Habits are created one decision at a time. A habit is a chain of choices, and you add a new link with every decision you make. The problem is, we’re only human. We make decisions, every moment of every day, and we don’t always make the best ones.
As soon as we decide what we want to do, our brain gets to work. We’ll always find ways to justify ourselves, even when we know we’re making the wrong decision — especially when we know we’re making the wrong decision.
Of course, some excuses work better than others — and when it comes to justifying your wrong decisions, and doing what you know you shouldn’t do, you want to make sure you’re using the best excuses available.
So, here are some tried and tested excuses that work for breaking any good habit — whether it’s budgeting, dieting, exercise, or otherwise.
You’ve got a lot to do. Who doesn’t? You’re working hard, you’re studying hard, you’re doing chores around the house — it feels like you’re on your feet, on the go, without ever getting any time off.
Maybe time got away from you, or maybe there just aren’t enough hours in a day. Whatever the case, it’s too late now to worry about a silly little thing like sticking to your budget, or your diet, or your exercise plan.
You’re running late, so instead of walking, you call an Uber. You’re out of time, so instead of cooking a healthy dinner, you order a greasy takeaway. You’ll take a walk tomorrow. You’ll do yoga on the weekend. Whenever it is, as long as it isn’t now.
There’s just one problem — all these little conveniences add up in the long run. You’re making a trade-off: convenience now, at the expense of your long term success.
We do what we do because we want certain results. We plan out a budget so we can master our money. We figure out a diet so we can be happier and healthier. We create an exercise plan so we can stay in shape.
But how come it takes so long to work?
After a day, a week, a month, or more, if you haven’t got the results you wanted you might start to wonder what the point is. Maybe you’ve seen some results, but they’re not as much as you want. Impatience is a common excuse for throwing it all away — and a great way to guarantee you never see any results at all.
Sometimes, the world is a gloomy place. Things go wrong, and whether they’re our fault or not they still affect us. At times like these, it can be hard to stay positive — and if you can’t believe in a better future, why bother keeping up with your good habits?
Why bother watching what you eat and keeping to your budget if you’re never going to get anywhere? What’s the point in even trying?
Well, sure — but by that same logic, what’s the point of giving up?
Why do we do the things we do? Now’s not the time to get into a debate about nature vs. nurture. There’s something we can all agree on, though: desire is a powerful thing.
Maybe things have been tough, lately. Maybe you’ve been pushing yourself too hard. Or maybe you’ve just been really good, and you figure you’ve earned a little something for yourself.
You’ve decided you deserve a treat. A treat that doesn’t take your budget into account — a treat that cheats your diet — a treat that ruins all the hard work that you’ve already put in, and makes all of your effort so far totally meaningless.
One step at a time
So, there you have it: four tried and tested excuses that are good at what they do… that is, at justifying bad decisions.
We’ve all given into these excuses. They appeal to us in the moment, and tell us what we want to hear. It’s only natural, and the solution isn’t to beat yourself up about it. Making long term plans is a positive thing, something you should be proud of, not a way to make yourself feel worse. That’s true even when you slip up.
Like we said before, we’re only human. We’ve got to be honest with ourselves, and each other, if we’re going to make any progress. Achieving your long term goals is a matter of sticking with it, but it’s also a matter of picking yourself back up when you fall.
That’s a good reason to build some flexibility into your plans, whether they’re diets, budgets, or otherwise. You should take your inevitable slip-ups into account — if you’re too strict on yourself, you’re just making failure much easier.
After all, the first step to achieving your goals is to make sure they’re achievable.
- Top 10 Money Tips – Read on to discover how you can break bad spending habits and create new good money habits. How to manage money effectively, know where your money is going, create a budget, and pay yourself first.
- The Budget Decision Tree – A step by step decision tree to help to examine your income and expenses and put a plan in place to balance them – or ideally have more income than expenses!