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10 Common Excuses That Lead You Nowhere To Success

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10 Common Excuses That Lead You Nowhere To Success

To be successful, you must have some kind of super power, know the right people, or have certain degrees. Those were just a few examples of what most people believe when they think of what it takes to become successful.

However, success isn’t just for the lucky and elite. It’s for anyone who wants to work hard and is prepared to strike when opportunity knocks at the door. Plenty of resources are available for people to become successful, it’s people’s responsibility to seek these opportunities out. Here are 10 excuses that you should immediately flush down the toilet.

1. I approach situations in life telling myself I’m too old

What do Oprah Winfrey, J.K. Rowling, Dustin Hoffman, Harrison Ford, Tina Fey, and Sylvester Stallone have in common? None of them achieved major success until they were over 30 years of age. Sylvester Stallone even starred in a pornographic movie just to keep his dream alive. (Talk about dedication)

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The point being is that age is just a number; it doesn’t have to define you. Age is used as an excuse for you to stop chasing your dreams and throw your creative spirit in the toilet. Stop using age as an excuse to settle and start making those dreams a reality by taking small steps each day. Dream big or go home, that’s what I say.

2. I approach situations feeling defeated because I have no qualifications

Just because you don’t have a fancy diploma from a prestigious school doesn’t make you any less capable than someone who has a degree. People like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg dropped out of school, and they seem to have done alright for themselves. Having a degree is one of many ways of getting your foot in the door. If one door closes, then keep moving and knock on the next.

3. I approach my dreams with the mentality life is too busy to chase what I really want

In case you didn’t realize, everyone has the same 24 hours to work with. What one does with those given hours is what separates the successful from the people who fantasize about being successful. The majority of time when you hear people say, “I’m too busy” or, “I don’t have enough time to work on my side business,” they are either lazy or suck at time management.

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If you have enough time to watch TV, gossip at the water cooler, play Candy Crush, waste time on social media, and go party to be hungover the next day, then you have plenty of time to chase after your dream. If you work a 9-5 and want to eventually quit and start pursuing your passion, then shut the TV off and use the extra evening hours to kick-start that dream.

4. I approach situations waiting for all the stars to align before taking action

The perfect time is right now. Not tomorrow, next week, or next month. Putting tasks off is pure procrastination. This can primarily be attributed to laziness, fear or lack of confidence. Stop sitting on the sideline and get on the playing field. Time is precious, so make every moment count.

5. I approach life worried people will laugh at me

People will always look strangely at someone who does things outside of the norm. This is because most people are afraid to think for themselves and instead play the role of follower. Embrace being different from everyone; successful people are never a part of the majority. If your friends are laughing at you for taking a chance, they’re lashing out in frustration at how they wish they could be as bold as you.

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6. I approach my goals and always stop because I think they’re too difficult

Anything worth pursuing is going to have it’s ups, downs and challenges. If becoming successful and living your dreams were easy, then there would be plenty of less people complaining on a daily basis. Embrace the challenge; it’s only going to make you a better individual. If the goal seems daunting, chop it down into smaller blocks that are more manageable.

7. I approach life thinking having no money means game over

Instead of thinking of how much money you don’t have for a goal, change your thinking to, “What can I do with the money I have currently that will put me closer to my desired outcome?” Successful people work with the resources they have. Before pulling your hair out about money you don’t have, develop a game plan. All the money in the world is a waste if you don’t have a game plan. Eliminate all non-essential costs in your life, start a budget, and then get to work.

8. I approach life scared of the unknown, so I stay in my comfort zone

The only way to become ultimately successful is to leave your warm and cozy comfort zone and venture out into the unknown where failure and embarrassment is a high probability. Successful people are the ones who take risks, not afraid of making mistakes, and willing to put their ego aside. Life is meant to be filled with unknowns, chaotic at times, and full of possibilities.

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9. I approach life thinking only the ‘special few’  make it

Successful people who get what they want aren’t a secret society of individuals, nor superhuman. They are people who worked their butt off and took action, instead of only talking about it. They didn’t rely on some magical event to ignite them to start, nor rely on the internet for daily quotes. They had determination, consistency and willpower to achieve their goal.

10. I approach life with a small and simple outlook

Having an idea about where you want to go in life is one of the key attributes successful people possess. Instead of focusing on what your life currently looks like, take a moment to picture what it could be a year from now and beyond. Just because life isn’t awesome right now doesn’t mean it has to suck in the future.

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” Eleanor Roosevelt

What do you think is the most important characteristic someone needs in order to become successful?

