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  • Excuses the Mind Will Tell You Before You Take the Next Step

    STARTING NOW: NO shortcuts. NO quick fixes. NO blaming others. NO “I’ll do it tomorrows.” NO MORE EXCUSES!

    The mind is a wonderful thing. It’s also an excuse-making machine that frequently tries to convince us not to take actions we know are good for us. And this prevents many positive changes from taking place in our lives.

    I’ve had to learn to watch these excuses very carefully in order to make the positive changes I’ve made in my life: a healthier diet, regular exercise, meditation, more sleep, daily writing, better planning, less procrastination, more focus, etc.

    If I hadn’t learned about these excuses, and how to suppress them, I would never have succeeded in making these positive changes. In fact, until I knew better, I had failed countless times when I was young because my mind’s deceptive tendencies used to get the best of me.

    So why does the mind mess with us and make irrational excuses?

    Because the mind wants comfort, that’s why. It’s afraid of discomfort, pressure and change. The mind is absorbed in its comfort zone, and anytime we try to stretch that zone too far, for too long, the mind tries desperately to get back to ground zero at any cost.......including sacrificing our long-term health, happiness and success.

    So let’s expose 10 of the cowardly mind’s most damaging excuses once and for all…

    Excuse #1: I can’t do it.

    It seems too difficult at first, so you think you can’t stick to the positive change you’re making. You don’t believe in yourself enough to take another step. This is a common excuse that can be countered by looking at the fact that other people no more capable than you have done it.

    For example, my 60-year-old next-door neighbor ran a marathon a little before I started training for my first 5k ran, and so I told myself, “If she can do it, so can I!” And I was right. Truth be told, the only person who can tell you “I can’t” is you. If you hear those words echoing in the back of your mind, tune them out. Realize that your doubts and your faith have something in common—they both ask you to believe in something you can’t see. You simply have to decide which one you want to believe.

    Excuse #2: They can do it, but that doesn’t apply to me because they have it better than me.

    Just because someone else can, doesn’t mean you can, right? You look for reasons they can do it but you can’t—maybe he’s an internet entrepreneur or freelance writer because he has no kids. Maybe she’s way fitter than I am, so she can run a marathon. Maybe she doesn’t have all the work and family obligations I have, or has a supportive spouse, or doesn’t have bad knees. OK, fine, it’s easy to find excuses: but look at all the other people who also have considerable obstacles and have done it anyway.

    Roucheon and I have a family, and have dealt with significant loss in our lives, and still managed to succeed on many fronts. And just as we’ve turned things around for ourselves, we know hundreds of other people who’ve done the same.  Your obstacles can be overcome.

    Excuse #3: I’m stuck because I don’t have enough time to make changes.

    Have you ever met a happy, successful person who regularly avoids responsibility, blames and points fingers and makes excuses for their unsatisfying life? Me either. The truth is, you write your own destiny through the choices you make every day. You become what you repeatedly do. It is more important to know where you are going and why, than to get there quickly. In fact, the most important thing in life is knowing what the most important things in life are, and prioritizing them accordingly.

    Most of us spend too much time on urgent things and not enough time on important things. So do yourself a favor and implement these three action steps every time you’re building or sorting your to do list:

    1. Think about the difference between what is urgent and what is important.
    2. Review all the obligations on your list.
    3. Do what’s important first.

    Excuse #4: It’ll be too hard because I can’t get by without _____.

    Fill in the blank: I need my wine, my phone, my sweets, my TV shows, my ten hours of sleep, my big house, my fancy wardrobe, etc. These are luxuries we convince ourselves we can’t live without, so we can justify not making positive changes like eating healthier or exercising daily or saving money or simplifying our lives or building a profitable side hustle. And like I said, I’m not immune either—in the past I’ve made these excuses myself, but they all turned out to be lies. I didn’t need any of these things in my life, and believing that I did was only getting in the way of the positive changes I was capable of creating for myself.

    Excuse #5: Life is meant to be easier and enjoyed more.

    Sure, I agree that life should be enjoyed (as most people would) but the problem is that the idea that life should ALWAYS be easy and enjoyable is used to justify all kinds of lazy behavior. Might as well sit on the couch and scarf down those cookies, because hey, life is meant to be enjoyed, right? Nope. You can do without junk food and still enjoy life. You can exercise and enjoy it. You can give up a lot of comfort in your life and not lose a thing. In fact, the path of least resistance is often the path of least reward.

