Every day we create various excuses for just about everything. It is so easy to trick our minds and get away with “an excuse” – immediately, everything seems to be justifiable. If we actually catch ourselves allowing “an excuse” take over/take control, can we figure out why we tend to resort to the easy way out? Think about it, truly ask yourself – is it not that important? That I have allowed myself to rationalise and give up altogether?
- I really need to start going to the gym / I want to start eating healthier
- I need/want more clothes, shoes and stuff in general
- I wish I earned more money / I need to pay off debts
- I want to change jobs / I wish I had the chance to do…
- I need/want to travel
These needs and wants, they are all important and we knew that – we’ve either said or heard numerous times. However, we’ve also created a myriad of excuses to not do all of the above just because…
but after we came across this quote –
“If it is important to you, you will find a way. If not you’ll find an excuse” – Ryan Blair
It hit home. We realised that we needed to make changes in our lives and stop making excuses.
Things that are truly important to you will never have an excuse. Think about anything that you are passionate about or something that is of a significant value (not monetary of course). Do you find yourself making an excuse to do that? Of course not.
So why is it such a challenge for most of us to prioritise our time? In this digital era, distractions are apparent. It is everywhere. How can you ever realise what’s important if there are comments to review, photo to post, status to update and likes, shares and mindless scrolling to do? Do you ever find yourself trying to start something you want to do only to find yourself being distracted by television, mobile phone/s, social media and then only to realise that the day is now over and you never got to start?
We made a conscious decision to eliminate the distractions in our lives so we can can truly identify what is significant in our lives.
Together, we identified these three things to be of value to us:
1.Health and Fitness
Some things are just obvious but not easy to achieve. We cut out junk food, stopped eating out between Monday to Friday and having meal preps for the week.
Not having junk food readily available when we open the kitchen cupboard or fridge makes this a lot easier. It’s not to say we won’t eat it but minimising the amount we consume by just cutting out what’s available at home has given us more validation that we can live without it (a lot less of it). This goes hand in hand with exercise too; we made a decision that we can spare half an hour a day as a bare minimum, most time we spend an hour if we include our walk. If you have time to be on social media, watch television, do online shopping or just be in front of a screen you can find the time or should we say “you will find a way.”
This was something that we accidentally came across after doing a simple google search on “minimal furniture” as we were looking at our two bedroom apartment one night thinking why do we have so much stuff? Finding blogs and posts on minimalism was probably one of the biggest if not the biggest life changing factors of how we see our life today. You can call it simple living or boring, if you like, but shifting our understanding and mindset to what is truly significant has changed our lives forever. The excess of stuff created this cycle of never-ending craziness in our lives that we became too consumed by them rather than truly dedicating our time to the important things. When you have less stuff you have less stuff to take care of. We started small but eventually applied minimalism to all facets of our life. From our clothes, food to our finances.
Interestingly enough we go to school and never actually learn about how to manage money. We grow up being taught that we can be whatever we want to be and once we get that so-called dream job we can then pay off any student loans we acquired. But something interesting happens once you start working; you start doing things and buying things you never could do or never could afford before – with the mindset that you will earn another pay cheque in the coming week, fortnight or month. It becomes a cycle of an internal conversation that goes something like “it’s alright, I’ll get paid again anyway”
Then your financial institution offers you a credit card, personal loan, car loan etc; that allows you to buy stuff before you get paid.
As simple as it is, you need to spend less than you earn or live within your means. Easier said than done, right? Unfortunately, most of us grow up wanting stuff, it’s been hard-wired into us from a young age thanks to advertising. We see it, hear it, receive emails, it’s everywhere.
We decided by minimising how much television we watched, unsubscribing from marketing, deleting all social media and consciously questioning our needs vs. wants, by doing these things it allowed us to be authentic and become debt free.
We focused on these three things and were disciplined in making decisions that will support these three aspects of our lives. It took us some time, a lot of effort and honest communication to keep pursuing these things and keep progressing.
By truly recognising what we valued as a couple, we were determined to support each other to keep moving forward and not allow for any excuses be a hindrance.
What is truly important to you should never have an excuse. What you value should bring you happy thoughts, positive vibes, and keep you moving forward!