When we fail to accomplish something, we try to explain to ourselves and others why it happened. Sometimes we understand the true reasons and learn from our mistakes. And sometimes we are just making up excuses.
Here are the 5 worst Goal-Setting excuses. Make sure that you do not rationalize (read “rational – lies”) your inability of achieving your goals too much.
1. “I need to learn ALL the information, before I apply it!”
This is the perfectionist speaking in you. Desire to make it perfect is a huge roadblock to your growth, and productivity. If you believe that you must learn everything you possibly can about goal setting before actually setting a goal, you will most likely achieve very little or nothing. The truth is that humans learn best by a trial-and-error method. You cannot become a professional, unless you start as a beginner. Similar you cannot say which goal setting techniques work best for you, unless you actually try them.
Solution: As difficult as it may seem to let go of your desire to do everything perfectly, you must do it. Apply what you learn immediately to see how it works in real life. It might not work out, but you will still gain valuable insight from the experience. On the other hand, if you do not try you WILL fail for sure.
2. “I don’t have time”
This is a good one (especially when it is stated with a slightly desperate tone of voice). It implies that you are really busy doing something else that is VERY important. I often used this excuse myself, but in the long run if you are very busy, if you continuously worry about being late, if you do not have time to pursue your goals and improve your quality of life it can mean two things:1) you are not managing your time right; 2) you can not get your priorities straight. Sometimes it is actually both.
Solution: Analyze where your time goes during the day: How much do you get done? Are all these tasks really important? Or just urgent? Cross off your to-do list any task that will not matter in a week’s time. This will free some of your time, so you can concentrate your efforts on more important goals, like your health, your finances or your family.
3. “I am too old/too young.”
Every age brings certain limitations, just as it brings valuable benefits. When we are young – we tend to be optimistic and full of energy, but we lack experience and wisdom. As we get older we become more knowledgeable and more experienced which enables us to make wiser decisions, but at the same time we might feel the lack of energy. The conditions are never perfect. What matters is whether you are doing your best with the resources that you have right now.
Solution: Read stories of successful people. There are plenty of examples of people who have achieved incredible results very early in life. Just as there are a lot of people who became truly successful in their later years. Their stories serve as a proof that our age is just an invisible barrier that exists only in our mind.
4. “I really want to, but I don’t have …”
This excuse is very common. We can not go jogging in the morning, because we do not have running shoes. We can not open our own business, because we do not have money. We can not get a better job, because we do not have the right kind of education. These excuses imply that in order to achieve something we must have the right “tools” first. I love the way Tony Robbins has put it, “Most people think resources or the lack there of hold them back. In fact it is not lack of resources but rather lack of resourcefulness that truly prevents people from achieving their dreams.”
Solution: Often when we say we need something in order to achieve our goals we are just trying to avoid doing the work. If you have figured out what you lack in order to accomplish your goals – great, but do not stop at that. The next step is to decide want to do about it. For example, you may not need the “coolest” nikes or a new Ipod to start jogging in the morning. Nor are thousands of dollars necessary to open your own business (I know because I started mine having no money). The secret of success is to start moving and figure out the details as you go.
5. “There is no point. I always fail”.
If you start with that attitude you will fail, if for no other reason than to prove to everyone your point. It also shows that you refuse to learn from your mistakes. All the troubles that you encounter on your way are the road signs that tell you “be careful”, “possible danger” or “pay attention”. But you are the one choosing the direction and doing the driving. If you crash, it will not be because there was a “sharp turn” sign warning you, but because you ignored it or did not slow down.
Solution: Your negative beliefs shape your reality. Negativity is not an honor badge that you should wear proudly and demonstrate to everyone. It is more like a death sentence that you sign to your own success. Stop looking for external factors for your problems and address the real cause of your failures – your limiting beliefs.
And remember, “Ninety-nine percent of the failures come from people who have the habit of making excuses.” – George Washington Carver.