A good beginning makes a good ending. If accompanied by a very good middle. -Bobby Knight
We are four weeks into our 2015 Spring Meltdown and have had some wonderful results so far! Currently we have dropped 135.4 pounds in the contest and we are closing in on the 151 pounds our team lost in the 2014 Fall Fitness Frenzy.
Now we move into the most challenging part of the entire process: the middle. The starting gun has sounded, the first few meters of the race has started, and everyone is settling into their pace. The middle is where we are all truly tested. This holds true in any part of our lives whether it is a weight loss contest, a renovation project, a book, or a marriage.
From the outside perspective, it’s always easier for someone else to get through the middle and have success. When we view other people’s success we too often tell ourselves:
“Everyone has it easier than I do. There is no way we could ever accomplish anything like that.”
Here is a quick list of the reasons everyone else has it easy:
|-They’re younger||-They don’t have kids||-I stay at home, they work|
|-They’re retired||-Their kids encourage them||-I work, they don’t|
|-They have more time||-Their spouse is on board||-They live closer|
|-It comes naturally to them||-They’re not married||-They make a trip out of it|
I’m sure we could add some additional lines, but I’m also sure that you (like me) have used a few of these before.
But here’s the thing. We all have a reason not to be successful from challenges we face each and everyday. Those who are successful did not have it any easier than you or I, and they certainly faced their share of challenges and bumps along the way. What made them successful was how they handled those challenges and bumps during the middle of the process.
As stated, the starting gun is always exciting and gives us a huge rush of adrenaline and encouragement. We have decided to start a journey, one which has the promise to change our lives and improve ourselves. We find time to do the little things that give us the most success as well as a little extra here and there because we are so excited!
Then one of those reasons above comes calling. Our job demands more of us. A change happens in our daily routine. We find it’s really hard to create a new habit and remove the old one. That reason becomes an excuse.
That is what the middle really gives us. An excuse. And your excuse is probably a very valid one, and one that potentially creates a huge upheaval in your life. But let’s fight the excuse. Let’s begin to differentiate an excuse from a reason.
Whereas an excuse is defined as “an attempt to lessen the blame attaching to (a fault or offense); seek to defend or justify.”
Simply put, an excuse is something you have when you are unable to justify your reason.
By shifting our vocabulary and our mindset, we can turn an excuse into a reason.
Excuse: I’m up in weight because I didn’t have time to drink my water this weekend. We were out with friends on the boat and they hate water! So all I had to drink was beer…
Reason: I didn’t prepare bottled water ahead of time when we went out on the boat and our friends didn’t pack any. I’ll know next time to always pack water with me.
Excuse: We were asked out to dinner by some clients and couldn’t say no. They had to try Barbara Jean’s and they only eat fried food and they bought us drinks…
Reason: We entertained some clients and they decided on Barbara Jean’s. I ordered a salad and grilled salmon with water.
Excuse: We had a girls trip and there was no way I could say no. I didn’t want to be a drag the whole trip…
Reason: We had a great girls trip this weekend! I did enjoy one drink a night with them, but I drank my water all weekend, and got them really excited about my lifestyle change too! They said I look great!
Excuse: I didn’t want to come in and weigh because I know I’m up…
Reason: I need the accountability, even though it was a challenging week.
During the next few week, I want you to find a reason for success! No excuses! Excuses only create blame and shame. With a reason for a difficult week we can empathize and help refocus.
I want you to be the person everyone else talks about having it so easy. We know it’s not easy and we can begin to help others work through their challenges with our success.
Why is it easy for you? Because you have a reason!