Ah, the end of the quarter. It's time for a sigh of relief, and a little reflection. How was your quarter? Did you meet your goals? Did you promote? Did you fall short?
My quarter was fraught with life changes. Sometimes the Universe picks the weirdest times to propel you into significant change, and this quarter was apparently the time the Universe picked for me. During big life changes, what I call "wilderness times," it seems everything is spinning out of control. These are the times when you might find yourself getting married, or getting divorced, or getting organized, or getting settled, or starting a new job, or having a new baby, or ending an old job. During wilderness times, it's difficult to see the forest for the trees. Everything feels like chaos. To the naked eye, everything looks like chaos. But, when you step out of the wilderness and into the clearing, the sky is bluer, your mind is clearer, and you find yourself in some mysterious amazing way to be exactly where you should be, and better than ever.
No, I may NOT be excused ...
My life lesson during this particular school quarter was simply this: Excuses.
Do you have those; excuses? I think I have excuses for my excuses. Seriously. My excuses excuse themselves!
Excuses are those little things we create to justify why we are or are not doing something (like sitting at that machine, practicing). I have learned this quarter that there are circumstances and then there are excuses. If your hands are chopped off and you cannot practice on the machine, then you are faced with an extremely tragic circumstance. If your mother-in-law wants to go out to dinner on Tuesday night despite the fact that you guys dislike each other intensely, then you have excused yourself away from your machine and your practice, because we both known that Tuesday night is prime practice time! I missed time from practice and class this quarter for things I thought were circumstance, until I was contaminated with a nasty little stomach virus that knocked me down and out for about four days. It was then, lying in that bed that I realized this stomach virus was a circumstance. Everything else I had done this quarter that did not include practicing at my machine (while well-meaning and well-intentioned) were merely excuses.
My epiphany was that I am an excuse-maker. (Maybe we all are). My illusions were lifted, no more fudging the issue. Clarity ensued. It was a bitter pill to swallow. (Hey, nobody said 'Aha!' moments would always be enjoyable!)
You can make excuses, or you can progress. It's your choice.
This quarter, the Universe tasked me with three things: Get out of Debt, Lose Weight, and Promote. I set my goals, I set out my plan to achieve those goals … and then I made excuses for why I could not achieve those goals. I have not been completely unsuccessful. I promoted, a little. I lost, a little. And, I paid off a little debt (those student loans are calling my name!). That's the point, though … I did a little. Honestly, I accomplished these things doing so little, can you imagine where I would be right now if I had gotten rid of my excuses and done so much?!?
What do excuses look like?
"I don't have time." "I'm too tired." "It's too boring." "I can't do it." "It's too difficult." "I'm too busy." "I'm not good enough." "I'll never get it." "I'll do it later."
"Sorry, I can't today. My sister's friend's mother's grandpa's brother's grandson's uncle's fish died. It was tragic."—housewifeglamour
Does any of that look familiar? When you read them out loud, do they sound familiar? I know, right? This is the Little List of Lame Excuses. Can I get an "amen" if you relate?
No Ifs, Ands, or Buts …
When I look back on this quarter, I wish I had done more. Three months from now, at the end of next quarter, when I look back, I want no ifs, no ands, no buts, no coulda', no woulda', no shoulda', no guilt, no shame, and no excuses.
Excuses are a bad habit, and I am stronger than my excuses. I have better things to devote my time and energy to than making excuses. I want this dream I am chasing more than my excuses.
NO MORE EXCUSES
You got excuses? You gotta' get rid of those! It's time to get off of our butts and get busy making results!
This is the new Excuse Free Zone! No Excuses Allowed!
Practice to Promotion.