The post that I'm about to write has been on my mind for weeks. I've thought about writing it, but I really wanted to get the jumble of ideas in my head figured out before I tried to write them out. I think I'm to the point that they'll actually make a bit of sense, so I'm going to try :)
The topic at hand: excuses. We've all heard them and we all make them.
Don't want to go to the party? "Sorry, I'm just really sick."
Don't feel like working out? "Oh gosh I just seriously have no time."
Don't want to make a healthy dinner? "I'm honestly so exhausted I can't handle it - I'm just going to get pizza for tonight."
Excuses are common - I'm sure each one of us makes one at least once a day, and probably more. As I've been trying to change my health, lately, I've thought about excuses a lot! What I've realized is that excuses can be perfectly fine - to a point. But excuses can also be self-destructive and painful, for both ourselves and others.
I know, it seems extreme, but I really do believe that excuses can be a really bad thing. Let's say that my goal is working out six nights a week. Here's how my week, with excuses, could easily go:
Monday: Awesome workout! Whoo hoo!
Tuesday: Oh my goodness. Seriously so sore from yesterday. Going to park at the far end of the parking lot at work and call that my exercise for the day.
Wednesday: Had a really bad night of sleep and a late night at the office. No way can I work out.
Thursday: Haven't worked out since Monday. I'll do it tonight. Not that I want to. But I will cause I promised myself I would.
Friday: Have dinner with friends and didn't get home in time to workout before. Will work out later. 11pm comes - just walking in the door - really full, little tipsy, absolutely not working out.
Saturday: I've tried pretty hard this week, and my kid has activities all day long- here I am, Mrs. Chauffeur!
Sunday: Bad week, chalk it up to a learning experience, will do better next week. Have to get errands done that I didn't do yesterday - no workout today.
And every week after this, our workout (or whatever our goal might be!) schedule is half completed at best. We make excuses for ourselves and we don't stick to what we want. We're trying, but we're not really trying. And it is because of this half-assing it attitude we get that I believe excuses can be dangerous. The excuses that we repeatedly allow ourselves to make become justifications.
If we have 3 busy nights at the office over a couple of weeks and skip our workout every time, eventually a busy day at the office will no longer be an excuse in our mind - we've justified it! Maybe we tell ourselves repeatedly that we're too "busy" to workout, and we have a list a mile long of what we did each night that made the workout impossible to fit in. 99 times out of 100, though, we could have fit in the workout if we really wanted to or really tried to. But in our mind we've made the justification already - I'm busy, therefore the workout becomes least important. Creativity with our schedule isn't something we try, because our reason for not doing it is completely justified! We can't do anything about it - we're simply too busy.
I don't buy it anymore.
We say that we want to change, we want to improve, but when that becomes hard we have all these made-up justifications to fall back on that we don't actually push through and change our lives into what we want them to be! What we tell ourselves to be a fact, becomes one in our life.
We can do SO MUCH MORE than we give ourselves credit for. But instead of giving ourselves credit, we give ourselves excuses, and we become our own worst enemy!
Believe me, I've been as guilty of this as the next guy! It's not easy to change, and it's scary to really put our best foot forward and try to make the change. It's less scarier and much easier to say "well, I'm trying to try, but life gets in the way and won't let me." Our excuses become our justifications, which become our truth.
What do you think?