First, let me start by saying this is more of a reminder for myself than anything else. I struggled for many years with inconsistency. The day I realized these excuses were coming from a place of fear was the day I started to experience life in an entirely different way. I was in control of how I spent my time. I decided how many hours of sleep I got (not during the newborn season of course). And I was the only one who could decide to take a leap of faith into unknown waters.
We all have the same 24 hours in a day, right? So why was it that others could accomplish or complete tasks that I felt were impossible? I wasn’t prioritizing it! I changed my language and started saying, “That’s not something I am making time for these days”. I began to see my daily habits changed as I prioritized the tasks I actually DID want to accomplish. You see, it’s not an excuse for not wanting to do something, but the reality that sometimes there really is no time. However, this is where I was honest with myself and determined whether there were sacrifices that needed to be made to make time or where I could give myself grace and recognize this season of life is going to look different for me. And even harder for me, recognize where I needed to ask for help and allow someone else to step in. My new focus slowly transitioned to being intentional with how my time was scheduled, leaving room for what mattered.
This one was tough for me because I knew I was the only one who really had an impact on my energy. How much energy we have is greatly impacted by how we treat our bodies. I began to ask myself: Am I eating the right foods that nourish my body? Am I staying hydrated? Am I moving my body, stretching my muscles, and working up a little sweat? How am I sleeping at night? Could I catch a few more hours of shuteye and a little less screentime? The difficult part here was breaking OLD habits that were not serving me. And little by little I began regaining new energy by setting good habits that served my body and mind. One tool that really helped in this area was stacking habits. You can read more about it in Atomic Habits.
The excuse that triumphed over all of these… the excuse caused by fear of failure. Think about every single time you’ve said, “I can’t” in response to something new. Why? Can you genuinely not? Like, are you allergic to strawberries so you LITERALLY can’t eat a strawberry? (That’s a terrible analogy but follow me here) Think about it. How many opportunities do we miss out on because we’re simply afraid to try! Trust me, I’ve been there. But the truth is, I got so tired of being scared or embarrassed about failing. The day I began to push through and try I realized that’s where life happens. In the trying. In the learning. In the failing and getting back up.
It’s not all easy and predictable. I’m actually living through the most unpredictable season of life. But prioritizing these values has had a snowball effect in so many areas of my life.
So now here is what I try to say to myself:
- “I have control over how I use my time. What am I prioritizing this week?”
- “I feel drained. How will I nourish my body this week?”
- “That scares me. I’m going to learn about it and try!”
What excuses do you need to let go of? What’s holding you back?
Ana M. Pierre