In the past few months, I have learned something about myself. I am a pro at making up excuses for things, whether it be exercising, eating healthy, or doing housework. I have developed a knack for convincing myself that bad decisions are okay. I recently realized that I need to stop doing this and set out to find a solution. I think I found one that just might work.
The first step to fixing any problem is to identify what the problem is. After identifying the problem, it’s time to look for a solution. That’s what I did this week after realizing a huge part of my problem is making up excuses.
“Oh, it’s okay this time because…”
“You can do it tomorrow…”
I decided it was time to throw away my excuses. I thought about simply writing them down and putting them in the trash, but there was no accountability in that. So, next, I thought about writing them out and burning them. I remember reading somewhere that burning things is supposed to help it disappear from your thoughts. That seemed a bit dangerous – what if I caught the apartment on fire?
Then, I saw these empty jars in the kitchen that I had been saving for a future craft project. An idea instantly popped into my head and I set out to complete it.
I started by decorating the jar. I didn’t get fancy – a simple piece of decorative tape around the middle was all I needed. Since this was an experimental solution, I wanted to keep it simple.
Next, I took a slip of paper and wrote my first excuse on the jar. Yesterday’s excuse for not doing anything was that I was tired from not sleeping well. I threw the excuse in the jar and moved forward. I managed to get a lot done once I threw the excuse away.
I spent today at the beach and came home with a nice little sunburn. I seem to burn at some point no matter how much lotion I put on. I had originally planned on doing my workout before the beach but ran short on time. So, now I’m finding myself using the excuse of “sunburn” for not working out. Guess what’s going in the jar and who’s getting started on their workout in a few minutes? (If you guessed me, then you’re correct.)
Writing down my excuse makes me aware of it and throwing it in the jar helps me realize that I need to push through. So far, I’m really liking this system. I think it’ll also be interesting to dump out the jar at the end and see how many excuses I’ve pushed through. (I’m only putting excuses in the jar that I actually push through. If I let the excuse win, then I don’t get to put it in the jar.)
I know it’s not a fancy system, but it’s a system that has lots of potential if you follow through on it. I feel a huge part of changing habits is overcoming your own excuses. So far, this method had been working for me.
What excuses do you find yourself making over and over again?
Did I mention that I finally put my feet in the Pacific Ocean? That’s a goal I’ve had since I moved out here and I’ve just now gotten around to doing it!