Featured photo credit: sillydog via flickr.com

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Julian Hayes II

Author, Health & Fitness Coach for Entrepreneurs, & Speaker

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Last Updated on September 9, 2021

10 Best Productivity Planners To Get More Done in 2021

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10 Best Productivity Planners To Get More Done in 2021

Productivity planners and journals are tools of a trade. There’s an art to productivity. Just like art is very personal to the artist, productivity is very personal to the person. What works for you may not work for me. This is an important distinction if you really want get more done in less time.

Too many of us dabble in productivity hacks only to move on to the next tool or trend when it didn’t workout for us, missing the lesson of what worked and didn’t work about that tool or trend.

We put the tool on a pedestal and miss the art. It’s worshipping the paint brush rather than the process and act of painting. We miss the art of our own productivity when the tool overshadows the treasure.

As an artist, you have many brushes to choose from. You’re looking for a brush that feels best in your hand. You want a brush that doesn’t distract you from your art but partners with you to create the many things you see in your mind to create. Finding a brush like this may take some experimenting, but when you understand that the role of the brush is to bring life to your vision, it’s easier to find the right brush.

Planners are the same way. You want a productivity journal that supports you in the creation of your vision, not one that bogs you down or steals your energy.

Let’s dive into the 10 best productivity planners and journals to help you get more done in less time.

1. The One Thing Planner

The NY Times best selling book, The One Thing, just released their new planner. If you loved this book, you’ll love this planner.

As the founder of the world’s largest real estate company Keller Williams Realty, Gary Keller, has mastered the art of focus. The One Thing planner has its roots in industry changing productivity. If you’re out to put a dent in the universe, this may be the planner for you.

Get the planner here!

2. The Full Life Planner

The Full Life Planner is Lifehacks’ ultimate planning system to get results across all your core life aspects including work, health and relationships. This smart planner is 15 years of Lifehack’s best practices and proven success formulas by top performers.

With the Full Life Planner, you can align your actions to long term milestones every day, week, and month consistently. This will help you to get more done and achieve your goals.

Get the planner here!

3. The Freedom Journal

Creator of one of the most prolific podcasts ever, Entrepreneur on Fire, John Lee Dumas released his productivity journal in 2016. This hard-cover journal focuses on accomplishing SMART goals in 100 days.

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From their site:

“The Freedom Journal is an accountability partner that won’t let you fail. John Lee Dumas has interviewed over 2000 successful Entrepreneurs and has created a unique step-by-step process that will guide you in SETTING and ACCOMPLISHING your #1 goal in 100 days.”

Get the planner here!

4. Full Focus Planner

Michael Hyatt, author of Platform and host of the podcast “This is Your Life”, also has his own planner called the Full Focus Planner.

From the site:

“Built for a 90-day achievement cycle, the Full Focus Planner® gives you a quarter of a year’s content so you aren’t overwhelmed by planning (and tracking) 12 months at a time.”

This productivity planner includes a place for annual goals, a monthly calendar, quarterly planning, the ideal week, daily pages, a place for rituals, weekly preview and quarterly previews. It also comes with a Quickstart lessons to help you master the use of the planner.

Get the planner here!

5. Passion Planner

They call themselves the #pashfam and think of their planner as a “paper life coach”. Their formats include dated, academic and undated in hardbound journals with assorted colors. With over 600,000 users they have a track record for effective planners.

From the site:

“An appointment calendar, goal setting guide, journal, sketchbook, gratitude log & personal and work to-do lists all in one notebook.”

They have a get-one give-one program. For every Passion Planner that is bought they will donate one to a student or someone in need.

They also provide free PDF downloads of their planners. This is a great way to test drive if their planner is right for you.

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Get the planner here!

6. Desire Map Planners

If you’re looking for a more spiritually oriented planner, Danielle LaPorte, author of The Desire Map, created the Desire Map Planners. With Daily planners, Weekly planners and Undated planners you can find the right fit for you.

Behind this planner is the Desire Map Planner Program including 3 workbooks that not only support you in using the planners but guide you in your thought process about your life and intentions you’re using the planner to help you fulfill.

Get the planner here!

7. Franklin Covey Planners

The grandfather of all planners, Franklin Covey, has the most options when it comes to layouts, binders, and accessories. With over 30 years in the productivity planner business, they not only provide a ton of planner layouts, they also have been teaching productivity and planning from the beginning.

From the site:

“Achieve what matters most with innovative, high quality planners and binders tailored to your personal style. Our paper planning system guides you to identify values, create successful habits, and track and achieve your goals.”

Get the planner here!

8. Productivity Planner

From the makers of the best selling journal backed by Tim Ferriss, “The Five Minute Journal”, comes the Productivity Planner.

