As a coach I often receive messages from people stating that they can't make it to a session. Usually these messages are quite simple.
"I cant make it to track tonight"
"I can't make the swim squad as I have to work late"
Quite simple and valid, but imagine rephrasing these statements to actually reflect what you are doing.
"I cant make it to track tonight" becomes "I am making the choice that something else is more important. I acknowledge that if I don't achieve my goals it is because of these choices"
"I cant make the swim squad as I have to work" becomes "Work is more important and again I acknowledge that if I don't achieve my goals it is because of these choices"
That is not to say that the choice to prioritise one thing over another isn't incredibly important and needs to be done frequently and typically the reason IS more important but the difference in the wording is accountability. By acknowledging that you have made the choice to give your training a lower priority in this case you are also acknowledging that you are accountable for the outcome of missing sessions. Life happens and we cant hit 100% of sessions but must also acknowledge, and be accountable for, the fact that if we consistently prioritise one thing over another than the goal related to the later is compromised.
We cannot have a goal that requires 'xxx' work, do only half of the work and expect to achieve the goal. It is interesting people that don't do the work, don't achieve the goal but then blame others. As a coach clients sometimes leave because they are not improving at the rate they expect but when looking at their logs they miss a lot of sessions. They change coaches but still don't improve - the issue isn't the program but their lack of accountability.
When people tell me they cant make a session as they are working a simple question comes to mind. "What if you were going to your daughter's wedding ?", "What if it was a doctors appointment for a serious issue?" Would you make those commitments ? Again it is not the case of one thing preventing another but rather acknowledging (and being accountable for) the fact that you are making a choice. And again that choice may be absolutely valid.
Once you start becoming accountable for your decisions and acknowledge the impact of your choices you'll be amazed how much more thought you put into them and into your priorities. One of the biggest traits that defines successful people is not their VO2Max but their ACCOUNTABILITY.