Train yourself to challenge your excuses

On a cool December day in 2014, I did a quick search to find hiking trails within 5-10 miles of where I live in Texas. Since new experiences often take a little extra time, I had planned to be gone for a few hours. I figured I’d take a break, do some hiking, and work late into the evening to make up for my mid-afternoon excursion.

Water at Slaughter Creek trail in Austin Texas
Shot with this camera

It took 10 minutes to get to the trail, another hour and change to walk the loop and take a few pictures, and 10 minutes to drive back. In all, I spent around an hour and a half. On my way home, I felt relaxed, energized, and more creative.

Every day we make thousands of choices, many of which are influenced by our perception of time. Whether it’s a trip to the gym, a phone call to a friend, or cooking dinner instead of eating out, I’ve learned that I inflate my perception of time to accommodate excuses. How long does that phone call or meal prep really take? I bet you’d be surprised. Looking for a restaurant, traveling there, waiting for a table, eating, and leaving can take far more time than buying and cooking something from the grocery store.

I had planned to take three hours to go on a lunch-hour excursion. It ended up taking about as much time as a long lunch break. Now I regularly take my ‘lunch’ on a hike or bike trail. Train yourself to challenge your excuses. It’s freeing. It will inspire you. It will constantly remind you that you’re capable of doing more.

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