Reason - a cause, explanation, or justification for an action or event.
Excuse - attempt to lessen the blame attaching to (a fault or offense); seek to defend or justify.
I hate excuses.
People give me excuses all the time for why they are overweight, didn’t attend a workout, or ate like shit. I agree, sometimes obstacles get in the way. If you truly want to change however, the first thing you need to do is learn what is an excuse and what is a reason.
First off, as soon as you realize that most things setting you back in life are an excuse, you need to rid them from your brain.
Excuses are everyday shit that we have to deal with in life that try to get in the way of reaching our goals. Excuses try to prevent us from our goals, and often do, but reasons are what really stop us. We want to find how we can eliminate excuses entirely and find our best approach to reasons to not allow them to limit us too much.
Traveling all day and couldn’t hit your workout? EXCUSE. You could have done something. You should have woken up 10 minutes earlier and hit a quick 10 minute AMRAP of 10 squats, 10 pushups, and 10 situps. You could have done that at home, in the airport, or hotel late at night.
Couldn’t eat well at work today because you had meetings all day with your boss, who isn’t keen on you snacking in front of her? REASON. You couldn’t eat because your job depended on it. Shit happens and I get it. Make sure you plan good meals for breakfast before work and have something available as soon as you are able to eat.
Take a step back and begin looking at these issues that pop up in your life. Is it family getting in the way? Your job? Or are you just holding yourself back? Now, ask yourself if this is really a reason you can’t do something about. Is it a cause, explanation, or justification or is it simply an attempt to lessen the blame for not doing it?
We all run into obstacles in our lives. Broken bones are reasons for not running a half marathon. But, not having enough time is an excuse. Time is a beautiful thing that is limited in quantity, but not in creativity. Time can always be better utilized and prioritized. When these obstacles pop up in your head, simply ask yourself if this is a reason or excuse. You’ll be surprised how many things you can immediately find solutions to.
Sean Spire is the Head Coach of ASL. He was a competitive swimmer who discovered CrossFit and Ironman Triathlons. He has his BS in Exercise Science from Florida State University.