STOP making excuses and START achieving your goals.



Before we commence debunking excuses I have to say I’m grateful.

I closed the comments on my NO Excuses! tee shirt exercise in hopes *some* of you would create your own tees.

Not only did many of you participate/share photos via email—I was thrilled to see an apparel company I love tweeting how they, too, were intrigued by the exercise.

My plan had been to write a follow-up post refuting common excuses for veering away from our healthy living path.

The more emails I received, however, the more I was reminded we may all share a common goal (living a healthier, more vibrant life) yet we possess vastly different *excuses* for why we’ve fallen short in our attempts.

(A few of those reasons are detailed/debunked here).

The emails did clarify for me what we do have in common no matter our goals: the skill of excuse making.


(my EXCUSE-tee was covered FRONT and BACK!)

As I watched my friend create YET ANOTHER white tee covered in *my* excuses I saw only was I not achieving my goal—Id become a skilled EXCUSE-manufacturer along the way.

So we’re backing up.

Way back.

Back to before we placed marker-to-tee to when we started manufacturing those excuses.


It’s time to focus on how to STOP.

Four Steps to STOP making excuses—and START achieving your goals.

  • Take responsibility. Once upon a time I beat the idea of personal responsibility to death. I always took responsibility for all things in my life—until I didn’t. I could see clearly when the Child shirked responsibility, but I’d lost the ability to recognize it in myself. Colorful Sharpie against stark white fabric was a glaring reminder: each excuse we make is an effort to relieve ourselves of responsibility for not nailing the goals we’ve set for ourselves.
  • Don’t dig up in doubt what you’ve planted in faith. This is another idea we’ve chatted about and I’d forgotten. And *another* which I can see in my child, yet not myself. All things take time. Set the goal, work toward it, tirelessly, and wait. Don’t dig up in doubt what you’ve planted in faith. Which leads me to…
  • Stop and recognize how far you’ve come! Even if all you’ve managed (raises hand) is a little baby step toward your goal. From N.S.V.’s to the tiniest of movement toward goal-achievement be sure to pause and celebrate you along the way! Have you made absolutely no recognizable progress? Revisit responsibility, recommit, and move forward again. Still no progress? Still more excuses than movement? That brings me to…
  • Perhaps it’s time to shed your goal. Sometimes I grow more attached to the IDEA of the goal than committed to actual achievement. Often I set healthy living goals, my life changes/shifts, and that goal—while *healthy*—is no longer a fit! Healthy habits. Lofty goals. Sometimes the reason we have myriad excuses for not achieving them is simply because they’re no longer a fit! And that’s OK.

And now I toss it all back to you.

  • Which trap do you fall into when it comes to making excuses about goal achievement?
  • Which step above might help you finally and permanently achieve your healthy living goals?





Never miss a post. Enter your email to get my latest posts delivered to your inbox.


  1. Healthy Mama says

    We did this exercise in my WW group after you posted it here.
    Thanks Carla!!

  2. Hannah says

    I need to remember about the digging.
    I set goals and when I don’t nail them quickly enough I dig :/

  3. says

    So often we focus on what’s next that we forget to see (and appreciate) where we are now :)

  4. says

    I usually think I don’t make excuses and then when I get going, I realize I had a lot of excuses. I am trying to get back on track and not let me talk myself out of working towards my goals :)

  5. Nettie says

    I really like what you say about giving up goals when they no longer fit.
    I usually refuse to give up even when the gaols isn’t something I care about any more.

  6. says

    I really enjoy the goal-setting process. Following through on taking action to get there, not so much. Reading your post, I think part of that comes from doubting myself or the importance of the goal, while the other part comes from not recognizing the teeny-tiny steps I do take towards it.

  7. Olive says

    I like the visual of not digging up what I’ve planted.

    I’m working on that.

  8. says

    I’m the queen of excuses … often wanting to play the victim. But I’m working hard on putting that aside. I watched a fabulous Marie Foleo video the other day featuring Todd Herman. Good stuff, definitely made me think :)

  9. says

    Right now I am using the “overwhelmed” excuse. Maybe it’s not an true excuse because I obviously do FEEL overwhelmed, but I know I need to step back and reevaluate the important things and drop the rest.

  10. says

    Dr. Wayne Dyer’s question, “Is it true?” is one of the best excuse busters I’ve ever found. I sometimes wish I’d never read it. :)

    Another big one for me is adopting “living a healthier, more vibrant life” as one of my personal tag lines. Keeping that goal in the forefront of my mind helps me set better (and usually, more realistic) goals.

  11. says

    I really have no excuses standing in my way of what I want to accomplish in life :) I have to thank my parents for that!

  12. says

    Love this!! The 2 middle ones are biggies for me – I tend to doubt myself and fail to step back and see how far I’ve come. I need to go through this list daily!

  13. says

    I feel it’s important to take responsibility and accountability. Make your goals public. Let the world know what you plan on doing.

    • cherylann says

      I have never made my goals public…in fact I don’t talk about them until AFTER I achieve them, and only tell others if they ask. I think it jinxes things….just personal opinion and how I roll.

  14. cherylann says

    I’ve achieved all the goals I have set for myself so far…but keep raising the bar! Love the challenges I set for myself and others make for me!

  15. says

    I don’t recognize how far i have come, just how much I still have to go. Then I start to bury myself in expectation and disappointment. Celebrating tiny steps is just as important as milestones.

  16. says

    Perhaps I was lucky, but when I reached my work position, I was where the buck stopped and making excuses just didn’t cut it! I had no other choice :-)

  17. says

    My biggest excuse is that I am a rationalizer – I can always rationalize some way out of a workout I don’t want to do and my way into a huge binge eating bout. I am working on realizing the difference between valid excuses and accepting them and when I am just rationalizing my way out.

  18. says

    I TOTALLY fall into the “stop and recognize how far you’ve come” category! I need to remember how MUCH I’ve accomplished on my own through the ups and downs. I have done some amazing things and need to give myself more credit for it. Thanks for the reminder…Moving forward this girl is focusing on THIS!

  19. says

    Damn. Shedding goals is a big one for me. I totally hop no the goal train and think I’m going to do a bunch of stuff that sounds great…at the time. Then life happens and I realize some goals don’t fit anymore, don’t stick. But it’s STILL HARD for me to shed the goal. I’m stubborn and want to do it anyway because I said I would. :-/

  20. says

    Self doubt is a big one for me. I get frustrated when I am not making progress and I tend to beat myself up. The key for me is to break my big goals in to week by week accomplishments and them build momentum. I’ve got this!


  1. […] STOP making excuses and START achieving your goals To be quite honest with you, I’ve been feeling stuck lately. I’ve been having trouble staying motivated and moving towards my goals. Mostly, I just want to sit around and read a book. Carla’s post was a good kick in the pants and helped me acknowledge the fact that yes, I am making excuses for not doing the work. I love her pointers on how to move forward. […]

  2. […] STOP making excuses and START achieving your goals by Carla – I love Carla’s posts. I am not sure there is another blogger out there who is more open, honest, and blunt. Not achieving your goals? Carla offers four steps to stop making excuses and start achieving your goals. I love the last one – maybe it is time to shed or reevaluate your goal. […]