Recognizing Excuse Behavior

When inconvenience causes you to habitually ignore your responsibilities

A few months after I moved to Connecticut I was summoned for jury duty for the first time. I didn't really think anything of it, I understand the legal system from working in the field for quite a few years. But friends and family immediately started throwing me excuses and reasons to get out of it; get a note from your doctor, tell them you have something going on at work, the list went on. The thing is, jury duty is an extremely important part of our country's structure. I am an educated and highly able person to be on a jury. So when did we become a society that disregards our responsibilities simply because it's slightly inconvenient?

I'll admit, I am guilty of this in other aspects of my life. I'll avoid putting gas in my car until the very last moment because I don't want to stand in the cold. I'll let a pile of clean clothes sit on the couch for two days before I fold it. I'll go straight home after work instead of stopping for groceries even though our fridge is empty because I just don't feel like going.

These things may seem like minor responsibilities, and we may all do this, but it may also be contributing to a bigger problem - One in which we are creating a habit of not taking care of responsibilities simply because we don't feel like it.

In turn, these behaviors spill over to bigger parts of our lives; projects at work, finding time to visit family, putting the work into our relationships and marriages.

Recognize the behavior

Ask yourself if your excuse is valid.

Hold yourself accountable

Take care of your responsibility or hold your commitment even if no one else will know if you don't.

Reverse the habit

You'll find yourself being proud of your decisions and less stressed because you don't have to constantly convince yourself that there's validity in your excuses