It’s a new year and most likely you’ve created a list of resolutions. You are determined that this time will be different. You won’t quit. You won’t get distracted. You’re going to stick with your plan for a new start. However, sadly enough the odds aren’t in your favor. The fact is only a tiny fraction of people keep their resolutions. University of Scranton research suggests that just 8% of people achieve their New Year’s goals. What’s the common denominator? EXCUSES. For most individuals, it’s much easier to think of ways something can’t be done versus how it can be done. Many of us have a series of excuses that we can pull out of a hat at a moment’s notice. We make excuses mostly to protect ourselves and to justify our current circumstances. But these limiting beliefs cripple our chances for success. Consider these excuses and commit to the solutions.
(1) “I DON’T KNOW HOW.” This common excuse gives you permission to not even try.
- SOLUTION: Get support. At no time in the history of mankind has there been so much information and resources available. Want to start a charity? There are hundreds of books on the subject. Need to lose 100 lbs? There are thousands of CDs, videos and blogs to support you. Want to change careers? Consult a coach or mentor. Or simply try and then adjust your approach based on your results.
(2) “I’M AFRAID.” Who hasn’t been afraid to try something new, to step out of the box, to move beyond their comfort zone? Most of our fears are socially based and have no real consequences.
- SOLUTION: Ask yourself what’s the worst thing that can happen. Once you have determined the worst case scenarios you’ll realize that the fear is a disguise to kill your dreams and stifle your growth. Then list the best things that can happen. You’ll recognize that your success is more important than the fears that are holding you back.
Stop being afraid of what could go wrong and FOCUS on what could go right!
(3) “I DON’T HAVE ENOUGH TIME.” If your heart is in it then you will make the time for what’s truly important to you.
- SOLUTION: Create a list of the things you do on a daily basis from the moment you awake until the end of the day. Record your activities in 15 minute blocks. Include everything from talking on the phone, surfing the internet to watching television. After doing this for one week most people are able to find at least 3 hours to dedicate to a new activity or adventure.
(4) “I DON’T HAVE ENOUGH MONEY.” There is usually a way to work around a lack of financial resources.
- SOLUTION: Find alternatives. For example, if you’re looking to increase your skills but can’t afford college tuition there are other ways to enhance your credentials. For instance, volunteer at a non-profit organization; get certification in a particular skill or intern for a small company on your days off. If you are business owner, consider bartering (trading your services or products). There is always a way. You just may have to work a little harder to find solutions to support your growth.
(5) “IT’S TOO LATE FOR ME.” It’s never too late to become what you might have been. A person climbed Mount Everest in his 80’s. People have gone back to medical school in their 60’s. Getting a late start might be less convenient and more challenging, but there’s nothing wrong with that.
- SOLUTION: Figure out what interests you, influences you and motivates you. Build a plan for the challenges that are really important to you and take one step at a time to complete your goals.
(6) “IT’S TOO HARD.” Some endeavors are certainly more difficult than others. But claiming that something is “too hard” is really just another way of admitting that you’re afraid. People with limited resources and talent can still be extremely successful.
- SOLUTION: Set your mind on success! Those with motivation and stamina are really the ones who succeed. Get an accountability partner. Read encouraging stories. Practice affirmations. Do what’s necessary to keep your thoughts and energy centered on a successful outcome.
The way you eat an elephant is one bite at a time.
Your success is dependent on effort. No action, no results. Break your tasks into small assignments and keep going until you’ve achieved your goal. It’s time to make some changes. Transformation isn’t always easy but it is necessary for your success. Remind yourself of the reasons why started in the first place. And have the courage to put aside your excuses and go after what you truly want. You’ll be glad you did!