It’s time to put more hooty in your booty. Cancel drinks on Friday night. Forget about your hair coloring appointment with Vince on Saturday.
Your ridiculous excuses for everything in your life are literally killing your success. You have a goal, but you may not be achieving it. Here are some of the excuses I gave myself last week which stopped me from blogging:
- I need to socialize because I’ve worked hard this week
- I need to go on a holiday because it’s been a while
- I need to go on a date because I’m single and yet to find love
Thoughts like these stop us from getting on with the job. We have this mindset that we’ll get to our goal when we have time. The truth is there is always another distraction to replace the previous one. Your excuses are what you use to justify your lack of success.
So let me spell it out for you:
You are the reason you’ve not achieved your goals or the level of success you want. It’s your fault: no one else’s. It’s all bloody you!
Stop blaming and start hustling!
Stop delaying and start on your dream right now!
Stop the need for instant gratification and short-term pleasure and start playing the long game!
I think this post is going to have a lot of exclamation marks, so I apologize in advance. The advice I serve up rarely comes with a bowl of chocolate moose on the side. It’s not what you want to hear, but it’s what you must hear. Actually, it’s too late to apologize (I think there’s a pop song that has those lyrics…Google that).
Here are the dumb excuses you must give up:
1. “I need experience first”
Did Steve Jobs have experience at making computers? Did Mark Zuckerberg study social media for years before starting Facebook? Did JK Rowling have experience publishing books before she wrote Harry Potter? The answer to all of these is no.
Go for hustle and hard work before thinking that you have to experience. Have a go with no experience and you’ll quickly figure out the skills required to be successful. The recruitment world has made us believe the lie that we have to have experience. Half the time the people with experience are the ones who refuse to innovate and think differently.
They’re the ones who want to do things the way they have always been done because their experience tells them to. It feels so safe to maintain the status quo. Guess what? The status quo is what’s holding back the human race from going all out and solving some of the issues like climate change, poverty, disease and safe access to water.
“Grab your “safe” experience nappy and throw it in the bin!”
2. “Someday I will be successful”
And someday never comes. You sit there dreaming of what could happen and what you could do rather than getting started. Your life will pass you by unless you decide that you will live in the present. You need to be successful in the present and be okay with the failure that comes with success.
Someday I’m going to be the next Mark Zuckerberg, but for now, I’m going to concentrate on being Tim Denning! That means I need to wake up from last night’s dream and start: writing, making calls and finding resources to share that will inspire.
3. “Someday I will find love”
Despite what the romance novels tell you, you have to take deliberate action to find “the one.” Chance encounters may happen, but you could be waiting a very long time. Don’t use karma or star signs to help you find love; use action.
Ask someone out even though they may say no. Join a dating app. Be more social. Put yourself in difficult situations like public speaking. That’s how you increase the chance of finding love.
“Sitting at home dreaming about “THE ONE” is going to give you a wet dream that leads to nothing”
4. “Someday I’ll tell that person what I think”
And you could get hit by a car tomorrow. How would you feel if you never got to say that one thing to that special person? What if you died and never got to share all your experience and feelings for those you love?
I’ll answer it for you. You’d be devastated. So why wait? You’ll be surprised that if you’re holding back from telling someone what you think it’s because of fear. Feel the fear and tell them what you think anyway. The worst that can happen is they stop talking to you and then you’re left with billions of other human beings to spend time with.
5. “Someday I’ll be happy”
It’s so much more awesome when you can make the decision to be happy right now. All you need is your brain to believe this. There’s so much to be happy with in your life. Stop focusing on what you don’t have and think about what you already have.
Use things like holidays to make you happy in advance of a dream moment. Set goals in the future and then imagine what it’s going to be like when you achieve them. That’s how you get more happiness right now and give up on this excuse which is holding you back.
6. “Someday I’ll get started”
Could you take the first small step now? Is there a phone call you could make right now? What I’ve learned is that when you make the first small step towards your goals, it becomes addictive. Often, you don’t even need to motivate yourself once you get started.
It’s the not getting started part that is what you need to give up.
7. “Once I finish X task, I’ll then start on my goals”
Another task always magically pops up. You have to prioritize what it is that you want. If you want to be a world famous long distance runner, then it’s time to get down to the track. It may be the case that the reason why you keep having distractions get in your way is because you don’t really want the goal you think you’ve always wanted.
A goal can sound nice when we see other people achieve them and get the results, but when we try the same goal, often the process can be boring, unfulfilling, or not what we want. That’s okay. Rather than torture ourselves for the lack of progress we have made towards our goal, we’re best off giving up on that particular goal and finding one that we can achieve.
