“Overcoming Excuses” (Part One):

You are two weeks into your new weight-loss program. You are following a well-balanced dietary plan and you are exercising more. Then one night, you feel a strong urge to polish off a bag of potato chips or a carton of ice cream. As you head for the kitchen, there is a debate going on in your head. What excuses will you make for cheating on your program?

Here are a few examples:
“I’ve been good; I deserve a little reward.”
“I don’t care if sets me back; I’ve got to have it.”
“I’ll make it up tomorrow.”
“I need food to comfort me.”
“It’s the holidays.”
“I can’t do it anyway so why try?”
“I can’t resist this urge.”
“It’s not fair; other people can eat whatever they want!”

The problem with excuses is that they always have a little truth to them. Maybe I have been good and deserve a reward. Maybe I could make it up tomorrow. Maybe it is difficult and I’m discouraged about my progress. Yes, it is the holidays and everyone around me is overeating.

But for every ounce of truth, all excuses contain several pounds of lies. It’s our job to root out and expose all the lies that exist in our excuses.

Do this exercise: Think of an area of your where you make excuses. Do you cheat on your diet? Do you procrastinate on important tasks? Do you put off working on your dissertation? Whatever it is, write down all of the excuses you make. Be brutally honest with yourself. Let’s expose your excuses to the light of day!

Now for each excuse write a gentle but firm rebuttal. Admit to any truth in the excuse, but be sure to expose the lie. Here’s an example:

Excuse: “I’ve been good and I deserve to eat that brownie.”
Rebuttal: “Yes, I have done well and deserve a reward, but
I’ll just feel guilty if I eat that brownie. There’s better ways to reward myself.”

In my next issue, I will give you some more pointers about how to develop creative rebuttals for some of your most common excuses.

Stanley E. Hibbs, Ph.D.
Psychologist
Personal & Executive Coach
Phone: 770-668-0350 x-224
E-mail: drhibbs@drhibbs.com
Web Site: www.drhibbs.com

Author's Bio: 

Licensed Clinical Psychologist and Certified Life Coach
Author of two books:
"Consider It Done: Ten Presriptions for Finishing What You Start"
"Anxiety Gone: The Three C's of Anxiety Recovery"