    You need to do hard things. There are no shortcuts to any place worth going. As Einstein once said, “Genius is 1% talent and 99% percent hard work.” You must run to be a runner. You must write to be a writer. You must actively work on a business venture to learn how to run a successful business. There is no substitute for doing the work. So meditate on this every day: “I will do the work. It won’t be easy. It will be worth it!”

    Excuse #6: I deserve a reward (or a break).

    We all deserve a tasty treat, or a day off. I’m not saying you shouldn’t give yourself a reward or break when one is deserved. But if you make this rationalization a primary rule for living, you’ll always be on a break. You’ll always be giving yourself rewards, and never adhering to the original plan. Here’s what I do instead: I see sticking to my plan as the reward itself. I see reaching my goals as a gift I give myself. Going on a run isn’t the thing I have to get through to get a reward—the run is the reward.

    Excuse #7: I can do it later.

    Sure, you can always do it later… but your later self will feel the same exact way. Think about it: Why should your later self be more disciplined than your present self? There’s no reason. In fact, because you’re allowing yourself to slack off now, you’re building a habit of procrastination and actually making it less likely that your later self will be more disciplined.

    So today, stop making excuses for why you can’t get it done and start focusing on all the reasons why you must make it happen. Stop talking about what you have done or what you are going to do. Just do it and let your actions speak for themselves. Most great things in life don’t happen by chance, they happen by choice. You never know what’s possible until you risk finding out. In the long run, there is only one thing that makes your dreams and goals completely impossible to achieve: Your lack of action today.

    Excuse #8: One time won’t hurt.

    This lie is so tempting, because it’s somewhat true: one time won’t hurt. Assuming, of course, that it really is only one time. One scoop of ice cream, one missed workout, one time procrastinating instead of working, etc. Unfortunately, it’s never just one time. One time means your brain now knows it can get away with this excuse next time too, and the next “one time” leads to another, until you’ve completely fallen off the wagon.

    Make a pact with yourself: never believe the “one time” lie. If you’re going to allow yourself a scoop of ice cream, decide this beforehand and build it into your plan—“I will allow myself a single serving of sweets once every weekend” and stick to your plan, rather than deciding on the fly when your conscience is weak.

    Excuse #9: I’ve already failed too much.

    You’re only human. If you break down, it’s fine. Just don’t stay down. Rest, and then pick yourself up so you can go to where you’d rather be. Mistakes make us wiser. Failures help us grow. Hope keeps us going. And love is the reason we’re alive. Keep learning, loving and living.

    As Winston Churchill once said, “Success is never final, failure is never fatal. It is courage to continue that counts.” Nothing could be closer to the truth. Persistence is the mother of all productive effort. Failures, small and large, happen every day to the best of us. The strongest, most productive people aren’t the people who always succeed, but the ones who don’t give up when they lose.

    In the heat of the moment when you feel like quitting, think about how far you have come and why you started in the first place. Oftentimes you’re a lot closer to making a breakthrough than you think. Some people give up their efforts when they have almost reached their goal, while others conquer their goals by exerting, up until the very last possible second, more vigorous efforts than ever before.

    Bottom line: Once you learn to quit, it becomes a habit. Make some necessary adjustments, and KEEP GOING!

    Excuse #10: It’s too late now.

    Change is constant, but growth is optional. Remain stuck or learn and grow. Where you end up is dependent on your daily attitude and response. And it’s never too late to change your attitude about something you can’t change. Just decide to make the best of it. No excuses. No regrets.

    Honestly, nothing is too late until your tired heart stops beating. If you’re reading this right now, congratulations, you are alive, which means it’s not too late for you. Things can change if you want them to at any age. Right now you can choose differently and make something new happen. Your future is immediate. Grab on to it with both hands and keep on moving on. When you come up on a roadblock and are faced with the choice of sitting down and doing nothing or doing something to make further progress, choose the latter.

    Think, work, and climb if you have to.

    Move your life forward.



    Your turn…

    What kinds of excuses sometimes echo in the back of your mind? What’s one such excuse that has held you back?

    Please share your thoughts with us by leaving a comment below. To do so you need to sign up




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  • The Mayor has rejected the Government’s proposal that the Congestion Charge be extended

    Sadiq Khan’s response

    The Mayor has rejected the Government’s proposal that the Congestion Charge be extended to the North and South Circular roads in October 2021.

    This was a condition that the Government tried to impose in return for the second round of emergency Government funding for TfL. This funding was necessary because TfL’s fare income has collapsed due to Covid-19.

