Excuses, Excuses

This is a guest post from Beating Broke.

I just can’t afford it. The money isn’t there this month. It’s got to be that brand. It’s got to be that variety. Excuses are widely varied, but they ultimately lead us to the same end. Non-compliance. Non-compliance with our goals. Whether you’re goal is to be more frugal, to eat vegan, or to exercise more, you’ve probably used your fair share of excuses to put off starting or to give yourself a reason to not start at all.

The fact is, if you want to accomplish any of those things, you need to overcome your excuses. I don’t believe that it’s actually possible to not create them at all. In fact, I think it’s a part of our nature to create them. The challenge becomes overcoming the excuses that we, by our nature, create as obstacles to our goal achievement.

Pic via mattpreskenis.com

So, how do you go about overcoming your obstacles?

Set smaller goals. Rome wasn’t built in a day, folks. If your plan is to build the greatest empire in the world, you can’t just go out and claim the entire empire at once. You’ve got to build one piece of it at a time. The same goes for your goals. You aren’t going to be able to lose all 100 pounds in one day. It will take days, months, or even years to work that off. And if you don’t set some smaller goals, you will get frustrated, and you will fail. Instead, set a smaller goal. Instead of losing 100 pounds, set a goal to lose 10 pounds this month. It’s easier to reach, and the shorter time frame means you will reach the goal quicker and get the satisfaction of reaching it. And that satisfaction is the fuel that you can use to overcome the next excuse when it comes up.

Get some friends! Accountability goes a long ways towards overcoming an excuse. Bring your friends in on the goal. Ask them to keep tabs on how you’re doing and to gently push you along when you look like you’ve stalled. If your goal is something that you don’t want to share with your “real world” friends, find a group or social site online and make some new friends that have similar goals. My site, Beating Broke, has seen incredible benefits from joining and participating in the Yakezie Alexa Challenge. There are similar groups available for just about any goal you can think up.

Motivate Yourself. This one is easy. Or should be. But the fact remains, you have to motivate yourself. You can set all the goals you want and have all the friends pushing you as you want, but if you aren’t motivated to achieve your goals, you’ll never reach them. Ever. Set your goals, find your friends, and then find yourself a way to motivate you to complete your goal. Post a skinny picture on your mirror. Write down your goal and post it to your monitor. Each of us will be motivated by different things, so find what motivates you and embrace it. Then go out and achieve your goals!

B.B. runs and writes for Beating Broke, a personal finance blog dedicated to frugality and sound money principles. You can follow along in B.B.’s journey, while “Beating Broke”, via BeatingBroke.com or via RSS Feed.

16 thoughts on “Excuses, Excuses

  1. Moon Hussain

    It all seems like a struggle sometimes, doesn’t it? It comes down to actually doing and holding your own self accountable. A lot of people just talk and don’t push through with the “doing” part.

    Will check out BB when I have some time.

    1. money funk

      BB has a great site. Please do.

      And you are right, it takes some elbow grease to implement action. I think writing a plan breaking the actions down into steps really helps. Then one may not become so overwhelmed.

  2. youngandthrifty

    So very very true! My way of making up excuses is to procrastinate! I am very good at that. Setting smaller goals and making a list really does help though.

  3. Financial Samurai

    Cool beans. Good to have you Beating Broke to the challenge! Doing things together really helps the cause.

    Having work out buddies REALLY help people stay on track too. In fact, having a buddy share in your goal to do anything is worth it!

    Best, Sam

  4. Austin

    Documenting goals has helped me. I use Google Calendar to remind me once a month to check my blog goals and then I’m constantly reminded to keep my head on straight.

    Without this reminder, it would be easy for my goals to be pushed aside for a better day. Which we all know wouldn’t come.

    Austin @ Foreigner’s Finances

    1. Money Funk

      That’s great, Austin! I remember when I was very pro with my day planner. Loved those things. Now its all squeezed into an tiny pocket size cell phone with bells and whistles.

      I have no doubt you make great strides with the Google Calendar to remind you!

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  6. Ken

    It’s about finding your ‘why.’ Why do you want less debt? What are the payoffs? Motivation, like you say, varies from person to person.

  7. James

    to me its all a state of mind. yes we all have excuses and we all have days we feel everything is going our way. But at the end of the day, positive mental attitude (PMA) will help you set goals, big or small, short or long-term) and accomplish those goals.

    have you hear of excuses be gone my Dr. Wayne Dyer? that’s a great resource as well.

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