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F.O.C.U.S. Time: No excuses

Diana Jaworski
Sentinel columnist
Posted 3/23/23

Feeling the chill cut through my body, burrrr was the only sound I could muster as I wrapped my coat a bit tighter.

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F.O.C.U.S. Time: No excuses


Feeling the chill cut through my body, burrrr was the only sound I could muster as I wrapped my coat a bit tighter. The frigid wind breezed through my hair making me realize I should have worn a hat.

Heading home to lunch, I looked forward to a warm relaxing meal. Following behind were two of my co-workers, Carla and Jackie, bundled up with a skip in their step and an admirable determination. They have demonstrated this look many times before. They use their lunch time to go outside to fill their lungs with fresh air and go for a brisk walk.

As I shared with them my admiration of their dedication to go for a walk on this frosty day, Jackie turns to me and says, “This year we will make no excuses. No matter what the day is like, we will go for our walk.” Admirable indeed.

No excuses. But it is so easy for many of us to come up with justifiable reasons, at least we believe they are, to not accomplish tasks or fulfill appointments. I admit that I have used my fair share of them throughout my life. Whether it was the excuse of fatigue, headache, or being too busy, it seemed too easy to make that excuse. I will start eating healthy some day because I just bought this gallon of ice cream. I will work on that project tomorrow because I am wearing the cape of procrastination today (The Procrastinator). I think I will reschedule that important appointment because my agenda is way too busy. Without being aware at times, the excuses are easy, effortless and effective. It may give us a sense of relief. We may even feel empowered to have choices. But has it accomplished anything? Have we moved forward? No, not really.

Excuses may also stem from negative words spoken or even negative experiences. Those negative connotations may strengthen and fester within our own minds where it could consume our thoughts and force us to dwell upon our own inadequacies. We may even tell ourselves “I am not good enough. I do not have an education. I am not creative. I am not strong enough. I am stupid.”

The list of excuses we conjure to defend our “shortcomings” may be endless. The root of the excuses may stem, not only from past words and experiences, but also fear of the present and future. Perhaps fear of failure, change, making mistakes, or embarrassment may refrain us from the success within our reach. The change to have no excuses begins with a strong, positive statement “I CAN!”

I – I. That is all you need to move from a negative, excuse filled mindset, to a more powerful and positive one. I. Imagine yourself accomplishing all of your goals that others deemed impossible for you to achieve. But you discovered that “I” within you. “I can do this… I am strong… I am powerful… I am good enough… I am intelligent… I can overcome obstacles on my own… I can face the future with confidence… I will work on my health today… I will make that important appointment… I will begin working on my project today.” That “I” is one powerful word!

C – Commit. Commit to follow through on what you have set your mind to do. Believing you can is a great start. Make a firm decision to work on strategies that will aid in your success to follow through.

A – Act. Working on your mindset may take time to replace the excuses with positive affirmations. But, when the transformation takes place, you believe and you commit, now is time to act. Take the first step to make that powerful and positive vision of yourself a reality.

N – No excuses! As soon as excuses creep up on you, stop it right there! Tell yourself that there is no room in your mind for any excuse. Remove it and replace it with “I” affirmations. Repeat them over and over again as necessary. And if you trip over an excuse, do not stop to pick it up. Leave it right there and keep on moving forward and remind yourself the next time to stop looking for an excuse.

While enjoying my lunch, I thought about my co-workers carrying out their commitment of walking during their lunch break.

Did I feel a bit guilty I did not join them when invited? Let’s just say after lunch, I spent quite a bit of time on my exercise bike pretending I was part of the Tour de France. After all, they did inspire me.

However, this warm weather girl was not about to freeze – definitely not an excuse, but a reality check of not turning into a frozen nutty buddy ice cream cone!


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