I went for a run last night.
That doesn’t seem like a big deal, really. I run 3-4 times per week.
But last night it was 31 degrees, a little windy, and lightly snowing off and on. Oh, and did I mention we had a small snowstorm the night before? In other words, it was the perfect kind of night to light a fire, sit on the couch, and watch four or five episodes of Psych on Netflix instead of running.
I had excuses aplenty:
- “It’s cold.”
- “It’s snowing.”
- “It might be slippery.”
- “It’s getting dark.”
- “The sidewalks aren’t clear.”
- “My shoes will get wet.”
- “My clothes will get wet.”
- “My face will get wet.”
- “My mojo will get wet.”
Yes, in case you didn’t know, it is possible for your mojo to get wet.
But last night I reached the point where I’d already used these excuses too many times lately (it is late winter/early spring where I live after all). It had been several days since my last run, so I really needed to get my body moving again.
I put on my warmest running clothes and talked myself into going out for at least a short run. Wouldn’t you know it, after I put my feet to the street my short run turned into a “normal” run (which for me is 3-4 miles). Sure, I had to watch my step a little more than usual, and the snow blew in my eyes a few times, and my mojo did get a bit wet, but only a little.
As I stepped back into the warmth and comfort of my house, my very first thought was, “That wasn’t bad at all.” And I instantly realized how lame my excuses have been lately.
Way too often we let ridiculous, lame excuses get in the way of things we should do. Worse yet, we let them get in the way of things we want to do.
This article isn’t really about running. It’s about letting lame excuses get in our way. Excuses like:
- “I’ll look stupid if I __________.”
- “I’m not very good at _______.”
- “My boss/coworkers/spouse/kids/friends/strangers will think I’m crazy for wanting to ___________.”
- “It will take too much time.”
- “I’ve got too much to do.”
- “I don’t have the right equipment.”
- “I don’t have enough money.”
- “I’m too old.”
- “I’m too young.”
- “I’m a man.”
- “I’m a woman.”
- “I’m not the boss.”
- “I just started here.”
- “My mojo might get wet.”
Honestly, if I really wrote out all the lame excuses we generate every day, this article would never end.
Your assignment, if you choose to accept it, is this:
1. Write down one simple thing you know you should do or want to do, but you’ve been putting off (or suspect you might put off). Maybe it’s running, or updating your LinkedIn profile, or cleaning your desk.
2. Write down every excuse you can think of for NOT doing it.
3. Do it anyway. Just this one thing.
4. Take a long moment to notice how powerful and satisfied you feel when you finish.
5. Look back at your list of excuses and let it sink in how lame most of them are. It’s ok to laugh at them in a condescending manner.
6. Repeat after me: “Next time I won’t let my lame excuses stop me.“