Motivate_Henry Ford

What’s Standing in Your Way?

Excuses. Things that stand in the way of reaching our goals, or even simpler, things that prevent ACTION. We all have them. The problem with excuses is that we never make progress if we let them control us.

Continuing with the theme of transformation I have been discussing lately, I want to take some time to talk about how we can harness the power of motivation to propel us forward when we start to let excuses get in our way.

Before we get to the meat of this conversation, lets take a closer look at the root of the excuse. Why do we make them? What purpose do they serve? How do we stop making them? Who makes them? Where is there a place for them? When do we choose action?

Why Do We Make Them?
Lets start with the obvious answer. Because we flat out do NOT want to do something! Giving an excuse to that something which we want nothing to do with justifies inaction and therefore makes the excuse viable to us. What if we decided to change our perspective? What if we could change our minds actively and choose to do the thing we don’t want to do? What kind of power could you harness by just making that decision? Pretty empowering to just think about it right? So how might this apply to your everyday life. I know for me, getting out of bed in the morning to get a workout in is just something I do NOT want to do. I am not a morning person by any means nor feel the most energetic in the wee morning hours, but I also know if I do not workout in the morning I may not workout at all! So what are my choices? Make excuses, like the ones I listed above, or choose to do the thing I don’t want to do? Here’s the thing with these types of choices, if you weigh the cost vs. benefit, the choice is actually quite easy. All of the benefits of getting that workout in really do far outweigh the costs, I just have to believe that and remember that every time my alarm goes off in the morning. #noexcuses

What Purpose Do They Serve?
In general, excuses serve the basic purpose of giving us an out; a reason to not doing something, whether valid or not. But in the context of this discussion, lets flip it around and talk about what purpose they do not serve. They do NOT serve YOU! That’s right, the very things you are using to get out of something are not serving you. Instead they are standing in the way of you and action and using that action to make positive changes in your life. #chooseaction

How Do We Stop Making Them?
This is probably the most difficult part to address, because lets be honest, making excuses is probably one of the easiest coping mechanisms we have. But again, if we’re being honest, we’re not coping, we’re bailing out. Bailing out on others and most importantly on ourselves. We deserve more than we even think we do, and excuses can keep us from fully experiencing all that life has to offer us. So what’s the easiest way to break this cycle? STOP MAKING EXCUSES. Plain and simple. There are no magical steps you can take to make this happen and it’s going to have to happen on your own terms. But you CAN choose to stop making excuses and instead choose action. #actionnotexcuses

Who Makes Them?
WE ALL DO! Wait, I bet you thought I was going to list out all the different types of people that fit the mold of “excuse-maker,” but guess what? There is no mold. We are ALL excuse-makers! But if we are all excuse-makers, that means we can all choose action. It’s not restricted to a few hungry go-getters that never let anything stand in their way of progress. It is available to all of us, so choose wisely. Actions are so much more powerful than excuses. #powerinactions

Where Is There a Place For Them?
Now that I’ve gone on a rampage against excuses, I want to make sure I address the instances when making them is just plain smart. Like when you have an injury or illness that prevents you from working out. Honor your body and know when it needs rest over activity. Our body is designed to work at an optimum level, but when illness or injury occurs, the best medicine really is rest. I know this is tough for the over-achievers out there, that wouldn’t miss a workout if their life depended on it, but it is so critical to listen to the cues our bodies give us. Our body knows what it needs and tells us if we pay attention. Another example of a time when excuses are valid is when what you are doing has the potential to hurt yourself or others. Sometimes the best thing we can do is come up with a list of excuses to prevent us from doing something that we know will have a bad outcome. #respect

When Do We Choose Action?
ALWAYS! Well, except for the last couple scenarios I discussed 😉 Transformation is not the result of making excuses. It is the result of choosing action consistently and building forward momentum through that consistent action. Transformation is a journey, not a destination. Some days it’s going to take all we have not to make excuses that get in the way of progress, but using the tactics I have been discussing, such as breath, sticktoitiveness, motivation, sweat, passion, nutrition and learning, can help you stay the course when excuses seem like the only option. #forwardmomentum

So I know this is a lot to digest and I am hoping not to overwhelm, but to educate. And in the spirit of education and sharing my personal experiences that have lead to action, I want to leave you with the following:

M – Mindful – being of sound mind when making choices while honoring yourself and your body in the process.
O – Open – be open to the possibility of change or transformation. Being closed off ensures it will not be.
T – Truthful – be honest with yourself and your choices and those that are not serving you.
I – Insightful – look deep within yourself to discover those things that are getting in the way of progress.
V – Vision – visualize what success will look like. Visualizing success provides forward momentum.
A – Aspire – don’t accept the status quo, as it is self- limiting. You are capable of more than you realize.
T – Train – get better everyday, whether it’s mentally or physically. Don’t worry about perfect, just focus on better.
E – Educate – teach other people what you know and empower them to become the strongest version of themselves.

So not only did I leave you with some tools to help motivate you on your path to a stronger you, but hopefully made it as easy to remember as possible. This week I challenge you to put one or more of these into action in your life and to share what you are doing to become the strongest you possible.

Actions not excuses to a stronger you!
L