How to Take Ownership over Excuses

We’re always so quick to blame others, our circumstance, or lack of time for our inability to show up and get things done. I know this from personal experience. I used to be the queen of excuses: I can’t go to the gym because of a, b, c, d, eMy lists were long, but my excuses were flimsy.

This is when some tough love comes into play. We all need to remember that more often than not we have a choice. Every day we choose to do things that either take us further from our goals or bring us closer. It doesn’t matter if your goal is health, work, or school oriented. It will undoubtedly take sacrifice to achieve it.

So the next time you think or say, “I can’t __________”. Try the statement, “I’m choosing not to _____________.”

This works in a lot of situations and certainly doesn’t always have a negative connotation. It can be empowering and remind you that YOU are making a conscious choice to do or not do something.

“Do you want a second piece of cake?”

“No thanks, I’m going to choose a piece of fruit instead.”

“Are you going to the gym today?”

“No, I’m choosing to _________ instead.”

Taking ownership of my choices by changing can’t to choose has been a small but empowering shift. Acknowledging that I’m choosing to take a rest day because I’m tired and feeling run down reminds me that my choice shows I’m taking care of myself and not just being lazy.

People don’t always talk about the sacrifices they’ve made to get to where they are, or how their priorities had to change. However, if you want a different outcome, you need to take a different path. Here’s a bit about the one’s I’ve made:

Before I started working out I’d get home from work around 4:30 (teacher life) and change into my PJs. I’d proceed to putter around the house and then settle into a 5 or 6 hour Netflix session. Sometimes I’d mindlessly walk up and down Robson street (a busy shopping street in Vancouver) and spend a couple hours window shopping and trying things on. I chose to spend my time like this. At the end of the day though, it didn’t bring me a lot of happiness or satisfaction. I didn’t accomplish much of anything and my health suffered. While I still enjoy tv time and shopping, I’ve shifted my priorities so working out, going for a walk, being active, meal prepping, getting groceries or spending time with friends and family come before tv, shopping and lazy time.

Some things that have helped me:

  1. Make lists of what I need to accomplish each day/week.
  2. Make a schedule. I look at everything I have to do in a week and schedule in my gym sessions like appointments. Sometimes they’re early in the morning, sometimes they’re at night, sometimes they’re at home or before I meet up with a friend.
  3. Add things to my calendar
  4. Communicate openly with my husband. I’m feeling really tired, I don’t think I can workout this morning. Do you want to come with me later? I know it’ll help me get to the gym.
  5. Say no to doing things I either don’t want to do, or don’t have time to do. I used to always be so accommodating and my personal goals would suffer as a result. Being a bit selfish with how you spend your time is important.

I completely realize my schedule is a lot more flexible than others. But I can also say that I know plenty of amazing women who work full time, help their kids with their homework, grocery shop, and still get in a workout. When there’s a will, there’s a way. If you’re looking for more tips on how to accomplish more, ask the busiest person you know. Try some of their strategies and see what works for you! There’s no one way to take ownership of your schedule, and when you find your balance it will totally be worth it.


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