Eliminate Excuses to Reach Your Goals

You must eliminate your excuses (escape routes) to reach your goals. It is tempting to retreat to safety and comfort when challenges and difficulties arise. To avoid turning around and abandoning your goals, you must make going forward more compelling than going back.  Burn the ships!

When striving towards a goal, you must focus on what you want to obtain. And avoid the impulse to go back to what you know and to what is comfortable. When Spanish Conquistador Hernando Cortez landed in Mexico, his first order to his men was to burn the ships. Cortez was committed to his mission and did not want to allow himself or his men the option of going back to Spain. By removing this option, Cortez and his men were forced to focus on how they could make the mission successful.

He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else

benjamin franklin

Eliminate Excuses

Eliminating an escape route creates a compelling reason to focus on the goal and to keep moving forward. However, remember that although Cortez had his men burn the ships, he did not have them burn the supplies. Cutting off an escape route to increase motivation and desire to press on is different from taking undue risks. Reaching your goals still requires prudent planning and managing. All goals contain a certain degree of risk. But it isn’t necessary to create undue risk and stress by not properly planning and thus lacking the necessary tools and supplies to achieve your goal. Take risks, but don’t be careless or foolish and simply hope that everything will be okay.

Reach Your Goals

Before you decide to burn your ships, make sure you have the supplies and tools necessary to achieve the goal. Something like quitting your job might sound like a good way to close the escape route. But, it might also be a fast way to bankruptcy if you don’t have resources to carry you through. Creating a savings account or having a journey job (a job that is a stepping stone to what you really want) allows you to take the risk of leaving your current job without creating undue risk.

Ninety-nine percent of the failures come from people who have the habit of making excuses

george washington carver

Close off the escape routes and make sure that you have a compelling reason to move forward. However, at the same time, make sure that you plan for the risk and have the tools, supplies and resources you need to achieve your goals. You can’t eliminate risk but you can plan for it. Don’t just jump in without thinking through the process and having a solid plan for moving forward. Need help developing a solid plan? Get a mentor or life coach to help you. Eliminate your excuses to reach your goals. Burn the ships!