What If I’m too lazy to achieve my dreams?
I ask myself this question all the time. I have the biggest, best, most exciting dreams. I have plans for this life and the next.
Sometimes, I’ll take the first steps too – buy the equipment or attend the course or read the book, I’ll be all set to start the new journey.
Actually doing it though… That’s the hard part. The seemingly insurmountable part. I feel like I don’t have any Nike in my DNA. Putting one foot in front of the other is often reserved for tomorrow, or after dinner, or once things slow down at work.
Case in point. I love asana. I’m a yoga teacher. I have the most amazing yoga space in my home and have access awesome local studios. I pay every month for an online YogaGlo membership. I design a personal practice for myself each season.
I love wearing the clothes. I love moving into the shapes. I love that conscious feeling of breathing for what feels like the first time all day. I love the post-yoga prana-bliss buzzing just under my skin. Love, love, love.
So why don’t I get on the mat everyday? Why do I all-too-often put off my practice until tomorrow? Because I tell myself one of these:
100 Reasons Not To Practice Yoga Today
- It’s too cold outside
- It’s too hot outside
- I’ve got a meeting
- I need to prepare for a meeting
- I need to get to work early to ________
- I have to stay late at work to _________
- I already showered today and I don’t want to have to do it again
- They don’t have showers at that studio
- I just did my hair
- I haven’t shaved my legs
- I need to go grocery shopping
- I don’t like that teacher
- I haven’t had dinner yet
- I just ate dinner
- I ate way too much at dinner. I need to rest & digest
- The morning classes aren’t hot enough
- The morning classes are too hot
- X Factor is on tv tonight
- It’ Game of Thrones night
- Super Soul Sunday is on tv right now
- The person I was supposed to go with just cancelled
- I hate parking in that parking lot
- I need to do the dishes
- I need to clean the bathroom
- I need to do the laundry
- I need to clean the floors
- We’re going out for dinner
- We’re having friends over tonight
- I can’t leave work in the middle of the day
- I’m too tired
- I’m going to bed super early
- I pulled an all nighter and need to sleep, like, now
- I deserve to sleep in
- I accidentally slept in
- I forgot my yoga clothes at home
- None of my yoga clothes are clean
- I’m so stressed at work, I just need a night off
- I don’t have time to make it before the class starts
- I’m dehydrated
- We’re on vacation!
- I need a pedicure
- I won’t have time to shower after
- I don’t want to go to bed with wet hair
- I’m travelling for work
- I’m on my period
- I’m about to start my period
- The class times aren’t convenient
- I have a headache
- I want to spend time with my husband, it’s his one night off
- I’m in the middle of a really good book
- I already went to the gym today
- The doctor said I should take it easy
- I don’t have time to do a full practice
- I need to go Christmas shopping
- There’s a sale on at _________
- I want to spend some time outside, get some fresh air
- I need to clean my yoga mat
- My stomach hurts
- My knee hurts
- My back hurts
- My shoulders are killing me
- My abs hurt
- My neck is so tight
- My feet are tired!
- I think I sprained my metatarsals in chataranga yesterday
- My hamstrings need a night off
- That class is too hard
- That class is too slow
- That class is too long
- I don’t like how that teacher cues
- I don’t like how that teacher pronounces savasana
- The teacher doesn’t do enough adjustments
- The teacher does too many adjustments
- I don’t like the music they play
- The class is always too busy, I hate waiting in line before class
- The mats are way too close together and people are always breathing on me
- The girls in that class are practically naked, I hate staring at someone’s sweaty butt the whole class
- The savasana is always too short
- I’m going to wait and go later today
- The class is full! Damn students are back in town
- I need to work on the website
- I need to get my blog post up
- I need to bake cookies for work tomorrow
- I have a proposal due tomorrow
- I need to pack for my work trip
- I just worked 16 hours
- I have a project that I need to finish for tomorrow
- My mind’s too busy today, I just need to relax
- I’m putting too much pressure on myself, I deserve a night off
- I just don’t feel like it today
- I think I ate some bad clams
- It’s the super bowl!
- Yoga sucks
- I suck at yoga
- I don’t need to do yoga everyday, a few times a week is more than enough
- What I really need to do is more cardio (maybe I’ll go to the gym tomorrow)
- I’ve just accidentally spent 3 hours on instagram and the night is over
- I need to make dinner
- I need to make our lunches for tomorrow
- I’m going to go tomorrow instead
What a waste of energy! And the internal shame & blame that happens next… Not pretty.
Now I won’t generalize and say this happens to “us”, though I don’t think I’m alone here.
For some, this isn’t even a thing. They really don’t get it. They say stuff like “just go!” They’re super fit and have a (seemingly) healthy relationship with food, exercise, their bodies in general. If you’re one of these people and have a secret to share, please email me.
The reality is, for me, while it’s easy to set goals, devise plans, and make resolutions, it’s the million-and-one small decisions I make each day that define who I am and where I’m successful.
It’s the internal dialogue that happens when one of the 100 reasons above enter the picture.
Will I connect with the excuses? Will I accept the thinking as being fully rational and understandable (a lot of time it’s totally reasonable!)? Or will I have the discipline to say no? Can I stick to my guns? Can I take the more challenging path, knowing that the Promised Land is just over the hill?
For me, the keys to staying strong are:
- Being present when the choice to go or stay, do or don’t do, arises.
- Notice when I’m self-sabotaging with an “I’ll-go-tomorrow-when-I-have-more-energy” excuse arises.
- Acting with intention, not responding automatically to the desires that take over.
What about listening to my body?
What about being kind to myself? What about breaking out of the “can she have it all?” mentality and just relaxing into life?
Short answer, yes. Those things are all important. But tapping into the tapas. Building the heat. Committing to the self-discipline required to truly grow as a person is more important for me. Now. This year.
To achieve my goals, reach my dreams, dedicate my whole self to a yoga practice, I have to stop myself in my tracks when I (un)intentionally work to slip back into the path of least resistance.
I’m a work-in-progress who’s working hard every day to do the best I can, be the best I can, and make the right decisions.