January 11- EXCUSES!

“Perhaps I am a bear, or some hibernating animal underneath, for the instinct to be half asleep all winter is strong in me.” – Annie Morrow Lindbergh

Yesterday I wrote about being in a funk. Today’s quote is from a woman exploring her ursine tendencies. Maybe I am not the only one who struggles at this time of year.

In my job, the first month of the year is quite hectic and stressful. It is during January, and the early part of February, that project budgets for the New Year, which were set in the previous Fall, crystallize into monthly forecasts. These forecasts become a key measure for the health of projects.

Over the years I have developed some proficiency when it comes to financial management of projects. This is necessary to be successful as a program manager. But, I hate it. I truly do not like doing financial management, and I like even less dealing with people in the Finance department. It quite literally keeps me awake at night, and turns my stomach in knots. This year I have 3 major projects that each have their own complexities when it comes to finances. This week there is a review of those projects’ finances with senior management. The run up to that review, for me, is exhausting.

So far, on Monday and Tuesday, I have come home and crashed hard. My job isn’t physically demanding, but it is mentally grueling at times, and leaves me like a limp rag. It has been all I can do to get the basics done at home before vegging out in front of the TV for the evening. Today will be the worst so far, as I have meetings from 7:00am until 4:00pm. One of the meetings is a lunch meeting, so making a healthy choice there will be a key to whatever health success I have today.

As I write all this, you know what it sounds like to me? EXCUSES! I have come to learn in life that there are reasons things happen, and there are excuses for not getting things done.

Reasons are objective. One can look at the events and circumstances and see the sequence that leads to the present situation.

Excuses happen when we apply those objective events in our lives, and use them to explain why we don’t perform. “Being in meetings all day mentally exhausts me”, is an objective reason for being tired at the end of the day. “I didn’t work out because I am too tired from meetings”, is making an excuse for not getting to the gym. Saying that the stress kept me awake at night is the reason I didn’t get up in the morning for the gym is just as much an excuse.

Right now I am making excuses in my life.

  • It is cold outside so I can’t walk at lunch
  • I couldn’t sleep last night, so I am resetting my alarm for an hour later
  • There are still a few goodies from Christmas around the house, so I guess I have to snack
  • My wife isn’t home, so rather than the healthy alternative she left me for dinner, I will take the fast way out and ear a peanut butter sandwich (not that peanut butter isn’t healthy, but I could have chosen better)
  • And on and on.

This has to stop for me to reach the goals I have for myself. I have to get my mind out of the excuse game. Today is the 11th of January. So far I have exactly ZERO days where I have done everything I said I need to do to move myself toward success. I want to sit here and say “today is the day!” But, I am afraid. I am afraid that today will devolve right back into the same patterns as yesterday.

I have to stop writing and get to work, all those meetings and all that stress is looming in front of me. From where I sit I can see the gym bag I packed, but didn’t use yesterday. I will put it back in my car today, with the intent of using it when the work day is done. Tomorrow you will find out whether I succeeded, or made excuses.

Bobby-C’s thought for the day…Only when I stop making excuses will I be able to build momentum toward my goals

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