By Leo Babauta

In this webinar, I go over our habit goals, some of our excuses in not doing them, and what to do instead. I also answered some awesome questions.

I’ve broken this webinar recording into two parts:

  1. Part I – My Talk: How to Stop Buying Our Own Excuses (See notes)
  2. Part II – Questions & Answers: I answered questions dealing with procrastination, writing, pushback from loved ones, anxiety and more!

Part I: Leo’s Talk (with notes)

You can download this video here, or download just the audio. Or watch below.

Here are the notes from my talk (video is below the notes):

How to Stop Buying Our Own Excuses:

If you’ve been trying to form habits/rituals this year (and last), you know that things get in the way
– some of them are external things, like work demands, people getting sick, visitors, unexpected events
– but a lot of time the thing getting in the way is ourselves

We get in the way by:
– putting off starting
– rationalizing not doing it today
– beating ourselves up if we don’t do what we planned
– rushing through it and not enjoying the habit
– mentally complaining about it

These all result in us not wanting to do the habit, and then creating excuses. Rationalizations. Justifications.

Some common ones:

Sometimes we don’t even think about what we’re not doing. It just happens … but under this not thinking is a habitual excuse that we don’t even verbalize in our heads anymore.

What’s going on?
– we are feeling resistance/aversion to doing the thing we committed to
– we desperately or mindlessly seek a way out – an escape – which is why we rationalize
– we discount the effect of putting it off
– we take more seriously our rationalizations
– it’s our little kid wanting to run

What’s the effect?
– we don’t live up to our commitments to ourselves
– we get into the mental habit of looking for the escape
– we build up stress, debt, bad health, piled up work, worsened relationships

Sometimes, the effect is good: putting something off isn’t always harmful. But to know the difference, we have to be incredibly honest with ourselves – are we trying to escape, or is this the most loving thing I can do?

It takes time to realize the difference.

What can we do instead of buying our excuses?

Recognize that we’re doing our old mental habit.
Get in touch with the aversion, fear, resistance.
See that it’s trying to create an escape. Give compassion.
Stand for yourself. Stand for courage, a bigger heart, your devotion.
Be the bigger self you envision.

From this place of a bigger heart, a fierce compassion, a courageous love — what is the best action you can take? What will the long-term result of this action be?

Is this your most authentic self, or your little kid wanting to run?

This isn’t about strictness & discipline, harshness or judgment. Those are not helpful, and they are not from a place of the bigger heart. Instead, this is about growing up out of our scared little child, it’s about standing for something bigger than ourselves, being the leader, the strong courageous heart, that we’ve always wanted to be.

What will you stand for? How can you grow beyond the scared little child? How can you remind yourself of that in the moments of trying to escape?

Part II: Questions and Answers

You can download this video here, or download just the audio. Or watch below.

Questions answered in this video: