No Excuses – The 90-Day Accountability Challenge
Heard any good excuses lately?
Used any good excuses lately?
Dictionary.com defines an excuse as “an explanation offered as a reason for being excused; a plea offered in extenuation of a fault or for release from an obligation, promise, etc.:”
In other words, an excuse is simply a way out of assuming accountability for our own behaviour and a means by which we can deflect responsibility for our own failures to keep our word and renege on our obligations.
And we are seldom short of a good one.
As a Habits Coach I am constantly amazed at the excuses I hear as justification for why clients, who in previous sessions have espoused irrevocable determination to pay any price required in order to bring changes to their lives, have failed to do the very things they have committed to doing.
I know change is difficult, I know it takes time and I know it is challenging. I also know, from more than 30 years of working with others, that the pain of manifesting change in our lives lasts only a relatively short period of time when compared to the pleasure those changes will bring.
My own personal experiences with delivering excuses rather than results have given me a deep understanding of why it is so easy to succumb to the temptation of not honouring our commitments.
It always comes down to one simple principle: we trade what we want for what we want NOW.
And excuses are the currency we use for trading.
There is much debate as to whether human are rational beings. I don’t know the answer, but I do know that we are rationalizing beings. We seem to have an endless capacity for explaining and justifying why we do what we do and very often, we use self-victimization (“what else could I do, I had no other choice”) or blame (“it’s your/his/her/their/its” fault).
Not for a moment am I suggesting that there aren’t times when our excuses are not legitimate and when circumstances completely beyond our control prevent us from meeting commitments, but, those times are relatively few.
To paraphrase Jim Rohn, “when it’s important we find a way, when it’s not we find an excuse.” Quite frankly, I couldn’t agree more.
Today I introduce The Habit of Not Making Excuses. Remember, we have chosen, and adopted each habit we have and by choosing to make The Habit of Not Making Excuses our own, we are electing results over excuses, pride over disappointment and long-term gratification over short-term justification.
The Accountability Challenge
I invite you to accept a challenge and commit to it for the next 90 days. Remember if you do so, there are no exceptions, concessions, deflections or omissions.
Here’s the challenge: Make your very last excuse right now, today and make everything else so extremely important that you will always find a way. Always.
Accepting this challenge will have a profound impact on your life. The next 90 days will pass regardless of what you do, but who you are at the end of those 90 days will be fashioned precisely by what you have chosen.
It’s the battle of the life you have versus the life you want.
Let’s make a habit of meeting like this.