You start out with big plans to change your life. Your energy is high and you can see yourself ready to move forward on your desires, goals, and dreams. For the first few days or weeks, things are going smoothly, and then one day your energy is a little less focused. Maybe you reached an obstacle, or the work of reaching your goal was more than you anticipated. Soon, before you know it, you slip back into your old habits and the way things were before.

If you set out to achieve positive life change, you will you will meet challenges and inner resistance. It is an expected part of the journey. You may get so frustrated that you doubt your self, your dreams, and your abilities. However, when you meet inner resistance, do not give up. It is just part of the process, and you are in good company. Every successful person first had to learn how to lead him or herself through the stickiness of wanting to quit when the journey gets difficult. I imagine all people who eventually achieved a goal must have had, at one time or another, a motivational quote written on a yellow Post-it note stuck right where they could see it everyday. It would be one of those encouraging sayings such as Ella William's tidbit, "Bite off more you can chew, then chew it."

Creating a better life is a work in progress. The big question is: How will you handle inner objections and setbacks? Will you quit on your most meaningful dreams? Will you talk yourself out of taking action? What explanations do you give to let yourself off the hook?

You owe it to yourself to do whatever it takes to make positive changes in your life. Below is a list of inner roadblocks to success. Once you recognize that these roadblocks are really just excuses, you can stop hiding behind them and once again find your empowerment and confidence. Read below to discover the four most common types of excuses - and what you can do to move beyond them.

When we rationalize, we place the blame of our defeat or failure upon outside persons or circumstances. This is a defense mechanism used to take the sting out of a difficult situation. We devise self-satisfying but flawed reasoning for our behaviors and actions (or lack of action). It seems logical in the moment, but it simply disconnects us from the truth. We justify why things are too difficult, why we are failing, or why we cannot move forward. Rationalization is how we attempt to explain why it is okay that we cannot create success or accomplish a goal. By blaming something or someone, we give ourselves permission to avoid accountability and responsibility for our own lives.

No improvement is possible unless we take responsibility for all of our actions, inactions, choices, and behaviors. A choice to take action, even when things seem most difficult, sends a powerful message to yourself about what you are creating and what you believe about your own self-worth. Write down what you want to achieve, what is important to you. Then create an excuse money jar. Every time you hear yourself making an excuse for why you cannot or will not take action today, put a pre-defined amount of money into your jar. When you decide to move forward on your goal again, use the money to reward yourself for showing up and making your life important!

Perfectionism can be a double-edged sword. It has the capacity to provide either great joy and personal growth . . . or misery. Perfectionism can be a gift that offers with it a driving energy, determination, and the ability to achieve success. Used as a positive characteristic, it has the capacity to motivate you to achieve your dreams. However, if perfectionism is combined with a self-punishing attitude, it can drive you into feelings of inferiority, despair, and inaction. Driving yourself to do everything perfectly creates unrealistic self-imposed rules, stress, and quitting when things do not go perfectly. Realize that it is okay to make mistakes and allow yourself to be flexible. Count on the fact that your journey to create change will be filled with highs and lows. There will be challenges and failures. A key to perfectionism is not to eliminate this characteristic, but to harness its positive attributes.

Perfectionism is, in its purest form, an inner calling to find and fulfill one's destiny; to realize one's potential. For this to occur, perfectionism must be joined with the courage to follow your own inner passion. Perfectionism contains the energy to continually explore and search and grow and evolve. Come to understand that you grow because that is who you are. You are not trying to become perfect or better than others, rather exploring new avenues of self-expression. You achieve not to gain approval from others, but because you were born to journey.

Sometimes procrastination is glaringly obvious. However, procrastination also comes in many guises. There are infinite subtle ways to keep your self from taking positive action. Sometimes people make it look like they are "working" hard to figure out how to reach their goals. They stay very busy "trying" to "solve" the problem. If you notice this behavior in your own life, you may fool others and even yourself, but really, you are just stalling. You are either taking action to make your dreams come true or not taking action. If you are not taking action, that is okay, but notice how your choices make you feel. Be honest with yourself. Do your choices bring your more joy? Or, do they decrease the amount of joy in your life?

Remind yourself that you do not have to take action. You alone decided that your goal was important to you, and you are choosing to utilize free will to make it happen. Go back to basics and reaffirm why you first committed to creating change. Read your goals and notice if they are still important to you. This will lessen the feelings of resentment and rebellion. If having your goal is still important, commit to taking daily action. Even if it is small action. Do not allow yourself to put things off until tomorrow or Monday. What can you do today that says in no uncertain terms that your decisions and dreams are important to you? No one owes you a great life - except for you. Embrace your opportunity and responsibility to affect your life. Not only do you deserve to have what you want, you have the power to make your dreams happen.

Creative Avoidance:
Cleaning, laundry, shopping, mowing the lawn. You are just too busy, with too many chores, and too many obligations. The dog, the kids, the house, and your elderly parents. These excuses seem so real, because in a way they are real. They exist. However, the truth is that you make time for the things that you feel are important. If everything and everyone comes before you, what you are really saying is that your life and your happiness does not matter to you, and it just is not your responsibility. Face up to excessive busyness. Of course, your dreams are important! Put yourself at the top of your priority list and take action everyday. Do not allow yourself get distracted and overly involved with other less important things.

Your life is all up to you! No matter how bad you have got it, you alone determine your thoughts, attitudes, and behaviors. No more leaving important decisions up to others. No more blaming others for what goes wrong. Hold yourself accountable for your actions. At the middle of each day take an honest assessment about whether your current choices feel good or not. Participate in a straightforward reflection about whether you have put forth effort into your goal. Did you do something to move yourself forward and allow success? If not, that is okay; it is only midday and not too late. Take action now. Go for it. Your success and your happiness are in the choices you make right now.

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Annette Colby, RD can help you take the pain out of life, turn difficult emotions into joy, release stress, end emotional eating, and move beyond depression into an extraordinary life! Annette is the author of Your Highest Potential and has the unique ability to show you how to spark an amazing relationship with your life! Visit
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