The only way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time.
But when it comes to success, it’s easy to forget that saying and get overwhelmed by the size of the goal. Suddenly, the elephant doesn’t seem so manageable after all. Before we know it, we’re making excuses to put off progress.
Well, no more. In this article, we’re going to give you some tips on how to cut through the excuses and start moving ahead in 2023. Let’s get started!
Spotting excuses: What are you telling yourself?
The first step is recognizing when you’re making excuses.
Excuses are just stories we tell ourselves to justify not doing something. So what’s going on? Why are you telling yourself that you can’t do something?
Sometimes, our excuses are fears in disguise. We’re scared to take action because we’re afraid of failing. We’re scared of the unknown. We don’t want to put in the hard work required to achieve our goals.
But once you become aware of your excuses, you can start to ask yourself whether they’re true. Are you too busy or tired? Or are you just making excuses so you can avoid taking action?
Reframing the problem: How can you adjust your mindset?
Changing your mindset is easier said than done.
It’s hard to break old habits and patterns of thinking, especially if you’ve been making excuses for years. But it’s not impossible.
One way to do this is by practicing cognitive reframing. This means becoming more aware of the thoughts that go through your head, and then adjusting them so that they’re more supportive.
For example, if you find yourself saying “I’m not good enough” or “I can’t do this”, try reframing those statements into something more positive, like “I’m trying my best” or “I can do this”.
Another way to adjust your mindset is to change your fixed mindset into a growth mindset. This means taking on a more flexible attitude, and realizing that you’re not born with all the answers—you have to learn and grow to achieve success. With a growth mindset, you’re more likely to take on new challenges and persist even when things get tough.
Find motivation: What’s driving you to succeed?
Now that you’re ready to get moving, it’s time to find your motivation.
For some people, this is easy—they’re driven by a passion for the work they do, or they want to achieve a certain goal. But for others, it can be more difficult to find that motivating force.
If you’re having trouble getting started, try to identify what’s driving you to succeed. What are your reasons for wanting to achieve this goal? Is it the recognition? The money? The feeling of satisfaction you will get when you finish?
Once you know what motivates you, it’s easier to get past the excuses and stay focused on your goal. You can use this information to create a plan and set smaller goals that will help you reach your ultimate destination. And if you ever feel like giving up, remind yourself of what’s waiting for you on the other side.
Break down goals: What small steps can you take to tackle the problem?
If you want to move forward and be successful, you need to learn how to cut the excuses and get down to business.
One way to do this is to break down your goal into small, manageable steps. When you have a huge task ahead of you, it can be overwhelming, and easy to make excuses. But if you break it down into smaller steps, you can focus on one thing at a time and make progress without getting bogged down.
For instance, let’s say you want to start your own business. That’s a big goal that can seem insurmountable. But if you break it down into smaller steps, it becomes much more manageable. You can start by doing some research, then creating a business plan, and then start scaling. By taking small steps, you will be able to achieve your big goal without getting overpowered.
Keep track of success: Celebrate small wins and use them as fuel
You may not always feel like you’re making progress, but trust us, you are.
And it’s important to keep track of your successes—no matter how small they may seem—so that you can use them as fuel to keep going.
One way to do this is to express gratitude for your wins, however small. When you take the time to celebrate your accomplishments, it stimulates your brain’s reward center and gives you a sense of satisfaction that can help motivate you to keep going.
So take a few minutes each day to write down what you’re grateful for. It could be something as simple as finishing a task or making 1% progress. Whatever it is, acknowledging your successes—however small they may be—is a crucial step in moving ahead.
Talk it out: Connect with an accountability partner
If you’re serious about making progress, find someone who can help you stay on track. Here’s why an accountability partner is so important:
- They keep you accountable.
It’s easy to make excuses when we’re the only ones holding ourselves accountable. But when someone else is watching over us, we’re more likely to follow through.
- They offer a different perspective.
When we’re stuck in our heads, it’s hard to see things clearly. But when we talk to someone else, they can offer a different perspective that we might not have considered.
- They help you see your blind spots.
We all have them—the things we can’t see about ourselves because we’re too close to the situation. An accountability partner can help you identify these blind spots so you can work on them.
Every day we are confronted with tasks that require effort. Whether it’s getting out of bed early to start your day, going to the gym, or sitting down to work on a project, there will always be moments when it’s easier to make excuses. And that’s okay. What’s crucial is that you don’t let the excuses win. Aim to move forward at least 1% each day. You got this!