“There are only two options: Make progress or make excuses.”
If you follow me on Instagram it’s unlikely that you don’t already know this — I am a Podcast and Audible addict. You guys, seriously, I’m addicted. I actually can’t remember the last day I didn’t pop my AirPods in and listen to an episode or a chapter. What else allows you to clean the bathroom and work on growing yourself at the same time? Both apps have become a staple for productivity and the perfect way to remind myself to keep. going.
No more excuses: can’t vs. won’t
This past week I was listening to a Podcast of Amy Porterfield interviewing Marie Forleo on her new book “Everything is Figureoutable” (yes I will be reading and reviewing that book, stay tuned!) and they got into the topic of excuses.
From time to time, or maybe more, we all make excuses. Like me, you might not even realize you’re making an excuse because sometimes they just kind of slip out. Oftentimes for me an excuse is a reflection of something that I honestly don’t want to do, but I have a hard time saying no to — like hanging out for one more drink when all I want to do is get to bed so I don’t feel like crap in the morning. And other times, excuses are covering up something that I’m avoiding all together — like cleaning the dog hair off of all 63 window sills in our house.
I know that when I make excuses something is not aligned, but I usually can’t see that until after it’s all done. For me, it’s easy to make an excuse and harder to catch them in the moment.
In her interview, Marie gave an easy tip to identify your excuses, call them out, and eliminate them in the future and I am IN LOVE with how basic this is. It’s so simple you can implement it today and you’ll probably wonder “why didn’t I think of this?” just like I did.
The next time you find yourself making an excuse for something — “I can’t find the time to workout” — replace the word can’t with the word won’t and ask yourself, is that more true?
Here’s an example. When I talk about establishing a morning routine with people I hear things like “I can’t wake up that early“, “I can’t workout in the morning my body just isn’t awake enough”, or “I can’t go to bed early enough”. What if I switch can’t for won’t. Instead you hear “I won’t wake up that early”, “I won’t workout in the morning”, and “I won’t go to bed early enough”. Be honest with yourself, are the can’t statements more true or the won’t statements?
Yes, girl. The won’t statements are probably more true.
And p.s. THIS DOES NOT MAKE YOU A FAILURE. Pump the brakes. Just because you realize that it’s not that you can’t do something, it’s that you won’t do something, it doesn’t mean that it’s a bad thing and that you’re a bad person. There’s a reason. And identifying your excuses as won’t statements instead of can’t can be incredibly freeing. Let me explain why.
When you’re honest with yourself, you build trust
I repeat. Admitting that you won’t isn’t a bad thing! Marie was quick to point out that just because you admit that you are spending your time watching Schitt’s Creek instead of cleaning the bathroom doesn’t mean that you’re a bad person or that it’s a “bad thing” — it’s means that you didn’t prioritize it and that you’re just being honest with yourself.
What’s even more interesting is that the more and more you can be honest to yourself the more you will understand yourself. The more you will honor yourself. And the more you can start to challenge yourself when you have a goal you want to meet and actions you need to take to get there, but you’re choosing to not do them.
Become really good at prioritization and you will have no more excuses
What it comes down to is that we are constantly prioritizing the things in our life by the decisions we make. What we say yes to and what we say no to are critically important to what gets done each day.
I outline an exercise in my previous post that helps you identify what your priorities are and see if your priorities match up with your actions. If they don’t match up, be honest with yourself and figure out what you are saying I won’t to that you should be saying I will to in order to accomplish your goals. And adjust what you prioritize to focus on those things.
Remember. Time is a fixed resource, you’ll probably have to say no to something to say yes to another. In fact, you probably have to say no to the majority of things.
When you identify your excuses and say “no more”, you find clarity
When I heard Marie suggest that little switch — can’t for won’t — which is so incredibly simple and accessible, I felt a lot of clarity. I hope you felt a little bit of that today as well. This idea has really challenged me to think about the times that I respond with I can’t to someone or something and challenge that. Is it that I can’t stay after work to have a beer or that I won’t because I want to see my daughter before she goes to sleep? When I switch can’t for won’t, be honest with myself, and honor my priorities, I find clarity and peace in my decisions. No more excuses!
I’m dying to hear how switching can’t with won’t goes for you guys. Let me know in the comment’s or message me 🙂 YOU’VE GOT THIS!