New Strategies for Every Excuse

I’m constantly reflecting on ways to make the most out of my day, my life, my company and I think the biggest thing I run into when I discuss #MakingMoves with others is that they don’t know how to start or where to start. I’ve written a few blogs about that, but that doesn’t cover all of the other excuses. I say excuse, not to be harsh, but because that’s all it is and I think that can be more motivating for people. No one wants to be accused of making excuses!

So, today, let’s talk about strategies for every excuse; non-specific excuses, specific excuses including a few I hear most often.

What’s a non-specific excuse? I can’t, why should I, I don’t really need a change, I don’t even know what I want, why does it matter, it’s just how it is, I’m happy outside of work, so what does it matter if work is good? I’m happy at work, so what does it matter outside of that?

Well I’m here to tell you that you can, to be happier/make a difference to yourself or others/fulfillment/success, if you’re reading this, you probably do, you can still start somewhere, it matters because what you put out is received by others – negativity breeds negativity, happiness breeds happiness, it doesn’t have to be, you’re crazy.

The first strategy is just adopting a different general way of thinking; believing you can and wanting to. From there you can work into more specific strategies for more specific excuses 😉 Start by making a list of 5 positive things that will come from whatever change you’re looking for, then 5 things you could do to work towards that (ex: make this list, update your resume, get 30 minutes of extra sleep, drink more water, schedule one hour a week of you time to do something nice for yourself.)

Let that list create new habits and new things to look forward to and turn into 10 things, etc.

Specific excuses! We all know what these can be: I don’t have enough money, Its too late, people will be mad at me, people will think I’m crazy, what if I get rejected.

Rewind to previous paragraph: The first strategy is just adopting a different general way of thinking; believing you can and wanting to. This is the toughest thing to do with specific excuses, so if you can make it over that hump. Just trust that somehow you can do it and WANT to do it – you really can start seeing changes.

Another difficult strategy you NEED here is to……. Just start! It sounds so easy so it can’t be, right?! WRONG! Just start. Just show up at that fitness class, just step outside in your sneakers and you’re bound to start running. Maybe you aren’t the best, maybe you don’t run a mile, but you’ve started. Everything else will just come with time.

You want to go back to school? Just make an appointment with an advisor, chances are they’ll do the rest of the strategizing for you. You want to switch jobs? Just start looking at job postings. It’ll start being motivation enough to take the next step.

In this space it’s helpful to write down or think about or talk about some questions. What do I need to get the job I really want? (degree in something specific, a good reference, to finish my short story, etc) How do I increase my salary? (request a performance eval, submit for a promotion, think about a new job/career path) Be healthier! (Do I want to start with my diet or with exercise? What are some things about my grocery list I could start changing? How could I drink more water throughout the day? What types of exercise would I enjoy?)

From there you should have a pretty good list of starting points and how- tos!

Some takeaways from this post:

  • Believe/trust that you can make changes/achieve goals
  • Make a conscious decision to WANT to make      changes/achieve goals
  • Make a list!
  • Just START/Just SHOW UP
  • Flesh it out with questions

The best way of getting through that first one is to soul search and be honest with yourself. If you can’t be honest with yourself, who can you be honest with? Think about what excuses you’re telling yourself. Put them on paper or in the Notes app on your phone and look at them. Are they so big? Don’t you want to start erasing them? As scary or just lazy as you feel when looking at them.. think about how great it would feel if you could look back and say you got past them and started being happier.