What excuses did you make for yourself this year? How will you go about doing it differently next year?
When it comes to doing what you want and achieving your goals and dreams, the only one that's really stopping you is yourself. As I wrote through Reverb at the end of 2011, my biggest fear was that I would still be in the same place, mentally and emotionally, during the same time period of the following year. While I did make a lot of progress, I certainly could have gone further. And it was only because of the excuses that I made that I didn't do that.
"He/She/They won't understand" This is the biggest lie that I told myself over and over. For the first half of the year, it was the reason I guarded myself so closely. It didn't protect me, but rather caused me more pain in the long run. Even if not everyone sees things exactly the way you do, or doesn't react the way that you want them to, doesn't mean that you're alone. You may feel like it, but there's always at least one person who's willing to put their arm around you and listen to what you have to say.
One of the things that stuck with me was my experiences in my Spring semester of 2011 counseling group. Our moderator encouraged us to not focus so much on the reaction of whom we're talking to, but to focus on saying exactly what we feel and how we feel about it. It's not an easy thing to put into practice, because so much our culture emphasizes validation and obtaining self worth from those we surround ourselves with. But closing oneself off out of fear of rejection tends to do more harm than good, and when all is said and done, much of the time I'm glad that I took a risk of being vulnerable.
"I don't have time." The only reason time feels so limited is because I'm putting too much energy into things that really don't matter to me, or I'm wasting too much time online as opposed to getting stuff done. Time is meant to be created and used wisely, not just given. That's something I want to do better at as this year comes to a close.
"I can do it tomorrow" Honestly, you don't know if you'll get "tomorrow" until it actually comes around. I believe that there are appropriate times for certain things to be said and done, but I also believe that you shouldn't constantly put something off either. My goal is to do something right when I think of it, or at least make a point to do it sooner rather than later.
As I said, you can blame the whole world for your problems and setbacks, but there comes a point where the only one holding you back is yourself.