by: Angela Bozorth
Many of us start off the new year by making resolutions, both grand and small to change every aspect of our lives. Unfortunately, this often puts us in a negative mindset very quickly. We usually pick things that are not easy to achieve (lose 25 lbs., join a gym and actually go a few times a week, start a book club, etc.). Then after few weeks we feel guilty for not sticking to these resolutions and we begin to make excuses. Excuses are essentially the admission of failure and we humans don’t like to fail.
I once had a band leader in junior high school who had a plaque on the wall that stated, “The world wants results, not excuses.” Simply put, that’s what we all want, to achieve our goals and responsibilities in life without having to make excuses. Most of us learn to make excuses as a way to rationalize why we didn’t do something we know we should have or did something we shouldn’t have. Unfortunately, excuses limit us: our options, our capabilities, our focus. However, we can learn to short circuit the path to making excuses by understanding what motivates us and choose to make positive changes.
Two of the major reasons that cause us to make excuses are fear of failure and lack of direction. An example of fear of failure in action would be someone who wants to go back to school and finish their degree but they make excuses such as “I don’t have the time” or ” I can’t afford it”. The truth is often the fear of failing, not being good enough, not finishing what is started. An example of lack of direction would be the aforementioned dieting to lose 25 lbs. This is a fine goal but without clear direction as to how; excuses such as “I have a slow metabolism” or “I don’t have time to exercise” begin to creep in. Instead, adapting a clear plan can help anybody on the path to success.
Some tips for a “no excuses” New Year in 2020 are:
* Take responsibility- for your life, your actions, your goals and yes even your mistakes. Taking responsibility in your life will eliminate the need to have to make excuses in all aspects of your life.
* Focus and prioritize- be clear in the direction you want to go and the goals you want to achieve. One of the best definitions of success I have ever read is: “Success is energy well-directed”.
*Be prepared for challenges- life has a way of throwing us curve balls but having the courage, conviction and confidence to pursue your goals despite setbacks is the trait of a winner. In the end, you will be stronger for having endured these setbacks and achieved success.
As we begin a new year consider life as a series of choices to make and lessons to learn. Ultimately, life gets better by choice, not by chance. So chose wisely, work responsibly toward your goals and don’t let fear distract you.
Happy New Year,
Angela Bozorth, CCJAP/CSAC/ACA
Certified Substance abuse counselor in FL and NC. She can be reached at (321) 506-2765 for more information on substance abuse groups and family support groups call or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.