Excuses can be sneaky. Sometimes, even when you’re in the process of using one, you know it’s just an excuse. Sometimes, though, you deeply believe them and let them run the show. For example, let’s say you’re planning to exercise. “But I’m so tired tonight,” you say. “I’ll rest up tonight and exercise tomorrow.” Is this because tomorrow night you won’t be tired? Or because right now it’s easier to just say you’re tired and not exercise?

Imagine that one of your goals is getting organized. You clean, you throw out, you donate – and you end up with a room or office that shines and where everything is in its place. Then one day you have a paper in your hand. You’re tired, maybe even feeling a little lazy, and would just love to put that piece of paper on your desk instead of filing it away where it belongs. You’re reluctant to make a mess of the freshly clean desk, You hesitate. Then you think, “It’s just one sheet of paper. What harm could it do?”

So you give in, and now your room or office is sparkling clean – except for this one sheet of paper. No big deal.

Until the next day you have a piece of paper in your hand. You don’t feel like filing it, or maybe you’re not even sure where to file it, so you find the perfect place for it – right on top of that other paper.

And unless you consciously decide to stop this trend, you might find that your desk is covered in stacks of paper that started with that one sheet of paper.

Think this might be an exaggeration?

Where would you face more internal resistant and hesitation – getting a stain on the freshly painted wall or adding a stain to a wall that’s already dirty and maybe even a bit scuffed up?

Having that first cigarette after you quit six months ago – or having the 20th?

Skipping that first planned workout of the new year – or one in June when you had never really gotten into the exercise habit in the first place?

Will there never be a valid reason to skip that workout or put that first sheet of paper on the desk? Of course there will be! The key is to start fresh again as soon as possible and persist so that you’re not falling into an old bad habit or developing a new one.


1. Post reminders in the form of a picture, image, quotation or short phrase that will remind you of your goal and why it’s important to you. Sure, you may give into temptation sometimes, but it will likely be a lot less often than if there were no concrete reminder somewhere you will see it often.

2. Find a friend, family member, coach or someone else to keep you accountable. It’s often a lot easier to fool ourselves into not doing what we know is best than to tell someone else we didn’t.

3. Give yourself small rewards for staying on track. Maybe it’s an hour or two to just sit and read a favourite book or watch a movie. Maybe it’s giving yourself a night out. Whatever it is, make sure that it’s something important to you and that will motivate you.

Author's Bio: 

Elizabeth Spevack is the founder of Heart and Soul Living. Elizabeth specializes in empowering women by helping them believe in themselves and be true to who they are. Her passion is helping women who long to be more realize they are more than enough even when they are not perfect and to help them dream big and take steps towards their unlikeliest of goals. Through questioning, listening and encouraging, she helps women realize that they are not alone on their personal journey.

Having lived with anxiety and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder for years, Elizabeth loves to connect deeply with others and help them break down the walls that have been holding them back.

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