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The #1 reason why you’re (still!) failing at productivity & goal-setting

Today, I'm shining a light on your bullsh**. YEP.

“Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” - George Bernard Shaw #BraverGoals

I receive at least 100 e-mails from students in my community every week, whether from my free productivity course, or my budgeting video class, or my full Braver Goals e-course.

Half of those e-mails? They contain EXCUSES. Look at some of these verbatim examples:

  • “Hey Arriane! Thanks for the free course, but I can’t seem to earn extra money because I work eight hours a day, six days a week. I'm just so busy with life."
  • “I really want to be more productive, but I really can't right now because I always get so distracted, it's hard for me to focus."
  • “I read the student case study you sent - it's awesome but but I don’t think I can do what she did because my allowance/salary isn’t that big, plus, unlike her, I also have to spend on ____."
  • “Loved all the tips, but I’m unable to follow them because I don’t really have the network/connections."
  • “I want to achieve my goal, but I don’t know how.” (Um. Quick tip: Google!!!)

I get so incredibly guilty sometimes, especially when they back me up into a corner, and frame their excuse in a way that I can’t push them towards progress without seeming like the bad guy:

“I can’t really apply what you teach about productivity or budgetingbecause when I get home, I need to take care of the kids, and most of my salary goes to supporting my family."

Can you see my dilemma here? I’m left at a loss for words, because with the way they framed their justification, anything I say will seem like I’m telling them NOT to prioritize their family. Ack!

But here's my favorite...

“I wasn’t able to reach my goal because I don’t have the time and energy. I would really appreciate if you can help me on this."

…Like I could just put extra time and extra energy in a box, tie a pretty bow around it, and ship it to their doorstep.

Nope. I’m sorry but I simply CANNOT help you generate extra time or extra energy. Nobody can. It’s just not scientifically possible.

Look. I can give you systems and step-by-step processes and techniques and case studies...

But you yourself will have to CHANGE your mindset & attitude, and COMMIT to ACTION.

Getting over excuses takes CHANGE and COMMITMENT and ACTION. Are you up for it?

Join 3,000+ students in my FREE Productivity Course!

Get FREE productivity tips e-mailed to your inbox everyday for 9 days. Each e-mail ends with a simple, easy-to-do action step, to help you create gradual daily changes that stick.


First, let's get this out in the open:
Overcoming our own excuses is HARD.
Calling out our own bullsh** is HARD.

It takes discipline and dedication and work. It's just so easy to hide behind excuses, you know? It's so safe.

But if you think you can magically become a productive go-getter without working hard and making short-term sacrifices... then you're doomed to be in "I-wish" and "I-hope" territory forever.

And the truth is, the most worthwhile goals are often the scariest ones -- the bigger goal, the more your mind will resist, coming up with a hundred different excuses to discourage you. (I'm not ready! I might fail! I'm not talented enough! But I'm so busy this month! Maybe next year!)

But here's one big criteria when you're setting and framing goals:


Your excitement has to be
greater than your excuses.


And when you find that your excuses are winning over your excitement, ask yourself these two questions:

  1. Are you going after the right goal? (Maybe you’re just pursuing it because it’s what another person is doing… meh)
  2. Do you have a strong purpose behind your goal? (Maybe you want to earn extra income “just because”… meh)

Actually, when it all comes down to it, the final question to ask yourself is this:



Because what I've learned -- is that my most successful students are the ones who willingly put themselves in a situation where they want to achieve their goals SO BAD, that they will charge through any excuse and figure out how to overcome them, by hook or by crook.

  • They want it so bad, that they find ways to free up time in their schedule.
  • They want it so bad, that they find smart ways to finish chores or family duties quicker and more efficiently to free up time.
  • They want it so bad, that they find creative ways to save and raise money, even with a tight paycheck.
  • They want it so bad, that they find sneaky ways to avoid distractions and temptations (social media! laziness!).
  • They want it so bad, that they sacrifice a couple of sleepless nights to proactively Googling and researching how they can solve their problem (i.e. learning business, learning how to put up their own website, e-mailing possible clients, etc.).

I give them structure -- whether it's journaling prompts, spreadsheets, worksheets, and a step-by-step process -- but their drive? Their heart? Their passion? It's coming from something WITHIN.

Think of it this way: I give them the engine, the car, the tools -- but they bring the fuel.

... Can YOU bring your own fuel?

So the next time you find yourself saying these following statements, and not doing anything concrete to overcome them:

  • "I really want to achieve this goal but I don't have enough time."
  • "I really want to achieve this goal but I'm so busy this month."
  • "I really want to achieve this goal but I don't have money."
  • "I really want to achieve this goal but I don't know how."
  • "I really want to achieve this goal but... <insert all other seemingly insurmountable excuses/fears here>.

The next time you find yourself hiding behind these excuses...

Consider this:
Maybe… just maybe...
You just don’t want it bad enough.

Think about it. Ball’s in your court.

Do you want it bad enough that you're willing to change your mindset & make short-term sacrifices?

If you can’t answer these questions with tons of commitment and conviction — then I’ll be really honest here: I can’t help you much.

I'm not going to spoonfeed you productivity or motivation or drive. I won't (and can't) ship you any extra time or extra energy in a gift box.

All I know is: I really believe everyone is capable of feeling this incredible sense of FULFILLMENT you get when you work on goals that REALLY excite you. Everyone CAN feel that (although not everyone earns the right to feel that fulfilled).

That's why I teach systems and processes and techniques for making your ideas happen.

But at the end of the day -- nothing's gonna change if you don't. You gotta call out your own excuses for what they truly are

...a bunch of bullsh**.


Join 3,000+ students in my FREE Productivity Course!

Get FREE productivity tips e-mailed to your inbox everyday for 9 days. Each e-mail ends with a simple, easy-to-do action step, to help you create gradual daily changes that stick.


PS. And just in case you needed reminding, I'll leave you with a modified version of George Bernard Shaw's quote:

“Progress is impossible without change, and those who can't change their attitudes can't progress toward their goals.”