We have just 3 days left before the new year is here! It’s almost hard to believe that 2017 is coming to a close, but in all honesty, for me, I’m kind of relieved. I know every year will bring excitement and challenges, but this year, has been a full year, I think it has been a pivotal year for me and I’m now ready to move forward. With that being said, this is the first post of a short series of a few small and effective actions to help prepare for a Happy New Year. We’re doing a 3-2-1 countdown for 2018, so get ready to think, reflect, and plan your way to a new and happy year.
I have found that in the end, excuses don’t amount to anything. I’m not saying that there aren’t challenges that create setbacks, but when those setbacks are not addressed, they become road blocks, barriers, that hold us back from our potential, fulfillment, and purpose. So what am I going to do with my excuses? I’m going to excuse them! Bye-bye excuses, you are dismissed.
It may sound a little humorous to speak to yourself, to your excuses in that manner, but they absolutely have to go. In my personal reflection over the last couple of weeks, I have realized that all the time I spent allowing my excuses, my reasons why I couldn’t, my hesitations for starting, to be prevalent in my life has accounted for wasted time. Time that I could have spent troubleshooting, fine-tuning, or possibly excelling in what it was I wanted to do all along. Before I bring this bad baggage with me another year, I am going to be deliberate in addressing the problem and letting it stay where it belongs; here, in the past.
Parting Ways with Excuses
Ways that I plan to leave my excuses in 2017:
- Identify– I have looked over my life in the areas that I wanted to make progress in and asked why. Why didn’t I do it? Why didn’t I finish? Why didn’t I address it? Why didn’t I try? It was a hard process, I spent quite a bit of time being honest, and vulnerable to find the reasons for my excuses. Some of my excuses were surface issues, things I could change by making immediate changes. Some of my excuses were in the middle, where I would have to develop new habits. A few of my excuses were deep, where I had to address a deep-seeded issue within myself, what I thought about myself, how I felt about myself and start to speak and move differently than that. Remember my post about Positive Affirmations? Yeah, I did it for myself, talk about a complete turn around.
- Counteract– This is all about the plan. I often say that it is far easier to respond the right way, when you prepare a proper response. Let’s be real, excuses are a natural part of everyday life. Times when you don’t feel up to certain tasks and just putting off today what can be done tomorrow are not the type of excuses I’m talking about. I’m talking about the type of excuses that have put a hold on progress towards, your goals, dreams, aspirations, and accomplishments. I have two responses that are appropriate for me, and will help me to curve on my excuses in 2018. One of my responses will be to persevere. Persevere defined by Webster-Merriam dictionary means: to persist in a state, enterprise, or undertaking in spite of counterinfluences, opposition, or discouragement. It’s funny, my excuses seem to pesent themselves as counterinfluences, opposition, and discouragement, but I’m going to persist toward my end goal. My second response is to be resilient. Resilient means characterized or marked by resilience: such as tending to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change.
- Attack– Now that I’ve identified, have a plan to counteract, it’s time for me to just act. Go forward in the things that I was too this or not enough that. I am going to do and act as if there was nothing ever stopping me to begin with. I may start off slow, but once I get going there will be no stopping, and there will certainly be no excuses.
If you live any length of time you will come to a place where you either need to be forgiven, or you need to forgive. In the case of needing to be forgiven, you have little control over whether or not you receive forgiveness. In the case of forgiving, you alone, are the one who gets decide whether you will hold on to the debt, wrong, offense, or trespass of another. My husband works in finance and a lot of times he will tell me about instances where he writes off a balance or debt for customer because it doesn’t benefit the company to hold on to debt. The goal is to settle the accounts as quickly as possible. As a woman of faith, I see why Jesus speaks in the bible about being unforgiving. I have learned that even if a person never apologizes, it still benefits me to get the debt off my heart.
Do people do mean and hurtful things? Yes. Do you want to protect yourself from those things? Yes. Guess what? You’re just as guilty and as capable of the same things. While you may feel that what you experienced from someone else was intentional, it is not your place to judge the intent of the heart. You can only be held accountable for what is in your heart. I’d rather keep a heart clear and free from bitterness, scorn, and conflict. Although it is very difficult, I have to leave unforgivingness alone, and in the past where it belongs. I’ve got to be completely free. Farewell unforgivingness.
I have to say good-bye to guilt this year. I have been going through a lot of different transitions and pain points in my life. From adjusting to being a stay-at-home-mom, to a host of heartbreaking experiences, and losing my dad. All of these things have left me feeling like there were things I could have done differently, a weight of blame seems to linger on my chest. I mean even in situations that weren’t really my fault I still find a way to assume responsibility for what went wrong. While, I’m not saying that I’m never at fault, there are some things, some situations that just go wrong, because they do. Instead of carrying blame and guilt, release the weight of what went wrong, or what isn’t right, and embrace the lesson. Should you have did things differently? If so, what changes are you going to make going forward? If I can find the grace to forgive others, surely I can find the grace to forgive myself. I’m leaving my guilt behind, and pushing toward what is ahead.
How to Find Your 3
I’ve shared my three things to leave behind. How are you going to figure out yours? Start by writing a list of things you did not do in 2017 that you wanted to do. From this list identify the causes. You may find a common strand that you can easily target, and say goodbye to. Another way to identify is to examine the things that you have been avoiding. Need to change a habit? Need to begin a venture? You may have been procrastinating, but in my experience, long term procrastination usually has a deeper reasoning, that reasoning is probably going to make the list. Lastly, I am not a fan of cutting ties relationally, but take the time to evaluate your circle, inner and outer. If there are people who are blocking, hindering or pulling you from your desired results, you may need to set new boundaries to move forward.
All in all, I am hoping that you will find what you need to leave in 2017, and that you use the courage, grace, and motivation to leave it and move on to the better things ahead of you. What are some the things you’re leaving behind? Comment below, I’d love to see your must-go list.
Sharing the sunshine of life; wife, mom, faith, and purpose.