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Excuses- the weeds in the garden of success

Last semester, a friend and I decided to be each others gym buddies. We were going to encourage each other and well, truthfully drag each other to the gym. We planned on going every other day at least and spending about an hour to an hour and a half there. However both of us are extremely busy people once classes are in full swing, so it got harder and harder to coordinate our gym dates. Over time, the number of our gym days began to get smaller and smaller and the number of excuses was getting higher and higher until we were going about once a month-if at all. This fall, I set a similar goal with a different friend. Even though it’s only been three weeks, I’ve noticed a drastic improvement in actually following through in comparison to last year.

The thing I’ve realized is that planning to do something means nothing unless you actually follow your plan. You can say a million times over that you are going to do something but unless you actually do it, it just becomes another item on the “meant to-do” list. There’s always a reason for not completing the task at hand, an excuse for not following the plan as intended and so this year I made one really big change: I threw out all excuses. It takes a lot of self discipline, especially on the days when there are more tempting offers on things to do, but in the end it feels great to know that you overcame that temptation and stuck to the plan. The best part of it all is knowing that you succeeded and completed what you had set your mind to. I may not be at that stage yet, but I know with this new mindset, I am at least one step closer.
Chuck Gallozzi used a funny analogy of a garden of success on his website that I think is actually quite helpful in sticking to your plan and eventually reaping the success of what you sew. Here it is:

Plant your garden of success today:

First, plant 3 rows of peas;

Positive thinking

Next, plant 3 rows of squash;

Squash excuses
Squash blame
Squash criticism

Then, plant 3 rows of lettuce;

Let us be responsible
Let us be trustworthy
Let us be ambitious

Finish, with 3 rows of turnip;

Turn up when needed
Turn up with a smile
Turn up with confidence

(c) Chuck Gallozzi

With these tips in mind- pull out the excuses, make your plan and get to it!

><(("> Michela Fleury

Michela is a ><(("> Team Member at Catch Your Limit, a management firm with offices in Tallahassee, Florida and Richmond, Virginia. To learn more, visit

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