A lot of lessons come to me when I’m running. This week I recognized how easy it is to rationalize not doing something that’s good for you. I hadn’t been running much when the hot weather or heavy rains made it hard. That’s legitimate. I try to power walk during those times. This week I got up early when the temps and humidity were down. I’d power walked for a few miles the two nights before so my legs were a bit tired. And it’s a little harder for me when I haven’t run for over a week.

As I entered the park I felt tired. My thoughts gravitated to cutting the run short. After all, I’d done exercise the last few days. Why tax my legs so much? Then I thought about the weather forecast and knew this might be the only run I’d have for many days. Yes, I was tired, but I know how good cardio is for me. I always give myself permission to stop early if I get too tired or overheated, but rarely need to. As I ran, I thought about how good cardio is for me.

Yes, I had a good excuse for cutting my run short. But then I’d miss out on the benefits I get from running. It’s good for my heart, actually raises my energy when I do it first thing in the morning, burns calories, and makes me feel good doing it. I decided I love me enough not to allow my rationales to cut my run short. Then I thought about how easy it is to find reasons not to do something you need to do or that’s good for you.

Just because you can find a good excuse for not doing something, try to overcome it with reasons why you should do it. Rationales can trigger and feed procrastination. Fight them! For example:

•    You should get your taxes done but it’s been a long week and you’d rather have a clear head to do it. Your head may never be clear enough to do it, especially if your sleep is disrupted by stress over knowing you need to do it. Just get it done, even if it takes a little longer. You’ll feel better if you do!

•    You’re overdue for a doctor’s visit to get something bothering you checked out but the doctor’s hours are inconvenient or you feel like it’s not the right time. Make the appointment! Concern about having a problem can also create fear of learning you have a major problem. That can stimulate all sorts of reasons not to go. Find out so you can heal. Ignoring health problems doesn’t make them go away but often makes them worse.

•    You know you need to end it with your romantic partner but have a wedding and other things you planned to go to with him or her. End it now! Staying with someone you know you shouldn’t be with takes it’s toll on you in ways you might not recognize until you do leave. It’s stressful and unsatisfying. Just end it! Don’t rationalize the unfinished business you have. The only unfinished business is the break up.

When you begin to rationalize why you should or shouldn’t do something, ask yourself the benefits of doing it. Focus on how good you’ll feel knowing you did what you didn’t want to do. Make the call. Clean the apartment. Find a new job. Go to the gym. Do whatever it is you know you should, without trying to find reasons to put it off. Taking control is empowering!
*********************

Take the self-love challenge and get my book, How Do I Love Me? Let Me Count the Ways for free at http://howdoiloveme.com. And you can post your loving acts HERE to reinforce your intention to love yourself. Read my 31 Days of Self-Love Posts HERE.

Please leave comments under my posts so we can stay connected.

More from Beliefnet and our partners
previous posts