The Year of No Excuses

The Year of No Excuses

It’s a New Year now with new possibilities and more hopes for a better year than the last. The first day of the year really does feel like you’re getting a fresh start. It seems like this year truly feels like the time to take further risks, no holds barred type of risks. I’m more of a risk averse person but I know that given the visions and dreams that I have for my future, avoiding risks is never going to do me any good.

I read Shonda Rhimes book, A Year of Yes, the year before last and after reading it I really wanted to be able to take the bull by the horns and say yes to everything that came my way. However, I really wasn’t in the position to say yes to everything that I wanted to say yes to, and I wasn’t really sure if saying yes to everything would have the same effect on my life as it did for Ms. Rhimes. This past year however, through the magic that is social media, I saw on a friends Facebook page that she had made 2018 her year of yes and she truly committed herself to leaving no opportunity untapped. Of course she had moments that were scary, moments that pushed her far out of her comfort zone and frankly it was a really beautiful thing to watch, even if only through the lens of social media.

Now here was someone who wasn’t Shonda Rhimes (but maybe the next Shonda), having one of the best years of her life all because she was saying yes instead of no. I had a flash of what it might be like for me to be able to say yes to every single little opportunity that has come or will come my way and thought to myself that maybe it was time for my year of yes. Then the reality of the fact that I’m still not quite in the position to say yes to everything, just yet. A Year of Yes is a nice notion if you have endless financial means, or at least unstrained anyway. So it got me to thinking about starting smaller. Now I could just resign to the fact that I just can’t do the Year of Yes this year and leave it at that and just simply say that I will try my best but that’s not what I’m going to do. I’m making this my year of no excuses on my way to my Year of Yes.

I know that they might sound similar but my premise is that maybe I can’t make it to Atlanta to attend a writer’s conference in the summer time that I’ve been wanting to attend for the last couple of years now, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t instead drive to a writer’s conference somewhere closer to where I live that won’t drain my finances. I haven’t yet been able to secure myself an agent for my novels (and the rejection letters have really been piling up in my inbox) but there’s nothing really stopping me from going ahead and beginning the self-publishing process and taking that leap to put my own work out there. Sure it wasn’t the way that I had imagined it would happen but why should I keep letting that stop me.

One of the scariest things that I am doing this year is starting a YouTube channel. Not only will it take me extremely out of my comfort zone, but it will push my boundaries in the technology area which I’m not really all that great at and quite frankly I’m terrified that I won’t be any good at it and that no one will want to watch but I’m going for it. While it’s a big step for me I’m just jumping into it and the not knowing how things are going to turn out is a little nerve wracking but no excuses right.

I’ve become a pro at making excuses for why something can’t happen so it’s really time for me to take the leap of faith that say I have in myself and my abilities and just go for it all. I mean I couldn’t fall on my face any flatter than I’ve already fallen in the past right so why not. So maybe I won’t be able to say yes to all the things that I want to do this year but that is no excuse that I can’t find a way to make things happen that will get me closer to that yes for next year. So here’s to the Year of no excuses and making things happen. Even if they have to be a slight variation to the yes we want, it can be the yes that we need to keep moving forward. Here’s to a brand new year with a brand new mindset! Whether you are having a year of Yes or a year of no excuses, take a leap of faith with me! Let’s do this!

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

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No Excuses Allowed (Anymore)

“Excuses are the nails used to build a house of failure.” 

~Don Wilder 

I was in the gym this morning and one of the guys in there (who hadn’t been there for about two weeks) strolled in to a barrage of questions from everyone else in the weight room.  In our gym we look after one another and we definitely hold everyone accountable to what they say they want to accomplish by coming there.  So this particular person constantly comes in the gym speaking about how he plans on being more consistent and then he will disappear for about a week.  When he comes back in he talks about all of the things that threw him off of his plan to be consistent and the mistakes that he made in his diet that made him feel too guilty to come back to the gym on a regular basis.  We tell him the same thing time after time.  That it doesn’t matter the mistakes he made in his own plan, or that he got off track.  What matters is that he corrects the mistakes and gets it together.  In one ear and out the other our words go every time.  

Today, for every excuse he gave me, I simply said to him “this is the year for no excuses”.  He responded by saying “but I fell off, I messed up”.  I told him that it doesn’t matter that you ‘fell off’ or that you made mistakes in your own plan, what will make those mistakes matter is if you give those mistakes power by never correcting them.  He asked me “well haven’t you ever made mistakes in your diet and messed up and then felt guilty about it?” and I said ‘sure I mess up in my diet because I’m an emotional eater, and I’ve missed more than one or two days at the gym but I don’t feel guilty about it because I know that I am going to correct it and eventually I do’.  

Now this conversation may just be in reference to going to the gym and maintaining a healthy regimen but the message applies to everyday life as well.  We all make mistakes that we feel guilty about and we sometimes think that we can’t come back from whatever mistake it is but the reality is that we can and using those mistakes then becomes more of an excuse.  Not one person walking this earth is perfect or goes without making one single mistake.  Sometimes what makes the mistakes worse than what they really are is the fact that we keep repeating them and never do what needs to be done to correct them.  

I think that sometimes we should celebrate the fact that we are imperfect beings because it will be those imperfections that strengthen our character and our determination to do the things that we were put here to do.  Those imperfections allow us to realize that while we may fall down, we most certainly have the strength to get back up.  So for the year of 2012, let’s try to take the attitude that we won’t make any excuses, nor will we accept any.  If we make a mistake, don’t let that very mistake be a reason that we don’t correct our actions.  So you fell down, so what.  Sit up, get your bearings together, dust yourself off, and get back up again.  It will only stay a mistake if you don’t do anything to correct it.  Until tomorrow…Rejoice in your imperfections, they are apart of what makes you who you are!

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

The Diary: Succession of Lies (Now Available)

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