That Time I Made Excuses… and how I finally started working towards my goals!

posted by Andrea | 03/2/2018

Dave’s insurance starts over every September 1… so thanks to the well-time arrival of Clara on September 25, we easily met our large family deductible the very first month!

Being the frugal-minded people we are, we decided to do several other medically-related things this year as well. For example, I’m finally seeing a physical therapist to help with some back pain I’ve had for many years and to fix the Diastasis recti Simon (my biggest baby) gifted me with 4 years ago. 🙂

The exercises I’m required to do at home are SO simple, they require only 5-10 minutes of my time, and they are not painful in any way. Plus, they are proven to work — so it should be a no-brainer for me to do these exercises 3-4 times a day like my therapist told me to.

However, would you believe that I made excuse after excuse for the first 2 weeks, telling myself I didn’t have enough time, I was too busy, my children were too needy, I was too tired, etc. etc. 

In my head, I KNEW I could definitely find 3 or 4 chunks of time every day to complete the simple 5-10 minute exercise routine my therapist prescribed… but for some reason, I continued to make excuses.

There were many days I simply skipped the exercises all together, and several more days when I only did the routine once or twice instead of the recommended 3-4 times a day.

Seriously — what was wrong with me!

After the first couple of weeks passed, I decided I was DONE making excuses — there was no reason I couldn’t find 30-40 minutes every day to do my exercise routine 4 times in order to reach my goal of less back pain and a stronger core.

I simply had to prioritize the exercises ahead of other things on my to-list.

  • I do the exercises right away in the morning (sometimes while I’m still laying in bed as they all require me to be laying down).
  • Then I do the exercises again when Clara (and often the boys) are taking their afternoon nap.
  •  I do the exercises once more after the older kids go to bed (around 7:00pm).
  • And then I do them a 4th time right before I go to bed.

Like I mentioned above, it only takes 5-10 minutes each time, and it’s actually somewhat relaxing since I’m laying down and have to focus on my breathing.

Yes, there are many MANY times when I have to force myself to lay on the ground and to my exercises because I’d much rather be putting laundry away, cleaning up the kitchen after dinner, working on a blog post, or just snuggling Clara on the couch.

However, now I do my exercise FIRST, and THEN whatever else was on my to-do list.

As I was thinking about my ridiculous excuses for why I couldn’t find 5-10 minutes of time throughout my day, I realized this is EXACTLY what I “preach” here on my blog!

We are all busy at times, we are all tired at times, we all have so many demands for our time each day, but we should still be able to carve out 5, 10, 15, or even 20 minutes of time each day to put towards one of our goals.

My current goal is to heal my back pain and Diastasis — and the only way I’m going to do that is by being faithful with my exercises.

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If your goal is to clear your clutter, the ONLY way you’ll be able to reach that goal is by putting your foot down, silencing your excuses, and setting a timer for 5, 10, 15, or 20 minutes today.

Then do it again tomorrow, and the next day, and so on.

You won’t see instant results, you won’t notice a magical change overnight, but you WILL see changes over time… and (best of all) you WILL develop the habit of making conscious decisions to put things away, picking up after yourself, purging something you no longer want, etc.

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Similarly, if your goal is to make more time for yourself, eat more nutritiously, exercise more, put more in your savings account each month, read more books, learn a new skill, or whatever… you will not reach that goal unless you dedicate a little bit of time towards that goal on a regular basis.

It’s so simple (not necessarily easy) and can make a huge difference in how quickly you reach your goals this year!

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27 comments

  1. Julia

    03/05/2018

    *sigh* You got me! I’ve been putting off my diastasis recti exercises too. I hate laying on the floor, but you’re right, they only take five minutes and are so easy! It’s nap time right now. I’d better go do you know what…

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    good for you — just do it!

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  2. Amy

    03/03/2018

    I would love for you to do a “video” post of your exercises so we could all learn how to do them. Thanks!

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  3. Karlyn Nance

    03/03/2018

    As an empty nester and grandmother, I still have to wrestle with the question, “How do I get it all done?” Of course, no one can, but this post speaks to ALL of us, regardless of age, stage of life, children or not, and activities we may be involved in at the moment. You have called attention to probably the most important and helpful way to set priorities and get the essentials done: “If it is important to you, you will find a way. If not, you will find an excuse.” This concept has been said in many ways by many people who write about time management, but this wording puts the focus where it belongs–on the thought process, which has to precede the action.

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  4. Jenny

    03/02/2018

    It would be good (if you think you have this but aren’t sure) to check with your OB or primary-care provider first, as Andrea did. Then they can refer you to a physical therapist in your network or reasonably-priced. You might need a referral for it to be paid for by insurance, and anyway, you want all of the professionals who care for your health to be on the same page and aware of what’s going on. That being said, it sure seems to me that the doctor should notice and address this! Sometimes it seems like everyone is a specialist and they hardly look at patients. So it’s very good that this was mentioned here.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yes definitely! Our insurance would not have covered my physical therapy treatments at all if it weren’t referred through my primary care doctor. Now, since we met our deductible, I only need to pay 20%!

