We all know someone that is full of excuses. Whether it be about their weight, their health, their financial situation, relationship circumstances, or whatever- there are simply people out there who refuse true ownership over their problems and resort to making constant excuses. What these people fail to realize is that most people can see right through those excuses and truthfully, listening to them constantly is flat out exhausting. People use excuses as a way to take the burden of responsibility off of their shoulders and justify their problems. Let me make something clear- we ALL make excuses. The difference is letting excuses run your life and using them as indicators in regards to where you need self discipline. In my own life experience, I have found that self discipline is the opposite of using excuses. From a very early age and coming from a traumatic childhood, I knew that I could either be a victim of my circumstances or the victor of it. I discovered that those who became victims of their circumstances continued to perpetuate that narrative thus repeating that cycle. In my hometown, that cycle was addiction, crime, and being in the low income category. I wanted more for my life so, instead of ‘falling victim’ I made it my life goal to become a victor. Do you think that excuses were going to help me reach my goals or inhibit me? Fortunately for me, I wanted to reach my goals and I knew that self discipline was the only way to get there. Let me get something very clear here: I am not perfect and will never claim to be. I have fallen off the wagon. I have taken much longer to reach certain goals than others. I don’t think there is a true master of self discipline, I think that if you are trying then you are far better off than those who are doing nothing.
So how do you go from being an excuse maker to suddenly being disciplined? It is not an overnight, over week, or over year event. It takes a tough love approach in regards to self reflection. It takes time. It takes practice; so much practice that it becomes second nature to go outside of your comfort zone and to push through when you feel like giving up. When you make up your mind to achieve a certain goal, you have to become relentless in your quest to achieve it. Let me give you an example and a common problem facing millions of people around the globe. Body image and weight. I have always been ‘skinny fat’ and hated my body. I have long arms and legs combined with a short torso that accumulates my fat. I have been successfully able to hide my muffin top over blouses, but I never felt comfortable in a swim suit or naked. I made the decision about a year after I had my first child that I wanted to love my body. I wanted a body that I was going to be proud of but more importantly- to feel confident in. I started working out and making better decisions regarding food choices. It has been about 6 years since I told myself I wanted to get fit and here I am today. My body is still not perfect, but the point is that I love my body now and I have never given up on reaching my body goals. I am overall comfortable in my skin and my entire perception of my body has changed for the better. Sure I have stretch marks and my stomach looks awful when I sit down, but I am confident and happy with the way I look and that was my goal.
I chose the topic of body image and weight because I have found that it is the most common issue that excuses are used for amongst mothers. I hear people complain about their weight gain while simultaneously drinking a Dr. Pepper and eating a Twix. I want to make one thing very clear here. I DON’T FEEL SORRY FOR YOU. I will never give sympathy to people who enable their own problems! This is where I get tough on tough love. You are your problem in this regards girlfriend! This is not meant to shame you or berate you- it is meant to open your eyes! So many people out there go through life without realizing that they are their own problem. That making excuses to justify their problems in life have become so routine that they are oblivious to it. I am trying to wake these people up. Only YOU have the power to change your mindset and simultaneously change your life! Once a disciplined person sets their mind to a goal, they dodge the wrenches and find a way (literally the opposite of making excuses). ‘But my knee hurts or I have this shoulder issue or I can’t afford a gym membership or I just don’t have time’……..I call bullshit. When you set your mind to something and you truly want it deep down in your soul, you will find a way. Can’t afford a gym membership? Go jogging outside and do some push ups and sit ups. Have a bad knee? Maybe don’t run but instead go on a bike ride and do yoga. Don’t like the fact that you have gained 50 lbs? Stop eating crap and get your body moving!
I have to reiterate another VERY important point: never, I repeat NEVER beat yourself up for going back to step 1. I consider myself extremely disciplined and still fall off the wagon from time to time. However, I have never felt crappy about myself for falling off. I simply dust my shoulders off and get right back to it.
Step one is always, ALWAYS owning your role in your problems.
Acknowledge what you are afraid of
Understand how those fears make you feel
Make a list of your top 5 excuses
Make a list of goals
Make an action plan to accomplish your goals
Make an action plan to eliminate excuses
Live it, own it, and implement it everyday