About a year ago, I self-published a book called Get It Together Girl. It’s all about getting organized and getting rid of clutter in just 15 minutes a day. Since then, I’ve become a bit of an expert on quick tips for getting organized. I’ve done speeches on the topic and even being quoted in several magazines.
It never fails, however, after a presentation, there are two types of people who approach me. The first are the ones who are really interested in the subject. We talk about which of my tips will work for them and they even share some of their tips with me. These women are motivated and on occasion, I’ve even received emails from some of them on the success that they have had getting it together.
The other type is curious to me. They come up to me and tell me why none of my tips would ever work for them. They don’t have 5 or 10 minutes to spare in their busy days, not to mention 15 whole minutes. They have small children. They have husbands. If they were single and childless like me (which usually comes across as a backhanded compliment), then they would have all the time in the world too.
These women want me to confirm and validate their decision to do nothing. They want me to let them off the hook. I don’t. I let them see that the decision not to act is still a decision and it’s their decision. Accept it. Live with it; just don’t expect me to condone it.
I normally respond with, “You know that’s funny because before I published the book, I tested it with some very busy women. Executives with toddlers and young children, busy professional women with teenagers to shuttle back and forth and stay-at-home moms with young children and babies and they all found the book very helpful and doable. But, then again, getting organized and saving time isn’t a priority for everyone.”
My point is this. You make the decision to act or not act. It’s easy to find every reason in the world not to do something. A lot of people spend a lot of time justifying their behavior and the truth of the matter is that they just don’t want to change. If it’s important to you, you will make the time. You will find a reason why and not an excuse why not.
If you are looking for excuses, you will find them, but recognize that excuses do not lead to change. It’s easy to find reasons why you can’t exercise or save money. You can always justify your smoking habit or continued decision to make unhealthy food choices. You can find reasons to stay in your unhappy relationship or with a job that no longer meets your needs.
And, if this is you, my advice is to just accept it. Accept your weight. Accept your financial state. Accept your bad relationship or your unfulfilling career.
If you want change, you have to change. Stop excusing and start strategizing.