Combining the Ivy Lee method which made Charles Schwab millions with the Pomodoro Technique to stay focused in the moment, the Productivity Planner is both intelligent and effective.

It allows for six months of planning, 5-day daily pages, weekly planning and weekly review, a prioritized task list, Pomodoro time tracking, and extra space for notes.

From the site:

“Do you often find yourself busy, while more important tasks get procrastinated on? The Productivity Planner helps you prioritize and accomplish the vital few tasks that make your day satisfying. Quality over quantity. Combined with the Pomodoro Technique to help you avoid distractions, the Productivity Planner assists you to get better work done in less time.”

Get the planner here!

9. Self Journal

Endorsed by Daymond John of Shark Tank, the Self Journal takes a 13 week approach and combines Monthly, Weekly and Daily planning to help you stay focused on the things that really matter.

Self Journal includes additional tools to help you produce with their Weekly Action Pad, Project Action Pad, the Sidekick pocket journal to capture your ideas on the go and their SmartMarks bookmarks that act as a notepad while you’re reading.

Get the planner here!

10. Google Calendar

You may already use Google Calendar for appointments, but with a couple tweaks you can use it as a productivity planner.

Productivity assumes we have time to do the work we intend to do. So blocking time on your Google Calendar and designating it as “busy” will prevent others from filling up those spaces on your calendar. Actually using those blocks of time as you intended is up to you.

If you use a booking tool like Schedule Once or Calendly, you can integrate it with your Google Calendar. For maximum productivity and rhythm, I recommend creating a consistent “available” block of time each day for these kinds of appointments.

Google Calendar is free, web based and to the point. If you’re a bottom line person and easily hold your priorities in your head, this may be a good solution for you.

Get the planner here!

Bonus Advice: Integrate the 4 Building Blocks of Productivity

Just as important to productivity planners as the tool are the principles that we create inside of. There are 4 building blocks of productivity, that when embraced, accelerate your energy and results.

The four building blocks of productivity are desire, strategy, focus and rhythm. When you get these right, having a productivity planner or journal provides the structure to keep you on track.

Block #1: Desire

Somehow in the pursuit of all our goals, we accumulate ideas and To-Do’s we’re not actually passionate about and don’t really want to pursue. They sneak their way in and steal our focus from the things that really matter.

Underneath powerful productivity is desire. Not many little desires, but the overarching mother of desires. The desire you feel in your gut, the desire that comes from your soul, not your logic, is what you need to tap into if you want to level up your productivity.

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A productivity planner is just a distraction if you’re not clear on what it’s all for. With desire, however, your productivity planner provides the guide rails to accomplish your intentions.

Block #2: Strategy

Once you’re clear on your overarching desire, you need to organize your steps to get there. Let’s call this “strategy”. Strategy is like assembling a jigsaw puzzle. You must first turn over all the pieces to see patterns, colors, connections and find borders.

In business and life, we often start trying to put our “puzzle” together without turning over all the pieces. We put many items on our To-Do lists and clog our planners with things that aren’t important to the bigger picture of our puzzle.

Strategy is about taking the time to brain dump all the things in your head related to your goal and then looking for patterns and priorities. As you turn over these puzzle pieces, you’ll begin to see the more important tasks that take care of the less important tasks or make the less important tasks irrelevant.

In the best selling book, The One Thing, the focusing question they teach is:

“What’s the One thing I can do, such that by doing it, everything else is easier or unnecessary?”

This is the heart of strategy and organizing what hits your planner and what doesn’t.

Block #3: Focus

With your priorities identified, now you can focus on the One Thing that makes everything else easier or unnecessary. This is where your productivity planners and journals help you hold the line.

Because you’ve already turned over the puzzle pieces, you aren’t distracted by new shiny objects. If new ideas come along, and they will, you will better see how and where they fit in the big picture of your desire and strategy, allowing you to go back and focus on your One Thing.

Block #4: Rhythm

The final building block of productivity is rhythm. There is a rhythm in life and work that works best for you. When you find this rhythm, time stands still, productivity is easy and your experience of work is joyful.

Some call this flow. As you hone your self-awareness about your ideal rhythm you will find yourself riding flow more often and owning your productivity.

Without these four building blocks of productivity, you’re like a painter with a paintbrush and no idea how to use it to create what’s in your heart to create. But harness these four building blocks and find yourself getting more done in less time.

The Bottom Line

Your life is your art. Everyday you have a chance to create something amazing. By understanding and using the four building blocks of productivity, you will set yourself up for success no matter which planner, or “paintbrush”, you choose to use.

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As you experiment with different planners you will narrow which one is best for you and accelerate your path to putting a dent in the universe.

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Featured photo credit: Anete Lūsiņa via unsplash.com

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