Not every goal you set out to achieve needs to happen. As long as you find at least one goal that inspires you and makes you happy, then you’ve done well.
8. “Just one more drink and then I’ll get going”
One more drink always becomes another one and another one and so on. Learn to be disciplined and control your drinking.
9. “I don’t have enough money”
So what is enough money? Is there some mysterious amount you have in your bank account that all of a sudden means you can now go out and start work on your goal? Of course not. This idea is total BS. Lack of money can often be one of the biggest motivators. Not having money makes you hungry and makes you want to work hard towards your goals.
As soon as you reach the amount of money you think you need, your target seems to change and all of a sudden you need a new amount of money. This creates an endless line up of excuses that leave you trapped in a vortex.
I knew a guy that had a startup and raised a large sum of money. He took out $1m from the business to buy a house and then all of a sudden he was comfortable. He was no longer uncomfortable and so the success of his business took a backseat.
That business is now hemorrhaging because the hunger and drive have disappeared. You’ll never have enough money so forget about this lame excuse.
10. “The economy is not in good shape”
If you listen to the news, then we are always one step away from disastrous financial times. Thankfully I have also given up on the news. It’s never a good time to do anything. The economy being in bad shape can be a great thing!
Some of the best businesses were started in the worst economic times. When the economy goes bad people sell things for bargain discount prices. The leaders of industry lose their way and can make dumb decisions. While all this disaster is going on, you get the chance at a lucky break.
While everyone’s fighting over the economy and lack of money, you can start your business or take your business to the next level.
“Think of the economy being down as the world’s best distraction. It’s all a matter of perspective”
11. “My partner doesn’t agree with my dream”
Dump he or she and find a new one. That may be what’s been holding you back all of this time. If your partner loves you, then they’ll support you with your goals. Splitting with someone is hard, but so is life. You’ve got to do what feels right and allows you to reach your full potential.
12. “I need a degree first”
Hate to break it to you, but companies are starting to take less notice of degrees more and more, except certain industries like law and medicine. The truth is any of us can go to university, delay the payment and get the piece of paper.
That piece of paper entitles you to absolutely nothing. Go there to learn, but don’t use it as an excuse to why you can’t go after your goals. Most things can be learned online, so university is a luxury for many people.
13. “I’m overweight”
Thanks to modern medicine it’s very easy to lose weight now. Do a fast, go to the gym, eat clean food and most of all: get into action mode. There are still loads of successful people that are overweight so it’s not the end of the world. Again, it’s up to you to take action.
Looks is not everything in life. We’ve been conditioned to think that if we don’t look like all the Instagram models, then we won’t be happy. The thing is that the Instagram models are the ones that are the most unhappy.
They’re chasing a body type that for many is impossible to achieve. Still, losing weight will give you more energy so try it.
14. “I feel tired”
What did you eat the night before? How much did you drink? You’re tired because of your own actions. Get some sleep, take care of your body and you’ll have loads of energy. Being tired is not an excuse. Being tired is for losers!
15. “I just don’t have the time right now”
If Richard Branson knocked on your door and said, “Hey come to my house I want to hang out with you,” would you say no? No freaking way man. So you always have time it just comes down to how important your goals really are.
You can make time for anything that has meaning in your life. Guess what? We all have limited amounts of time. It’s the one currency that we all have equal amounts of every day. The only thing we don’t know is when we’ll die, so that’s why you’ve got to give up these dumb excuses amigo!s
If you want to increase your productivity and learn some more valuable life hacks, then join my private mailing list on timdenning.net
How to Stay Motivated to Achieve Your Goals
Time is the raw material of our lives. How we choose to spend it, shapes our life accordingly. So having the motivation to spend it on achieving goals is crucial to creating a life we want.
What is Motivation?
The Oxford dictionary defines motivation as the desire or willingness to do something – our drive to take action.
Scientifically, motivation has its roots in the dopamine pathways of our brains. When we do something that feels good, that’s dopamine kicking in. Our actions are driven by the desire for that reward (the good feeling).
Author Steven Pressfield describes motivation more practically. He says we hit a point where the pain of not doing something becomes greater than the pain of doing it. He sees motivation as crossing the threshold where it’s easier to take action than it is to be idle. Like choosing to feel awkward while making sales calls over feeling disappointed about a diminishing bank account.
However you choose to think about it, we all want to harness motivation to achieve our goals.
