“Even the best intentions can lose to bad excuses.”
Half way through our New You in 31 Days Challenge I’ve noticed my own attempted excuses to either put off or not carry out my intentions for each day. “I’m tired,” or “It’s too late. No one will read my post now,” or “No good ideas are coming to me.” And where exercising is concerned, they are nearly endless. “I don’t want to get sore,” or “I don’t have time,” or “You can just do it tomorrow,” and “I need someone to exercise with.” Really? I don’t think so. Not buying it! It’s attempting to stall and put off what will actually change my life. And, you all know when you do it, too. Don’t make excuses for your excuses, either!
How to Stop the Cycle of Excuses
There are a few techniques I use to quickly squelch my own excuses and those of my family and clients. I do also understand that sometimes things happen and our goals and dreams might have to wait. That’s just called life; however, even in those times you can rework your goals so you don’t get too far off track. I hope you find the following helpful in any life circumstances.
- Shake up your schedule: Recreate your daily routine so it forces you to think about everything you are doing more carefully. This really lines up with the activity featured in the post The Magic of Doing Something Different. It may be that you are trying to do too much and are not managing your time in a way that makes room for new ideas and challenges. On the other hand, being inactive can make you lazy and unwilling to add new activities.
- Change or lessen the goal: If you find yourself not wanting to do something, maybe it’s because your goal is too lofty or unreachable (your subconscious knows this). By breaking it up into small, obtainable goals or steps, you give yourself a greater chance to succeed on a daily basis.
- Make yourself accountable: This is so important that I should have put it first. Keeping an accountability partner around will definitely put a stop to excuses. Make sure this person is someone who will actually hold you accountable and not enable you to continue to behave in your old, habitual way.
- Create a daily to do list: Except don’t call it that. Be creative by naming it something fun and exciting, e.g., My Life Change Activities, Daily Creative Steps, Daily Change Steps, Moving Forward, or Honoring Myself Today. Make it your own, and get doing!
- Reward yourself every time: Don’t wait until you accomplish some huge goal; instead, treat yourself with each small step taken. It doesn’t have to be a big reward or cost money either. This can be as simple as giving yourself a moment of meditative silence in the middle of the day or a moment to just dance to your favorite song. It just needs to be something that motivates and inspires you to complete the task at hand without allowing any excuses.
Though there are some keys and bigger tasks that must be done for true life change and success, I also believe doing the small, easy things will support the larger and create the consistency you want and need. Remember, it doesn’t take some huge catastrophe to ruin your plans and dreams, little excuses add up and can do a lot of damage under the radar.
So, your Life Change Activity today is to pay attention to your thoughts and words that may be keeping you from accomplishing your goals. Write them down so you can easily recognize them in the future. Give my 5 steps a try and see if they help you get past some old habits.
Please post your goals, steps, progress, challenges, questions, and rewards in the comments! We’d love to hear about how this challenge has helped you!