I’m learning to be cautious of the commitments I make, big or small. I don’t like to wear myself out for reasons I can’t get excited about or when I can’t see the potential return on my investment of time. I also don’t like to leave things unfinished, reflecting anything but my best effort. There is no good excuse for calling half-done things “good enough.”
I have accepted my own unfinished effort plenty of times. I certainly don’t want you to think I’ve mastered this challenge. For instance, I still catch myself brushing debris off the table onto the floor instead of wiping the area down.
Brushing crumbs off the table is easy, but grabbing a sponge or towel is a ton of effort. I mean, seriously, I have to walk six steps to the sink, dampen the sponge, maybe bend down and reach under the sink for sanitizer — after I open the cupboard, of course — then take six more steps back to the table … and before I know it, the ice in my drink has melted and I’ve grown a beard.
Ridiculous, aren’t I?
Sure, I’m being dramatic in my description and step-by-step review. But how many other times in my life are my reasons for not completing a task — or not doing it right, or not doing it all the way — just as ridiculous?
Why don’t I fold my clothes as soon as they are done drying? Is it because I’m late for work or because I need to update my Spotify playlists?
Why don’t I wash my dishes after dinner? Is it because I’m out of soap or because my video game can only be paused for so long before it resets?
Don’t get me wrong, I love my music and Mario Kart, but am I being the best version of myself possible when I leave things unfinished, big or small? Am I employing disciplined actions that I can be proud of or am I letting excuses enable my half-hearted performance?
Think about the more significant areas of your life: relationships, job/work, finances, exercise, etc. Can any of these areas improve if you simply follow through on a commitment?
If the answer is “No” because you bring your A-game to everything you do, pat yourself on the back and be proud of the level of discipline you exercise!
If your answer is “Yes” or “Maybe,” dig into the reasons you stop short and uncover any excuses you employ. Take time to evaluate yourself on the commitments you struggle with and the unfinished tasks on your to-do list.
Be sure you are honest with yourself. Perhaps you’re employing an excuse or two, or perhaps you’ve overcommitted yourself. It’s OK to reassess and adjust. I hope you’ll give yourself permission to do that, if need be.
Remember, excuses are bad, but reassessing is smart.
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