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  5. ShellyL

    03/02/2018

    Seriously, Andrea, I have this and didn’t know. I didn’t even know this was a thing. My last baby was five years ago but I’ve had it ever since my second. All I knew was that I look pregnant, I have a hard ridge over my navel and people ask if I’m pregnant often. That is very upsetting. Now I can take steps to correct it. Thank you for mentioning this today!!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Yes, you can correct it… in time! definitely talk to your doctor and get a referral to a physical therapist!

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  6. Connie Ritsema

    03/02/2018

    It is so interesting to read your site today I too suffered from an ingury that I ended up at a physical therapist..I had stretched my IT Band.I also did not have time to go to a physical therapist but found out very quickly that if I wanted to walk again I needed to go and also do my excercizes at home faithfully.. It was very painful to go to therapy and to also do the excercizes at home BUT.I can attest today the therapy DOES help !

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yes — the “exercises” I have to do are almost laughable they are so easy. I just have to force myself to do them, do them slowly, do the right, and do them several times every day.

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  7. Lynn

    03/02/2018

    LOVE this post! I have a 10 minute resistance training that I keep putting off – daily. It is ridiculous. But, I have started running again, this time, at 5:30 in the morning with my neighbor. I finally just said let’s start it and we did! Literally, we get our running out of the way before the sun comes up and it feels great! It really helps when you have someone else to keep you accountable. It is easy for me to get up that early knowing that she is waiting for me!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    good for you — yes accountability helps!

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  8. Meghan

    03/02/2018

    Thanks for sharing, Andrea! It is helpful to know you sometimes struggle with motivation too 😉
    I’ve been putting off calling our health insurance company to deal with some billing issues (providers randomly billing for covered things). I have a snow day today (yay?), so I put on a show on for my toddler and just did it. It went ok. Nothing is actually resolved yet, but at least I’m not ignoring it!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    haha — exercising is one of my least favorite things to do. I rarely need motivation to clean or organize, but I need LOTS of it to exercise!

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  9. JJ

    03/02/2018

    This was the kick in the pants I needed! Thank you! There is a video going aroundon FB about 8 different kinds of friends. One is your online friend. I thought of you! Your blog encourages and challenges–perfect balance!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    aww… thanks! I’ll happily be your internet friend 🙂

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    JJ Reply:

    Yay! Haha!

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  10. Ashley

    03/02/2018

    YES! I learned quickly that the hour I get to myself each day while *both* kids are napping is precious, and if I don’t do the highest priority thing FIRST it simply won’t get done.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    exactly! It needs to be done FIRST, or all of a sudden, everyone is awake again!

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  11. Michelle

    03/02/2018

    I had to do that too after my son was born. Pt gave me some exercises, a little traction, and I did some yoga with strength training. It really helped. Do you have a tens machine? I still use mine all the time. I bet it would make your favorite things list!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Hmmmm… I’ve actually never heard of the “tens machine” but I just looked it up on Amazon… interesting! I’ll have to look into that!

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    Michelle Reply:

    I haven’t been to a chiropractor since I got mine. You may want two-my husband and I used to play fight about who got to use the thing first! We even take it on travel because it helps so much with tense muscles

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    Andrea Reply:

    good to know! I seriously had never heard of anything like this before!

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  12. Sue Olep

    03/02/2018

    I love this! It’s so completely true. In this current world of “I’m so busy”, we are making ourselves too busy. I also have exercises for a pinched nerve in my neck. It’s a slow heal, but I’m nearing the end. That helped motivate me to set a 2hr timer on my phone to do my exercises. I only have 2 at 10x each and can do them practically anywhere, so I really should not have excuses! But I wonder now if I could have made this all go quicker if I did that simple thing earlier in my recovery? P.S. I love your no excuses graphics! Is it ok to share them on FB?

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    that’s a great idea to set your phone timer — I might have to give that a try. It’s amazing how quickly the hours get away from me!

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  13. Ann

    03/02/2018

    Hi Andrea,
    Could you please share with me what PT office you are going to for the abdominal separation?
    This post is SO timely!! After having 5 children I have a very wide separation and I was JUST
    Researching you tube on Tuesday for routines on how to fix it, but there are so many different excercises I was afraid of making it worse!! Which of course is an excuse for not doing it just like you said! I’ve put this off for years! I can’t love his post enough , you are so right about just making it a priority and that’s it. Would love to call and make that PT appointment today!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    I’d suggested Googling physical therapists in your area — but for reference, I go to the Center for Physical Rehabilitation in Wyoming, MI. So far, I really like it there and have seen positive results (of course, it’s a slow process!)

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