Whether you are an entrepreneur giving yourself directions or a member of a team in your workplace or working on your own personal goals, keeping our commitments and getting into action is key. When we fall behind or miss deadlines – self imposed or otherwise (and did you just think self imposed deadlines somehow hold less weight?) it’s natural to feel disappointed.
What can you do with that feeling? First, go ahead and feel it. It means you care about the commitment you made. And then stop and ask yourself why it didn’t happen:
“Why didn't I do this today”? If this is a pattern you have recognized do some deeper self reflection and answer this question in your journal.
Sometimes we do have real reasons that things on our 'to do' list don't get done. And other times we are creating excuses.
When it's a true reason – you or your kids were sick, you overextended yourself, an urgent issue came up with family / a client – be kind to yourself. I have given webinar presentations with a toddler on my hip when my nanny had the flu and had to adjust my schedule to pick up a sick child from school. Not ideal, and stressful...and many a parent will relate!
Reset your thoughts (none of these ‘why am I so stupid’ or ‘why did this happen to me’ type of thoughts running around in your head!), your feelings, and your strategy. If this situation – this reason – were to happen again (and it will!) what strategies can you put in place to help you out next time so you can keep your commitments and minimize your stress?
If there isn’t really a reason, and you’re honest with yourself and recognize an excuse was in your way, dig in a little deeper to learn what's keeping you back.
Often our excuses are related to one of these beauties:
1) we aren't sure where to start (so we don’t and keep ourselves ‘busy’ with other, often trivial thing)
2) we aren't clear about all the steps (so we do the ones we know how to / are easiest but not the most important)
3) we don't really want to do it (but need to...time to plug back into the benefits of getting it done!)
4) we are worried we'll look foolish or fail (this one can really get in our way)
5) we’re afraid to ask for help…
There is a fine line between a reason and an excuse and it can be a slippery slope if we don’t pay attention. When we have leaned on a reason for so long without resetting and planning to address or change it, these reasons can become excuses, bad habits and keep us stuck.
The next time something you really need and want to get done, doesn't get done when you planned, stop and ask yourself why. Why didn't I do this today? And really listen to your answer.
Be stronger than your excuses. And ask for help.
Because we are all stronger together ❤️️