Sep 20

No More Excuses

More than Idle Chit Chat (The Conversation by Pissaro)I’ve been greatly encouraged by the response to my blog post about finding new direction last night as well as comments on Twitter. It would seem I’m not the only one trying to work out how to shake off the sense of vagueness and inactivity.

In keeping with the idea of shaking off the beige-ness of my everyday life, I’ve decided to bypass the regular motivation and inspiration gurus to kick-start my attitude makeover. No The Secret or Deepak Chopra here, my friends. Anyone can quote Anthony Robbins to get the motivational fires burning. Since I am choosing to no longer blend into the background or run with the crowd, it seems only right that I look for something a little less middle-of-the-road.

A few nights ago I was up late working with How Not to Decorate with Colin McAllister and Justin Ryan on the TV in the background. After chatting with a pair of particularly disorganised and cluttered homeowners, Justin commented that the modern world is made up of excuses. This is a paraphrase, as it was late and I was working, but the general idea of the comment really struck home.

I could fill a book with all the excuses I have used in the past couple of years to justify to myself and others the things that I am not getting done. My husband works away from home frequently and when he is home he often works long hours. I have three young children. I just don’t have enough time/money/energy. It’s too hot (we don’t have air con, so that excuse works for mid-December to late February). I’m too old. I don’t have any qualifications.

I could go on, but it basically comes down to lots of ‘too much’ or ‘too little’ excuses that stop me ever taking risks.

So. Here it is. This is my commitment to Stop Making Excuses. Time for me to stop procrastinating and be passionate about life again.

I’m up for the challenge. Are you?

PS  Dear Colin and Justin, if you happen to read this and you’re ever in Australia, you could makeover my house. We’ve been here 3 years and my overactive excuses gland means that we have done hardly anything to decorate our home yet. It would be like a blank canvas. Please think about it. Yours faithfully, Susan

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  1. Melissa

    It’s a fine line between not making excuses, and recognising the beauty of a small life, don’t you think ? By small, I don’t mean narrow. I know what you mean though. Whatever the range of one’s life, it is all too easy to come up with reasons ‘why not’.

    1. Susan

      I agree. It isn’t necessarily about having a ‘big’ life, but rather about feeling fulfilled and passionate about what you are doing. We can make just as many excuses to stop ourselves from living a more focused, simple life as we can to avoid stepping out and taking risks.

      I’m the Procrastination Queen and my new ‘no excuses’ mantra is simply my way of motivating myself to actually make some choices about what my priorities should be and then follow through with implementing those priorities in my life. I feel like I’ve simply been in a holding pattery for the past months/years, avoiding making decisions one way or the other about too many things.

  2. Annieb25

    I’m with you all the way Susan. Shall be reading with great interest. xx
    .-= Annieb25´s last blog ..Couch to 5 k Running Plan C25K – Week 1 Day 1 =-.

  3. Slava

    I think the way you do it is not by making a commitment, by rather by doing something.

    The problem is you can’t stop making excuses – they are a necessary part of life. You have only so much energy each day and your body decides where it should spend it. Excuses are a way of your body and mind to keep that energy in you. There are a few tricks to cheat in this, but they aren’t as simple as making a oral commitment.

    One thing that I’ve found to be working is to set a time of the day when you need to do something you don’t usually want to do. Like exercise. I set a time (11pm, I know it’s weird, but it works for me) and I do my workout each day at this time. I don’t have to spend anymore energy deciding whether I should or should not do my exerices – it’s just 11pm, alarm goes off and I do it. It took a while, but like I told you – there are no quick ways to change yourself in my experience.
    .-= Slava´s last blog ..The Abu Dhabi Grand Mosque =-.

    1. Susan

      Part of my commitment to no more excuses is about no longer putting off decisions or making excuses for not getting something done. If there is a reason (rather than excuse) for something not happening, then it obviously needs to be rescheduled, reprioritised or simply removed from the ‘To Do’ list.

      It’s not about doing everything or trying to fit everything into my day, it’s about making some priorities, commiting to getting certain things done (and actually doing them) and removing some things from my schedule that are simply taking up time and distracting me from what is really important.

      I like your exercise plan. I like to exercise at night too. I keep trying to set my alarm for an early start, but I’m simply not a morning person. I’d much prefer to exercise in the evening.

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