The mantra “Get out of your own way…” has become useful in several areas of my life.

When I start to cycle through self-doubt and negative self-talk, I remind myself to get out of my own way. When I start to beat myself up over messes, undone tasks, or missed opportunities, I remind myself to get out of my own way. And when I start to feel shame, guilt, or frustration creep in, I remind myself to get out of my own way.

However, the one area that I need a little more help in is getting rid of my Master Excuse Maker title.

I’ve been holding that title for what feels like my whole life. Is there anyone else that is incredibly clever at making up excuses, or is it just me?

I’m especially gifted at this art in the area of exercise and fitness.

Maybe I’ll start exercising tomorrow… Maybe I’ll start Monday… Maybe I’ll find the “perfect” program on Pinterest, and then start… Maybe I should wait until my ankle feels better… Maybe I should join a gym… Maybe… Maybe… Maybe…

In The Healing Compass, I share the light-bulb moment that officially forced my butt out of my chair and on to the yoga mat/treadmill/walking paths. I’ll give you a hint, it involved eliminating the art of comparing myself to others (another area that I’m particularly skilled in), and combining that with the ability to break it into bite sized pieces.

Literally one step at a time.

And that’s how I treat getting movement into my days, every single day. No excuses.

Here’s an excerpt from The Healing Compass:

     “There’s always tomorrow” is a double edged sword. It has some useful applications, but more often than not it is our justification for procrastinating. In short, I needed a mindset shift. I had to change my inflexible expectations to something realistic and easy to manage.

     To help set realistic goals, let’s change the definition of being active to this: Not sitting still. You can add physical activity to your life every single day by choosing to simply get off your butt more often than not.

It also helps to understand that what works for some people might not work for you. You will need to keep trying and searching and trying some more until you find the right activities that click for you.

     For myself, I needed to start small. I took baby steps, and as I began sprinkling more and more little bouts of activity into my life, the more I wanted. My motivation and confidence shot up as I wanted to push myself a little bit more each day. There are no 100 mile marathons in my future, but I feel great about tackling those beginner hikes in the mountains, and I feel fantastic about my physical self continuing to become stronger and healthier.

     I honestly started with some basics. I would walk to get the mail – it was only a block away, and then I started taking the long way home. I parked farther away in parking lots to get some extra steps in. I played with my kids more, whether it was catch in the backyard or having an impromptu dance party in the living room. Small steps started leading to big changes.

So, I’m nowhere near perfect, and excuses still come far more naturally than motivation… but I’m getting better at just doing something. Getting off my butt more often than not. It also helps to remind myself that a 30 minute exercise (half an hour out of 24 hours), is only 2% of my day. C’mon, who can’t give up 2% of their day to help take care of their bodies?

I’m getting out of my own way. One foot in front of the other *…

What do you do to help get some extra physical activity in your life? Any tips and tricks? I can use all of the help I can get…

(* Bonus points to anybody who sang that… please tell me I’m not the only one.)

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