If your goal is to change your eating habits, lose weight, reverse a disease process, or turn a small business into a success, making excuses is a surefire way to derail your efforts.
There are indeed unavoidable obstacles in reaching any goal, but these hurdles should be met with enthusiasm and determination rather than uncertainty and defeat.
Here are 5 ways to help you stop making excuses and blast your way to success:
1. Decide what you really want and why you want it.
I knew a woman in college who moved back to her hometown after she graduated. Her entire family lived there, so she felt obligated to open her practice in the city where she grew up. Unfortunately, her heart wasn't in it. She struggled to build her business because she didn't truly want to live there.
She never really seemed to be excited about her career when I spoke to her, and it was obvious she was unconsciously holding herself back.
This applies to nutrition and fitness, as well. If you want to lose 30 pounds but don't want to go without your nightly bowl of ice cream, or if you make sure you're on time for your favorite TV shows but not the gym, it's plainly obvious you aren't fully committed to your objective.
Take some time to really decide WHAT you want, and then figure out WHY you want it. Until you do, you'll never stop making excuses for why you haven't succeeded.
2. Keep your eyes on the prize.
When trying to achieve a long-term goal
, it's easy to get distracted by life's twists and turns. Money pressures, setbacks, even failures (or what seems to be failures), can dominate our thoughts if we let them.
It's important to keep our minds focused on our overall objective so we continue to move in the right direction. Doing so will serve as inspiration on days we feel overwhelmed and ready to throw in the towel. Treat the chaos like flies buzzing around your head. Just wave them away and move forward.
3. Think of reasons you can.
Excuse-making is all about finding reasons you can't do something. There are many forms of this:
- I can't change my diet. Healthy food is too expensive.
- I can't lose weight. I don't have time to exercise.
- I can't build my business. The economy is terrible.
- Changing my life is pointless. I've had this disease for 30 years.
If you're repeating phrases like these, your approach to success needs a major overhaul. These kinds of statements cause us to stand still, not move forward. If you find yourself thinking of reasons you can't, change your wording into reasons you can:
- Healthy food is expensive, but I will figure out how to fit more good nutrition into my budget.
- I can't spend an hour at a gym, but I can work several 10 minute routines into my day.
- The economy is terrible. I will think of ways to make my goods/services more affordable and more necessary to my target market.
- I've had this disease for 30 years. Maybe there is new information about it now. I will research new ideas and keep an open mind.
Be aware of your thoughts. They can keep you from acting, and action is paramount for success.
4. Take consistent action.
Many people believe that our thoughts create our reality, and that the way we think can either make or break us in terms of success. I'm not suggesting that our thoughts aren't important. I'm saying that taking action is more important. Every day should involve some kind of movement, some sort of physical effort that brings us closer to our goal. Einstein said so appropriately, "Nothing changes unless something moves," and motion is the ultimate step.
5. Ask for help.
So you've made a decision, you're staying focused and positive, and you're ready to take consistent action .... but sometimes we just don't know what action is most appropriate for our specific situation. This might be the best time to ask someone who can guide us. Someone who has already achieved the kind of success we desire can often help us avoid unnecessary pitfalls and reach our target more quickly. A good relationship with a mentor you respect can be invaluable.
This list is far from complete. If you have any additional advice for how we can put an end to excuse making, please comment below.
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