How to Conquer Your Excuses

You want to save money, but. You want to get a better job, but. You want to start exercising, but. You have a dream, something you want to do, but. What’s your but? You can conquer your but once and for all. Here’s how.

1. Be honest with yourself. Do you really want to accomplish that goal? Or are you trying to fulfill someone else’s goal? If the goal is not really yours, you will have a difficult time accomplishing it. If it’s not something you want, let it go.

2. Say no. There are literally thousands of things clamoring for your attention. There are real and virtual groups, books, TV shows, movies, and shopping centers. You have something that you want to do, but you can’t seem to get it done. You must start saying no to the people, places and things that don’t get you any closer to accomplishing your goal.

3. Discipline yourself. Similar to saying no, you have to rein yourself in. Perhaps you want to save money, but you always overspend. When you do something that is inconsistent with your goal, force yourself to think about what you did and what triggered you to do it. Decide how you will do better the next time. Keeping a journal and forcing yourself to read it is helpful too.

4. Get an accountability partner. This can be anyone in your life who can be trusted to hold you accountable. Perhaps you want to write a book, and you’ve decided that you should write one chapter a week. Plan to meet with your accountability partner by phone for five minutes every Saturday afternoon. Just knowing that you have to meet with your partner and admit that you failed or celebrate that you were successful will help you to move forward.

5. Take one step. Decide right now the one thing that you can do in the next 24 hours that will get you closer to your goal. When you go to bed each night, ask yourself what you can do the next day to get closer to your goal. When you wake up in the morning, write down what you will do that day to get closer to your goal.

Sometimes we hurt ourselves by being too lenient with ourselves. We have control of our thoughts and actions. To conquer the but, you must decide that your goal is more important than your excuse. Every time you make an excuse, you’re getting farther away from your goal. The next time you’re tempted to say, “But,” imagine yourself turning away from your goal and walking in the opposite direction. Force yourself to say what you can do, and then do it. Rinse and repeat.

What’s the biggest “but” that you’ve overcome?

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