How to Get Motivated
James Clear, the author of Atomic Habits, says that most people misunderstand motivation. They think that motivation is what gets us to take action. In reality, motivation is often the result of action, not the cause of it. Once we start a task, it’s easier to continue making progress. Like Isaac Newton’s first law: objects in motion stay in motion.
This means most of the resistance when working on your goals comes right before we start. Since motivation naturally occurs after we start, we need to focus on making starting easier.
4 Ways to Make Starting Easier
1. Schedule it
One reason people can’t get started on things is that they haven’t planned when to do it.
When things aren’t scheduled it’s easier for them to fall by the wayside. You’ll end up hoping motivation falls in your lap or hoping that you’ll muster enough willpower to get it done.
An article in the Guardian said, “If you waste resources trying to decide when or where to work, you’ll impede your capacity to do the work.”
2. Measure something
It’s easy to feel uninspired when you don’t know if you’re making progress or what you’re even working towards. That’s why you need to make your success measurable in some way. Starting is easy when you know exactly how much closer your current actions will bring you to achieving your goal.
3. Extrinsic motivation
This type of motivation is from external factors. It can be either positive or negative. Positive motivation consists of incentives like money, prizes, and grades. Negative motivation consists of deterrents like being fired, having a fight, or being fined. Extrinsic motivation doesn’t work effectively long-term, but it can work well in the short term to get you started on something.
4. Make it public
Keep yourself accountable by telling friends and family your goals, or even sharing them on social media. This makes it easier to start something because you’re pressured to not let others down.
How to Stay Motivated Long Term
When we say we want to feel motivated to do something, we don’t want to be pushed or guilted into doing a task. We want to be so attracted and drawn to the idea that we can’t resist not taking action. That’s why it’s important to build a foundation that will set you up for consistency.
These are 5 techniques that will help you do just that:
1. Stay in your goldilocks zone
The goldilocks zone is when a task is the perfect level of difficulty—not too hard and not too easy. In this zone, we reach peak motivation and focus.
For example, let’s say you’re playing a serious tennis match against a 4-year-old. On this level of difficulty, you’ll quickly become bored and not want to play. Now let’s say you’re playing a serious tennis match against Serena Williams. On this level of difficulty, you’ll quickly become demotivated because the match is too challenging.
The Goldilocks zone is in the middle of that spectrum. You want to face someone with equal skill as you. That way you have a chance to win, but you have to focus and try for it. Adjusting your workload and goals over time to stay within your Goldilocks zone keeps you engaged and motivated long-term.
2. Pursue intrinsically motivated goals
Being intrinsically motivated to achieve a goal is when you want to achieve it for what it is. There are no external factors like a reward or the risk of being fired. The drive behind your actions is coming from within.
For most intrinsic goals we pursue them because they will enrich our lives or bring us closer to fulfillment. That makes these goals extremely sustainable long-term because they directly affect our quality of life and the things we care about.
3. Use “chunking”
Chunking is the technique of breaking down a goal into smaller short-term targets. By doing this you achieve multiple successes in your pursuit of the main goal. This triggers the brain’s reward system and drives you to keep going.
Traditionally, you may set a goal that you expect to achieve in one year. That’s a long time to commit without seeing any results along the way. By chunking your goals into monthly or quarterly targets, you get the consistent positive reinforcement you need to stay motivated long-term.
For example, instead of trying to lose 50 pounds in one year, try to lose 4 pounds every month for 12 months.
4. Be flexible
We’re all victims of circumstance. Things happen along our journey that we can either adjust to or quit because of. That’s why it’s important to have leeway and flexibility when you’re pursuing a goal. If you expect everything to go perfectly, the inevitable failure can make you disengaged and desireless. When you plan for things to go wrong, you make sure you can keep up for the long haul.
5. Pursue your goals in a sustainable fashion
Don’t lose hope when you’re not an overnight success. Overnight successes are the 1%—for the most part, they don’t exist. What we see as an “overnight success” is actually countless hours of work behind the scenes finally hitting a tipping point. Pursuing goals is a story of patience, persistence, and unseen effort.
Don’t compare yourself to others. Comparison is a recipe for a drop in self-confidence and satisfaction. It also cultivates a mindset where you think you haven’t done enough. As a result, you may raise your expectations and put more pressure on yourself.
This is pointless because things worth achieving take time. So we obviously won’t compare to the things around us when starting.
Mastering motivation is a superpower. With that ability at your fingertips, you can accomplish your goals and shape a life you want to live in.
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