Excuses. We all use them, sometimes out of convenience, sometimes to make ourselves feel better. They are a necessary part of life, but when you use excuses to the extent that they become reality and lower your potential, it’s time to learn some new ways of thinking. Here are five excuses you should never use again.
I Can’t Afford It
I have used this excuse a million times in the past. I think it’s truth in many situations. If you make $25,000 a year and want a $500,000 house, you really can’t afford it, but when you use this excuse to stop yourself from saving or investing, that’s when it becomes a problem.
I strongly believe everyone can come up with an extra $500 a month or more if they put their minds to it. The problem is that most people are unwilling to step outside their comfort zone and take advantage of all the opportunities that are available.
I can’t afford it is also a very negative way to view the world. Denying yourself something by thinking you don’t have enough money is the wrong way to go about it. Remind yourself that you can afford it but choose not to because you are saving for other, more important goals.
I Don’t Have Time
Have you ever spoken with anyone who claims not to be busy? I haven’t. Lack of time is a huge excuse, and reality is that there will never be more than 24 hours in the day. There’s no point in wishing for more time.
What you can do is make the best possible use of the time you have.
- Get organized and keep clutter to a minimum.
- Make a list and complete the most important tasks first.
- Don’t get distracted by things that aren’t a priority.
- Schedule down time. If you know you have an hour in the evening for browsing Facebook, you won’t do it during the day.
- Accept that perfection is not always ideal. I could spend at least two hours a day cleaning my house, but I’ve realized 15 minutes a day works just fine. It isn’t perfect, but I have more time for other things.
- Stay up an hour later or get up a hour earlier. Most people can sacrifice an hour of sleep without ill effects. It’s amazing what you can do in a focused hour, especially if no on else is awake!
I Don’t Know How
While it’s probably impossible to know how to do everything, it’s very possible to learn new skills and sharpen old ones. A few years ago, I barely knew what a blog was, let alone how to run one. I also had no idea how to search for and purchase income property. Both of those things became possible with study and research. It’s not always the best use of time to do everything by yourself, but if you want to make or save extra money or do something different with your life, I don’t know how needs to get kicked to the curb.
- Don’t know how to get out of debt? Start tracking your finances at Personal Capital or Mint.
- Don’t know how to get started with retirement savings or investing? Many online brokerages like Vanguard, Motif, and Betterment make it as easy as slicing butter.
- Don’t know how to set up a WordPress site? There’s a YouTube video for that!. The internet really takes away the excuse of not knowing how.
This Is How I’ve Always Done It
I have to remind myself to stop using this excuse as health care rules have changed dramatically over the past few years. I think the way I used to do things was fine, but the government says otherwise. Besides, maybe the new way is better, even if it seems more difficult at the beginning.
Just because you’ve always done something a certain way doesn’t mean that it’s the right way. Have your habits kept you in debt or stopped you from advancing in your career? Again, there is nothing harder than stepping outside your comfort zone, but it can be very rewarding if you have the courage to try.
I’m Not Ready
We stayed in debt much longer than we should have because we were just not ready to put in the effort it took to be debt free. I see this quite a bit with patients as well. Most unhealthy people know they are not doing their best to live a long and active life, but they aren’t ready to give up cheeseburgers or being a couch potato.
People who are not ready usually end up in one of two places. Either they finally do get ready and wonder what the heck took them so long, or they keep putting change off until something catastrophic happens.
I kick myself for all the years we lost while we were building debt instead of wealth, but thankfully, we turned it around before there was an awful financial event like losing a job or not being able to pay our mortgage. The ones who really wish they’d been ready sooner are those who end up old with no savings or hope of a decent retirement. I promise that today is that absolute best day to be ready.
What other excuses would you add to the list? What’s your favorite excuse?
Image Credit: Freedigitalphotos.net/Miles