between.....
I can't squat my legs hurt.
I can't box, my arms hurt.
I can't do weights, they make me look manly.
I can't do cardio it makes me feel sick.
I ate crap because I'm in a happy relationship.
I ate crap because my boyfriend dumped me.'
I don't know why I'm putting on weight, I'm sticking to my diet!'
In short, it's a crock of shit.

We all make too many excuses. And excuses get boring. People get bored of hearing our excuses. Excuses won't make me be on time, or you lose weight.

Excuses are the enemy of progress.

Re-read that and digest it.

Excuses stop us all progressing. So long as we keep making excuses for ourselves, instead of dealing with the issues at hand, we will not grow. We will not improve. We will not evolve.

I have certain clients who get more results than others. I have some clients with the goal of losing weight and every single session their weight is dropping without fail. I have others who have exactly the same goal, but their weight yoyo's because they make excuses for how little exercise they are doing between our sessions, or what they've eaten on the weekend.

*NEWSFLASH* Excuses do not equal results. You can have a career and go to the gym. You can also hold down a relationship and have a career.
In summary, you can have a relationship and career... and get to the gym and work on your mind and body! You can have everything if you stop making excuses.

From March 2015- March 2016 I worked full time in PR, personal trained my clients in the evenings and on the weekends, ran a monthly bootcamp, had a boyfriend... And still got to the gym 5 times a week to train myself... (I was just late, to all of them lol).

These days I am in a fitness environment 24/7 which, believe it or not, makes it harder to get my workout in, The gym becomes less motivating the more and more time you spend in it.
I'm also on the go more, so it's also easier to eat worse because I tend to be rushing from A to B, rather than have a stable schedule and routine. My nights are late and mornings can be early. It would be easy to make excuses and slack, but I can't afford to.I've worked too hard to let everything go to waste. I refuse to diet, I refuse to stop going on holidays or having a social life, so it doesn't matter how busy my life gets, I will train and I will train hard.

So, lets all take a good look in the mirror. Lets try and achieve our goals, without lying to ourselves and having to make excuses. Remember excuses won't get us anywhere as much as we love them.

What is stopping you progressing in your life? Are you in a crap job? Do your working hours leave you tired? Are you in a shitty relationship and it's affecting your self esteem? Is your diet bad? Are you short of money and find fitness an unnecessary expense?

Now sit and think about how you can change your story.
Get rid of the shit boyfriend or girlfriend. Apply to new jobs. Really look at your diet, go through your fridge, chuck out all the crap, go to tesco and start again. If you are short of money, look on a few fitness pages on instagram, search #homeworkout and create an exercise plan you can do in your bedroom. Go for a run. Go for a walk even. Think of a hustle and get your money up so you can afford to pay for a gym membership! Whatever you need to do, do it and stop letting excuses get in the way.

Set a weekly workout goal, a target, something you will not necessarily achieve but if you come short of it, will still be a successful week of exercise. Aka aim for three workouts a week, that way you should achieve at least two. Or aim for four, and you may even achieve three!
Understand that the more you workout, the more you can afford to eat! This for me is a massive drive, I love to eat, I love pizza, I love cake. I don't want to give up pizza or cake. Therefore, gym is non negotiable.
Set a goal to apply to 10 new jobs if your career isn't heading in the direction you want it to be headed in.
Surround yourself with people who want the best for you, questionable friends and crappy partners need to be dropped like a sack of hot shit! You can not progress the way you should when you are surrounded by negative energy.

Every day is a new day and a chance to write a new story for yourself. Cut the crap. Stop the excuses and take control of your life. No one will be as real with you, as the little voice inside your head. Listen to that voice, and start working on self improvement. I'll be over here working on mine too :)

Ciara x



  1. literally started planning ways to make my 2017 better last night! This just encouraged me more! Love this! Write more!!!!!

  2. Really enjoyed reading this - It really is something I needed to hear today.

    Thanks x


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