    Under the Government’s proposal, the £15 Congestion Charge would have been extended to the North and South Circular Roads next year, meaning that all journeys across the North and South Circular roads and journeys within that area would have been subject to the charge within operating hours. It would have hit four million more Londoners hard and put economic recovery from Covid-19 at risk before it had begun. The Mayor is pleased that the Government has now backed down from this condition.

    In the face of continued Covid-19 restrictions, the Mayor has now reached a funding deal to keep tube, bus and other TfL services running until March 2021. Extending the Congestion Charge in this way was only one of several conditions the Government sought to impose in order for TfL to receive the further emergency funding it needs to keep the network running. Others included removing free travel for under-18s and over-60s and increasing fares by more than the previously agreed RPI+1 per cent. These proposals have also been successfully defeated, although it was a condition of the funding that fares would have to go up by RPI+1 in January.

    Whilst the deal reached is not ideal, the Mayor fought hard against the Government, which was determined to punish Londoners with higher costs for doing the right thing to tackle Covid-19. The only reason TfL needs Government support is because its fares income has almost dried up since March, as people did what was asked of them and stayed at home.

    It should be noted that the Congestion Charge is different to the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) charge. At present, the ULEZ charge currently applies to the same area as the Congestion Charge in central London and is specifically designed to clean up London’s toxic air and deliver health benefits to Londoners. It is due to be expanded in October of next year to the North and South Circular but the charge will only apply to highly polluting vehicles. TfL modelling shows that only 1 in 5 vehicles will need to pay this charge. This is due to the fact that all other vehicles that travel in this area are compliant with the ULEZ emissions standards.

    If you want to check whether your vehicle meets the ULEZ standard you can do so using TfL’s vehicle checker. If you are on a low income or are disabled, the Mayor also has a Car and Motorcycle Scrappage scheme, whereby you could receive up to £2000 to scrap your older, polluting vehicle, so that you can purchase a cleaner vehicle and meet the standards or switch to another mode of transport. You can check your eligibility for this scheme on TfL’s scrappage scheme webpage. The ULEZ scheme is specifically designed to clean up London’s toxic air and deliver health benefits to Londoners.

    I hope this reassures you that the Mayor has succeeded in defeating the Government proposal to extend the £15 Congestion Charge to the North and South Circular roads next year.

    Yours sincerely

    Public Liaison Unit
    Greater London Authority

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  • A List To Live By

    A List To Live By

    Okay, this list isn’ perfect.  Some of these bullet points may be a little cheesy, and there are a few too many “God” comments.  However, you caught me a little drunk on a friday night, because right now I think this is a fairly decent list to live by.

    1. Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.
    2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
    3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
    4. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
    5. Pay off your credit cards every month.
    6. You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
    7. Cry with someone. It’s more healing than crying alone.
    8. It’s OK to get angry with God. He or she can take it and i have no problem with the she.
    9. Save for retirement starting with your first pay.
    10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
    11. Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present.
    12. Its OK to let your children see you cry.
    13. Don’t compare your life to others’. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
    14 If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn’t be in it.
    15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don’t worry; God never blinks.
    16. Life is too short for long pity parties. Get busy living, or get busy dying.
    17. You can get through anything if you stay put in today.
    18. A writer writes. If you want to be a writer, write.
    19. It’s never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.
    20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don’t take no for an answer.
    21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don’t save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
    22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.
    23. Be eccentric now. Don’t wait for old age to wear purple.
    24. The most important sex organ is the brain.
    25. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
    26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: “In five years will it matter?”
    27. Always choose life.
    28. Forgive everyone for everything.
    29. What other people think of you is none of your business.
    30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.
    31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
    32. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your family will. 
    33. Believe in miracles.
    34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn’t do.
    35. Whatever doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger.
    36. Growing old beats the alternative — dying young.
    37. Your children get only one childhood. Make it memorable.
    38. Read the Psalms. They cover every human emotion.
    39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
    40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back.
    41. Don’t audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
    42. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful.
    43. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
    44. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
    45. The best is yet to come.
    46. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
    47. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
    48. If you don’t ask, you don’t get.
    49. Yield.
    50. Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift.


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  • Covid-19: Nottingham party students fined £40,000

    Four university students have been fined £10,000 each after telling police who broke up their house party they were "spoiling their fun".


    Officers on patrol spotted a party in Lenton, Nottingham, on Tuesday night but were told everyone had left.

