I’ve been trying to determine what separates the dreamer from the do-er, in writing, in parenting, marriage, and all other aspects of life. What is the difference between someone with a head full of great ideas, and someone who accomplishes great things?
I have an answer. But I don’t like it, because it is the type of answer that requires action on my part. Do you want to know what my answer is?
That’s it. I mean, that’s a pretty big “it”, but that’s really, it. You see, I have an entire list of them. This morning, I’m up early enough to write, and work out, before my boys get up for the day. I’m also up early enough to go back to sleep for a few hours. And I’m very pregnant…like counting down the last 4-ish weeks until baby’s debut. So, I should get to go back to sleep. It’s only “fair”, right?
But I have this idea in my head of how I want to do life, and somehow, making excuses always hinders that idea. I know, living life by a to-do list can be dangerous if we lose sight of the people and priorities, but living life with excuses is dangerous too. I’m much more productive, and in turn, much more pleased with my daily life if I am somewhat “on task”.
I know that not everything I want to get done will get done every day, but how can I break the habit of making excuses?
First, identify the difference between an excuse and a reason to put off a task. This morning, for example, I laid in bed for an hour, unable to sleep, before I got up. I’ve been up for an hour, but am just now getting started on my to-do list. I was not tired until I sat down to work, but now I have that “I’m pregnant, the boys are asleep, I can do it later” wheel of excuses going through my head.
This is different, in my opinion, than the other afternoon…let me explain. I had just been home from the hospital for a day and a half. We went to the store and got a few groceries, and by the time we got home I was exhausted. No, going to the store would not, under normal circumstances be that taxing. But I have been pretty sick with my asthma recently, and while I’m doing significantly better, it does take a bit to recover. Putting my feet up and resting was a good idea in this case.
So, this morning I’m just making excuses. What can I do to change this cycle?
For me, the first thing is visualize what I want. I want my work to be finished, so that I am free to “nest” the rest of the day – I have some cleaning and organizing that I really want to finish today. Taking a nap right now will interfere with all of the above. Knowing this is not changing my droopy eyelids, however. So, my next step is to energize. I have not had breakfast yet, so I’m going to have a bowl of cereal, and get a cup of warm tea going. Plus, I’ll probably switch the laundry to help me elevate my heart rate, and therefore combat the physical feeling of sluggishness.
Is this easy? Heck no! Easy is taking my sleepy headed self back to my bed, and curling up for the next two hours. But I want an organized, clean home, and I want to teach my boys to be productive. My laziness does not clean, organize or teach well.
How do you overcome excuses, so that your vision of what you want lines up with what you are actually doing?