When Good Intentions Aren’t Enough, We Need to Take Action

Sean Baumstark avatar

by Sean Baumstark |

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I’m currently beating myself up a little, mentally speaking. I’m finding it hard to swallow my own “no excuses” medicine. 

I’m sure you already know that preaching the “no excuses” mantra is much easier than putting it into practice. However, I’m still convinced that merely making an effort helps us move closer to a life with fewer excuses.

I was traveling for several days last week, and besides my income, the two areas that suffered the most were my exercise routine and eating habits. When I travel, I allow my routines to relax a little, and I also let excuses push me further in the wrong direction.

You may be familiar with the saying, “Action always beats intentions,” or something similar. Many people have discussed the topic. Book marketing strategist Daniel Decker wrote a short blog post that is worth a read.

Good intentions don’t help me to create the life I want.

It’s challenging to stick to an exercise routine when you’re on the road or attending all-day events. I’m not concerned about a simple modification in my routine, but I am bothered when I drop everything and do no exercise at all, not even a 20-minute stationary bike session.

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I know that skipping the gym for a few days isn’t going to ruin my physique or jeopardize my heart health. I’m not worried about three, four, or five days “off.”

My real concern is that those missed days can become a catalyst for weeks or months of disruption. After a few days on the road, I usually take an additional day to catch up on rest and chores. Or I return to work straightaway. Four days out of town turns into five, six, or seven days away from the gym, and before I know it, I inadvertently begin a leave of absence from the gym. Oops.

I believe that routines are good. But I know they need to be flexible. It’s OK to deviate from my routine, especially when it’s crucial to my overall health.

My opinions remain the same.

I’m finding the process of “getting back on the wagon” hard right now. The last seven or eight days have reminded me of the importance of operating with a mindset of commitment rather than comfort. The former prompts me to do what I said I would do even when I don’t feel like it.

And in case you didn’t notice, I grazed over my eating habits and avoided expounding on those. You might be able to deduce from this omission where my greater concern lies.

What about you? When you travel or something causes you to change your routine, how do you stop yourself from falling off the wagon? How can I turn my intentions into actions? Please share your tips in the comments below.


Friedreich’s Ataxia News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.


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