Don’t Kid Yourself

Does the word palliation mean anything to you? Here’s the definition: “The act of trying to mitigate or conceal the gravity of an offense by excuses, apologies, etc.” Ok, excuses, now that’s a word I understand.

Despite the saying that we all have them and they all stink, we all make excuses don’t we? In fact, we probably have a few favorites that get us every time. I was thinking about a few of my favorite excuses. Most of them deal with time, money, and physical fitness, which just so happen to be the top three things that most of us have a hard time controlling. The connection got my attention. Here are the ones that get me:

Fitness:

“I’ll eat at that place, I’ll just have a salad;”

“This dish isn’t that bad for me, it’s got lots of protein;”

“I’ll be exercising soon, I’ll make up for it.”

Really? Let’s be honest, how many times to you sit down to order and the salad looks about as appetizing as a cold fish head? So you go with the burger of course. And what can you not eat a burger without? Fries! And unless you actually exercise every day, you can’t really use that one to justify your choices. But we think that if we tell ourselves it’s ok that it actually is ok. We want to wish away calories and not suffer the consequences. Sorry, doesn’t work that way.

Money:

“I’ll just go in there and look around;”

“I’ll only spend twenty dollars;”

“I’ve got some extra money coming in so I can afford it.”

Oh man, these get me every time. Even if I do have extra money coming in, chances are it would be better used somewhere else. Rule of thumb: It’s always more expensive than you thought. Always.

Time:

“I’ll just spend a few minutes watching this;”(It’s TV, it has no concept of time)

“I’ll just take a short break from this project;” (Define short. Many short breaks equal few long breaks)

“I’m tired of sitting here. I need to move around for a while and I’ll come back to it.”(Do you actually come back to it?)

Be careful here. Sometimes what sound like great reasons to rest are actually resistance trying to get you to waste time. If you waste time, you don’t get the work done.

It’s hard to stay in shape, it’s hard to save money, and it’s hard to work hard. That’s why we have lots of excuses to get us out of school for the day so we can stay home and play video games.

So what are your favorites? What are you telling yourself that is actually slowing you down, hurting your progress, and holding you back? When you recognize them you’ll be better equipped to stop them in their tracks. Be honest with yourself and start replacing the excuses with a nice dose of reality. Don’t let the resistance (the force that hates hard work) get the best of you. The reward of the work is greater than giving in.

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