One of the great things I have learned over the last few years is to get rid of my “buts”. “Buts” get in the way of achieving your goals, growing your business, achieving championships, and building great relationships.

Do you remember the “buts” you had as a kid? Your teacher asked you for your homework, and we all replied “I did it, but the dog ate my homework!” As you get older, working on a project, who has ever thought or said “It’s almost finished but I’m still waiting on input from my coworkers”. And who has ever said, “I would have got a pay raise, but my boss doesn’t like me”.

A “but” is just an excuse. The best way to succeed is to stop using the word “but” completely when you are working on your goals. To achieve your goals, you need to break them down into bite-size, actionable tasks, with short time-lines for each task, have an accountability process, and START.

If you don’t make your task by the deadline, don’t reach for your “but” as an excuse. There is always a deeper reason for not achieving. Are you committed to the goal? Is someone – either deliberately or unconsciously – sabotaging you? Is that someone you? Or maybe you just got sidetracked, or maybe you have always got away with not achieving your objective, and you have never been held accountable before? Whatever the reason is, you need to explore and understand why you are not achieving your goals. And don’t blame others!

We all have our “buts”. Last week I gave a presentation on a recent trek I did to Everest Base Camp. At the end, I was talking with one of the audience members, and I asked her if she planned to do the trek as well. “Yes”, she said, “sometime soon, but I don’t have anyone to do it with.” I pointed out her “but”, her eyes grew wide, and she stood there thinking for a moment, before quietly walking away. I think she will do it, as long as she gets rid of her “but”!

The good news is that you can get rid of your “but”. Be aware of when your “but” is making an appearance. Don’t make excuses, don’t complain, don’t explain. Make it happen, and don’t rely on your “buts”!