    But inside they found more than 30 people hiding and, when challenged, organisers complained they should be having the "time of their lives".

    Nottingham Trent University said the third-year students had been suspended.

    Mixing of households indoors has been banned since Nottingham went into tier two restrictions on 14 October.

    On Tuesday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said talks over moving Nottinghamshire into tier three were "ongoing" but the city council's leader said no discussions had started.

    Nottingham had the highest level of infection in England for nine days running, with many of the cases centring on areas with a high student population.

    Police said after being told the party in Kimbolton Avenue had ended, officers found people hiding in the kitchen, upstairs bedrooms and basement.

    Assistant Chief Constable Kate Meynell said the people at the property had shown a "blatant disregard for the safety of those around them".

    "This needs to stop. The claims that police presented as a barrier to the students' fun are astounding," she said.

    "How many fines do we have to give before the message is understood? We do not take pleasure in handing out fines and would much rather be in a situation where students could enjoy themselves but the reality is that if people do not follow the Covid-19 restrictions, more people will die."

    A spokesperson for Nottingham Trent University said: "Any student who is found to have breached our disciplinary regulations can face a range of sanctions, up to and including expulsion."

    Infection rate drops again

    The coronavirus infection rate for Nottingham has dropped again compared to the same time a week earlier.

    In the seven days up to 18 October there were 2,012 new cases, down from 3,085 in the previous weekly period.

    The rate of infection per 100,000 people has also gone down from 926.7 in the week up to 11 October to 604.4.

    For a third day, the city has the second highest rate in England, behind Knowsley in Merseyside.


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  • London drivers could have to pay £27.50 a day Congestion charge, Congestion charge could be expanded into Clapham, Stockwell, Peckham, Lewisham, Wandsworth

    A deal to provide emergency funding to Transport for London (TfL) could rely on the expansion of London’s congestion charge zone.

    Currently, the congestion charge operates in central London, covering the same area as the capital’s ultra-low-emission zone (ULEZ).


    However, an initial bailout from the Government in the wake of the coronavirus crisis has already seen prices increased and its hours of operation extended.

    It now applies from 7am to 10pm, seven days a week, while drivers must pay £15, rather than £11.50, to enter the zone. 

    At the time, TfL described that as a ‘temporary’ price increase as a result of a funding agreement between the Government and the transport authority.

    It secured a £1.6 billion bailout from the Government after warning it could have to cut services.

    TfL has asked for a £5.7bn package to prop up services for the next 18 months, after passenger numbers and revenues have fallen after the March lockdown.

    An interim funding measure was agreed for the next fortnight with ministers last Friday, but the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has hit out at Government proposals for further TfL funding.

    He labelled the plans “ill-advised and draconian”, and warned it would “punish Londoners for doing the right thing to tackle Covid-19”.

    The extension to the £15 congestion charge zone would go live in October next year, when the expanded ULEZ is also introduced due to be introduced covering the same area.

    It would see the zone expanded to cover approximately four million more Londoners.

    The Mayor also says that the Government wants to increase TfL fares by more than RPI+1%.

    A further Government proposal is to introduce a new council tax precept charge in the capital ­­– effectively increasing council tax by an as yet unspecified amount for all Londoners, regardless of whether they use public transport, claims Khan.

    He said: "I simply cannot accept this Government plan, which would hit Londoners with a triple whammy of higher costs at a time when so many people are already facing hardship.

    "The Government should be supporting Londoners through this difficult time – not making ill-advised and draconian proposals which will choke off our economic recovery.

    "Ministers already forced TfL to bring forward proposals to increase the cost and hours of the congestion charge in May – now they want to expand it to cover four million more Londoners.

    "They also want to significantly increase fares in London and hit all Londoners with a regressive new tax.

    "It is clear that difficult choices lie ahead to plug the huge gap the pandemic left in TfL's finances. I have been ready to talk with Government about how the necessary funds can be raised – but a proposal which singles out Londoners for punishment is completely unacceptable, as well as making no economic sense.

    "I urge Ministers to come back to the table with a revised proposal which does not punish Londoners for doing the right thing to tackle Covid-19 – and to publish their review into TfL's finances in full. I remain ready to talk."

    The Department for Transport (DfT) says talks over a settlement were ongoing.

    London's drivers could soon be forced to stump up £27.50 each day as part of a Government bailout of TfL.

    Sadiq Khan claims ministers are demanding he extends the £15 congestion zone to the North and South circulars as a condition for financial support.



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