Vail on purpose: Turn excuses into solutions
Vail, CO Colorado
VAIL, Colorado –“We are going on vacation in eight weeks and I can’t stand to think of myself in a swimming suit,” Eileen said as she sat down and crossed her legs.
“Where are you going?” I asked.
“We will drive to Lake Powell and meet up with some friends from college,” she said. “It will be a family event so the kids get to go too. That’s good because then everyone can understand why I am 20 pounds overweight!”
“Isn’t it funny how warm weather, summer wardrobes and outdoor activities bring attention to what we’ve done (or haven’t done) with our bodies over the winter?” I said. “When was the last time you remember feeling comfortable in a swimming suit?”
“I haven’t been comfortable in a swimsuit for at least three summers, which was before I was pregnant. But everyone knows how hard it is to lose baby weight.”
“In addition to baby weight, what other factors may be contributing to your weight gain?” I asked.
“With the demands of the kids, I don’t have time to work out,” Eileen said. “What am I supposed to do with the kids?”
“What activities did you like to do before you had kids?” I asked.
“I love to hike, bike and run, but I’ve given all of that up,” she said.
“I understand that having kids can change your routine, but if you could add in one type of activity now, what would it be?” I asked.
“Biking,” Eileen responded. “It feels so good to be outside exercising.”
“What’s stopping you from doing that now?” I asked.
“I want to, but it doesn’t fit into my schedule anymore,” she responded.
“Let’s brainstorm and come up with at least three options for you to bike,” I suggested. “How could you do that?”
“I could talk to my neighbor about swapping babysitting. Our kids are close in age and could play together for a couple of hours a couple of time a week.”
“Great! That’s one idea,” I said. “What’s another way you could fit biking into your life?” I asked.
“My sister-in-law has a bike tote for two kids,” Eileen said with a bit more excitement. “I could borrow it from her and take the kids with me on the trail.”
“That’s two great ideas. What’s one more?” I asked.
Eileen thought and said, “I could join a health club and take the kids to the day care while I bike.”
“Which of these options would work best for you?” I asked.
“I will call my neighbor this evening and set up a babysitting swap next week,” Eileen said as she realized how feasible her ideas were and how excited she was to bike.
Then she got a doubtful look on her face. “But I’m not sure it will work. Since I haven’t ridden my bike in so long, it needs a tune-up.”
“How could you get that done before your first ride next week?” I asked.
“My friend owns a bike shop and I’ll ask him to give it a tune-up. My husband works near the shop and could drop it off,” she said.
“Any other obstacles you see that might keep you from taking your bike ride next week?” I asked.
“I don’t see any obstacles right now, but I still feel like it won’t happen,” she said.
“Why don’t you e-mail to me next Friday to let me know how your bike ride was?” I asked, pushing her to keep her commitment. “And, if this doesn’t work, you have two other options.”
“You have this way of making me stick to my word, don’t you,” she said.
I smiled, knowing that it was more important that she keep her word with herself; I just got the benefit of knowing that she kept her promise.
Coaching Challenge: When you find yourself making excuses about any area of your life, challenge yourself to come up with at least three viable options. Push yourself and be creative. Take a fresh look at the problem and find new solutions. Ask others for help if you get stuck.
From the solutions you create, commit to taking one step forward. Why not do it today?
Sheri Fisher is a Life Coach who lives in Grand Junction, Colorado with her husband Tom and three sons. Her practice, Living On Purpose, focuses on personal and professional coaching. The situations and characters in her column are fictional to maintain client confidentiality. If you have topic suggestions, please email or comment on Sheri’s blog, http://www.coachwithsheri.com/blog/. Sheri can be reached at email@example.com or for more information, visit: http://www.coachwithsheri.com.
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