Today is the first day of the new year. I have always felt a sense of freedom on this day. Perhaps because looking at it from an author’s and business owner perspective, it is similar to providing me with a blank screen to write something about. I find this exhilarating, but some might find it to be anything but that.
What I like about having a day like today, is also being able to take a moment to both reflect back on what I have achieved in the past year. More importantly, to focus on what lies ahead for me to strive for, and experience both personally and professionally. In terms of how I go about crafting what my year will look like, is probably not the traditional way most people would plot out what they want to accomplish.
Although my system works for me, I firmly believe you need to have your own established method or system. This is why I’m not going to jade your thinking with sharing mine with you. I could, but I know that you will be more successful if you think this through on your own. More importantly, that you create a system or method that you will be motivated to follow through with. In other words, make it simple enough to do so. This is step one in not coming up with an excuse to avoid this process.
Now, can you imagine a day without coming up with an excuse about why you can’t do something? For context, I’m referring to things you would be doing which are all in your favor, and wouldn’t have any negative consequences. With this being established, think about how much freedom you could experience and the sense of accomplishment you would enjoy if you were not constrained by your excuses? The word liberating comes to my mind when I think about this. Perhaps even a revised form of freedom you have yet to encounter in your life?
Several things I spend my time on professionally is leading and motivating people and teams. What I find when we begin working together, is noticing how many of them have what I refer to as an excuse default mode. It’s almost as if they begin their day with restrictions, and too many thoughts and reasons about how they won’t be able to do something. Fortunately, this is a habit, and habits can be broken. So, keep this in mind if you fall into this category.
Not everyone defaults to an excuse mode all the time, but I’m certain you have had days or times in your life when you felt this way. The real question is, do you like living your life both personally and professionally with excuses as the basis for your daily operational foundation? Only you can answer this, and be honest with yourself.
Given the choice, the majority of people in life would rather have a life filled with opportunities and more pleasant memories. The conundrum that prevents us from not defaulting to an excuse mode, is both a habit, and because you haven’t given yourself permission to be bold, and imagine how differently your life could be without restrictions. Or, what I refer to as excuses.
Let’s face it. Coming up with an excuse not to do or experience something doesn’t take much effort. Conversely, nor should coming up with ways that you could in fact do, or experience the things you are denying yourself or possibly others from doing. For example, let’s say you want to expand your professional network. Sure, this will take some effort, but far less than you might imagine. In fact, expanding your network can be analogous to walking. It only takes one step at a time to bring you to a different place.
As a professional example related to networking, I wanted to meet more sports coaches from around the country to better understand aspects related to team dynamics. So, I set out to accomplish this by emailing one coach I knew. In my communication, I told him about what I wanted to accomplish, and from this communication, I met an additional fifty sports coaches from around the country. Was this hard to do? Not really, and actually, it was incredibly exciting and empowering on a multitude of levels.
The point is that I could have easily come up with an excuse about how hard it might be to find fifty sports coaches to speak with, but by taking the first step of doing so, fueled and created momentum to continue to reach my goal. This example is something you can leverage, and if you are looking to start the New Year off without being in an excuse default mode, here are some suggestions to help you to accomplish this.
- Think of yourself as a person who runs marathons. You didn’t just wake up today and say I’m going to run a marathon today. You put in a large amount of training to get to the point that you could run a marathon. So, think like a marathoner, and focus on what is in front of you, take one step at a time, and build on your distance until you reach your goal.
- Don’t look too far out towards your “end goal”, remain focused on what you can do right now, today or this week.
- Some people prefer to have an accountability partner. Only you know if you will benefit from having one, but most people will. Who could be your accountability partner?
- Starting today, when the first opportunity to come up with an excuse presents itself, think about what it is going to feel like when you don’t come up with an excuse about why you can’t or don’t want to do something.
- Consider rewarding yourself, or keeping track of how many times you avoided coming up with an excuse.
- Before you say no, or come up with an excuse about why you can’t do or accomplish something, think through what would happen if you said “yes”.
- Instead of conveying your excuse, ask the person if you can get back to them with an answer. During the in-between time of responding to the person, come up with only a pro list of why you should do what they asked you to do. In other words, talk yourself into doing and accomplishing what they asked you to consider doing.
How liberating would it be if more people were oriented around not being in excuse mode? Perhaps you can set an example for others and demonstrate how you have become someone who doesn’t let excuses rule or limit opportunities in their life. What are you waiting for? Your excuse free life is waiting for you, and imagine how amazing it is going to be! Happy “excuse free” New Year!
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