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

  1. It’s too cold outside
  2. It’s too hot outside
  3. I’ve got a meeting
  4. I need to prepare for a meeting
  5. I need to get to work early to ________
  6. I have to stay late at work to _________
  7. I already showered today and I don’t want to have to do it again
  8. They don’t have showers at that studio
  9. I just did my hair
  10. I haven’t shaved my legs
  11. I need to go grocery shopping
  12. I don’t like that teacher
  13. I haven’t had dinner yet
  14. I just ate dinner
  15. I ate way too much at dinner. I need to rest & digest
  16. The morning classes aren’t hot enough
  17. The morning classes are too hot
  18. X Factor is on tv tonight
  19. It’ Game of Thrones night
  20. Super Soul Sunday is on tv right now
  21. The person I was supposed to go with just cancelled
  22. I hate parking in that parking lot
  23. I need to do the dishes
  24. I need to clean the bathroom
  25. I need to do the laundry
  26. I need to clean the floors
  27. We’re going out for dinner
  28. We’re having friends over tonight
  29. I can’t leave work in the middle of the day
  30. I’m too tired
  31. I’m going to bed super early
  32. I pulled an all nighter and need to sleep, like, now
  33. I deserve to sleep in
  34. I accidentally slept in
  35. I forgot my yoga clothes at home
  36. None of my yoga clothes are clean
  37. I’m so stressed at work, I just need a night off
  38. I don’t have time to make it before the class starts
  39. I’m dehydrated
  40. We’re on vacation!
  41. I need a pedicure
  42. I won’t have time to shower after
  43. I don’t want to go to bed with wet hair
  44. I’m travelling for work
  45. I’m on my period
  46. I’m about to start my period
  47. The class times aren’t convenient
  48. I have a headache
  49. I want to spend time with my husband, it’s his one night off
  50. I’m in the middle of a really good book
  51. I already went to the gym today
  52. The doctor said I should take it easy
  53. I don’t have time to do a full practice
  54. I need to go Christmas shopping
  55. There’s a sale on at _________
  56. I want to spend some time outside, get some fresh air
  57. I need to clean my yoga mat
  58. My stomach hurts
  59. My knee hurts
  60. My back hurts
  61. My shoulders are killing me
  62. My abs hurt
  63. My neck is so tight
  64. My feet are tired!
  65. I think I sprained my metatarsals in chataranga yesterday
  66. My hamstrings need a night off
  67. That class is too hard
  68. That class is too slow
  69. That class is too long
  70. I don’t like how that teacher cues
  71. I don’t like how that teacher pronounces savasana
  72. The teacher doesn’t do enough adjustments
  73. The teacher does too many adjustments
  74. I don’t like the music they play
  75. The class is always too busy, I hate waiting in line before class
  76. The mats are way too close together and people are always breathing on me
  77. The girls in that class are practically naked, I hate staring at someone’s sweaty butt the whole class
  78. The savasana is always too short
  79. I’m going to wait and go later today
  80. The class is full! Damn students are back in town
  81. I need to work on the website
  82. I need to get my blog post up
  83. I need to bake cookies for work tomorrow
  84. I have a proposal due tomorrow
  85. I need to pack for my work trip
  86. I just worked 16 hours
  87. I have a project that I need to finish for tomorrow
  88. My mind’s too busy today, I just need to relax
  89. I’m putting too much pressure on myself, I deserve a night off
  90. I just don’t feel like it today
  91. I think I ate some bad clams
  92. It’s the super bowl!
  93. Yoga sucks
  94. I suck at yoga
  95. I don’t need to do yoga everyday, a few times a week is more than enough
  96. What I really need to do is more cardio (maybe I’ll go to the gym tomorrow)
  97. I’ve just accidentally spent 3 hours on instagram and the night is over
  98. I need to make dinner
  99. I need to make our lunches for tomorrow
  100. I’m going to go tomorrow instead

Yep.

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.