New Year, New Direction,
December 26, 2013
We’ve all been so busy with holiday shopping and menu planning I wonder how many of us are considering the traditional New Year’s Resolution List. Whether you’ve considered it or not, we are all aware (whether we admit it or not) resolutions have a life expectancy equivalent to a mayfly…a few days. Of course, our objectives are admirable. We really do want to stop biting our toenails, or sticking chewing gum under our car seat. Yet, somehow our Resolution List disintegrates into a cloud of ‘good intentions’ dust with the breaking dawn of the morning after New Year’s Eve.
If you’ve been with me long enough you know I’m not a fan of resolution list for the expressed reason that, unlike the gum under your car seat, we don’t stick to it. We lose interest, lose control, lose patience…whatever the excuse, basically we lose it. Why? Well, there are a million reasons and a million more excuses as to why we just don’t do what we say we want to do.
Which brings me to an excellent book I’ve been reading by Dr. Wayne Dyer titled “Excuses Begone!” In it he identifies eighteen commonly used excuses ranging from the overused “I’m too busy” to “I’m not old enough (or too old)” and everything in between we express to excuse our way out of doing something we’re afraid we’ll fail at doing. Isn’t that why we use an excuse? We’re afraid we’ll fail, or we fear others will know we failed and we just can’t accept that reality. Well, I’m asking you to challenge your thinking to accept the concept that NOT trying at all, IS failing; which, of course, keeps you right…you DID fail.
Besides, when we keep tossing out excuses like a force field around us, we somehow convince ourselves we are protected from failure. Sadly, all an excuse does is to provide us with a readymade reason to fail before we attempt that which we’d like to accomplish. Believing so strongly we “can’t,” we create the appropriate excuse to accompany the task. “I can’t get a good job, I’m too old.” “I can’t stop eating sweets because I love chocolate.” “I won’t be able to move because I don’t have anyone to help me.” And the list goes on and on.
Boy, have we devised the perfect solution to not undertaking anything. Be it being too poor, too tired, or, it’s just my nature. Which is probably the ‘end all’ of ultimate excuses, “Sorry, I can’t. I was just made this way.” Well, kudos to you, you never have to attempt anything for the rest of your life. The only thing the rest of us ask is that you stop complaining about not being able to do anything. Just be resigned in the fact that you have created a hole for yourself to hide in and you never have to come out and be a part of this amazing world if you don’t want to. It’s up to you.
Or, on the other hand, if you desire to correct the stuck-standing-still cycle you have succumbed to the first step Dyer states to changing this habitual thinking starts by recognizing it. Whoa, stop making excuses. This isn’t hard. Simply put: whatever you say to prevent, or postpone anything is an ‘excuse.’ See, that was simple. Now that you know you’re an excuse-a-minute waiting to happen, start by catching yourself as soon as it flies off your tongue. The next move is up to you. Because if you’re resolute about a new direction in your life, then you will seriously need to resolve behavior keeping you stuck in the old direction…bringing us back to New Year, New Direction, New Life.
Turning over a new leaf, as they say, requires recognition of the old leaf. In this case, excuses. Imagine the possibilities if you didn’t hide behind your excuses. You could go back to school, start your own business, finally write that novel, or fall in love again. Whatever is keeping you from truly living your life is just an excuse. Be gone with limiting excuses and get out there and live the New Year, and those to come, with a renewed sense of self when you accomplish anything you set your mind to! Now, isn’t ridding yourself of pesky excuses better than a ‘to do list’ of things you won’t do because you have a handy excuse?
Can you imagine… living life excuse free?
Smile, there’s no excuse not to!
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