Stop Making Excuses and Start Taking Ownership

We’re always to quick to blame others, our circumstance or lack of time for our inability to show up and get things done. I know this from experience. I use to be the queen of excuses. I can’t do that because of a, b, c, d, e. My 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 then not we have a choice. We choose to do things that take us further from our goals, or bring us closer. No matter if your goal is health, work or school oriented, it will undoubtedly take sacrifice to achieve it.

So the next time you think/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 reminder 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.

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 or 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:
  • Make lists of what I need to accomplish each day/week.
  • 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.
  • Add things to my calendar
  • Communicate openly with my husband. I’m feeling really tired, I don’t think I can workout this morning. Do you maybe want to come with me later, I know it’ll help me get to the gym.
  • Say no to doing things I either don’t want to do, or don’t have time to do. I use to always be so accommodating and my personal goals would suffer as a result. Sometimes 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 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. They always know how to juggle their time and schedule to get things done.

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