8 Steps To Systematically Stop Yourself From Ever Making Excuses Again

Here’s a step-by-step process to become immune to making excuses.

athletic muscular man working out Vladimir Borovic / Shutterstock

Because this topic is so important to me, I’m going to give you the gist right away — You’re slowly killing your dreams when you give in to the excuses that appear in your mind for not showing up.

Start building a streak of a habit that will greatly impact your life. Here are two reasons why:

  • Streaks induce a very powerful natural instinct of "protecting what you build" to support your goals. This makes it a cakewalk to help you build a habit.
  • And with time, streaks slowly desensitize you to all the excuses you were vulnerable to before that stopped you from showing up daily.

That was the short answer. For the long answer to really understand the idea, read on.


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HellahGood is a YouTuber who ran every day for five years. And he’s still going on.

That’s 1825 days and counting!

And five years is a long time. I’m sure there were a lot of excuses for him to skip his daily run like —

  • Bad weather like rain, snow, or scorching heat.
  • The lowest of days: Like maybe a dog dying.
  • Or extremely tiring or sleep-deprived days.

However, he ran through them all. In essence, he desensitized himself to every possible excuse to skip his run and just kept pushing through.

How was he able to do so? That’s what this article is about. I want to teach you how exactly you, too, can learn to desensitize yourself to excuses that stop you from doing things you want to do. Let’s dive in.

The mistake most people make while setting goals:

Most people try to use inspiration or motivation to get their daily goals ticked off. And I think this is a flawed process because we’re trying to go against how we’re wired.

  • We push ourselves to go to the gym. But we’re wired to be lazy unless it’s a matter of life and death.
  • We try to resist eating desserts, but we’re wired to love calorie-dense food.

And hence, the friction that arises when we try to go against our instincts keeps most people from achieving their goals. Because even though we might be able to go against how we’re wired at times, more often than not, we’ll not be able to do so.


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A better way is to use an instinct that supports your goals:

What if you could induce an animal instinct that supports your goals — instead of going against them? You can. Easily.

It’s the instinct to "Protect what you build." Let me elaborate.

Let’s say I’m at your place, and I throw a Pizza in the trash because it doesn’t taste good. In which of these scenarios would you be furious?

  • A: You ordered the pizza from a nearby restaurant.
  • B: You cooked the pizza yourself.

Obviously, it’s 'B' even though 'A' actually costs you more money. 

That’s because we get attached to the things we create ourselves, and we’re wired to protect and take care of them.


If you can somehow use this instinct to support your goals, it will overpower your other instincts that go against your goal — like laziness, or liking sugar, and help you get s*** done easily.

And the way to do that is to build a streak.

That’s what HellahGood did as well. He’s building a streak of running, and he’s 1825 days in. Of course, it might have taken some pushing through to get the streak started; however, once the number gets bigger, it sustains itself.

If tomorrow, he feels like skipping the run, he just won’t. Simply because the fear of breaking his streak and going from 1825 to zero (OUCH!) is far more painful than his laziness. So he’s just gonna go for his run. In essence, he’s rewired his brain to support running over skipping his run.


This is how building a streak desensitizes you to excuses:

A couple of years ago, I used to run as well. But not every day. And I’d often give in to excuses.

  • If it was raining, I’d skip my run.
  • If I was tired, I’d skip my run.
  • If I was traveling, I’d skip my run.

However, everything changed when I made a decision at the start of 2020 to run every day for 100 days. I used an application to build a streak and maintain accountability, and I began running every day.

On most days, there was no excuse for me not to run, so I ran. But even on days I had valid excuses, I ran anyway!

  • It was raining one day. And I was determined not to let my streak break, so I thought, "Well, I’m going to take a shower after I come back anyway. So what does it matter that I get wet while running?" And off I went running.
  • I didn’t sleep at all one night because of an emergency. I was so tired and sleep-deprived. But I was determined to maintain my streak so I thought to myself, "Well if I run for thirty minutes, I’m not going to die. And after I come back, I can sleep all day long." And off I went running.
  • I went on a trip to Pondicherry with my friends. But I was determined not to let my streak break. So I’d often wake up early and go for a run, or go late at night to run along the beach after my friends slept or take my friends with me for the run. Either way, I was not going to let my streak break. And so, off I went running.

That are just three examples. But in 100 days, a thousand excuses came up in my mind telling me to skip my run — but all of them just didn’t matter anymore. Because the only way I was going to skip my run is if my legs broke.


And slowly, I got desensitized to excuses I was super-vulnerable to before. I actually remember thinking to myself, "Damn! These excuses were so stupid. I can’t believe I used to fall for them before."

Even now, it’s the same but with a different habit. I’m on a 65-day writing streak. I’m super tired, it’s 12 at night, but here I am, writing my daily article for the day. Because there’s no way I’m going to let my streak break. I’m going to push through.

Streaks are just that powerful.

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Here are 8 steps to systematically stop yourself from ever making excuses again:

1. Choose an area of your life you need to work on

I'll take my example: Writing.


2. Choose a daily habit to help you work on that area

For me, it was ‘Writing one article.’

3. Download an application to help you build a streak

I prefer Coach.Me.

4. Start building your streak

5. Use all the motivation and inspiration you can gather to push yourself for the first 30 days

Let the number get bigger. Once the streak is big enough, it will sustain itself as you’ll be afraid of breaking the streak.

6. List down the excuses that come up in your mind

For instance, many times the excuse came into my mind, "God, I’m mentally drained. I cannot possibly write an article." 

And earlier, I used to give in. But now, I don’t. I write my daily article no matter how tired I am.


Write down the excuses you used to give in to earlier, but now you don’t because of your streak.

7. Realize the difference between now and then

Realize that you are able to overcome your excuses. Realize how you’re slowly getting desensitized to your excuses.

8. Do this for every area of your life that bothers you.

You can customize this system to any area of your life.


For instance, if you’ve been fighting a lot with your spouse, make a streak of "Not saying terrible things in a fight." And watch yourself grow in your relationship.

Or, if you want to read more, build a streak of reading for 30 minutes every day. Use a timer to do that. And over time, you’ll be surprised at how easily you end up devouring so many books.

Or, if you want to lose weight, build a streak of walking 10,000 steps and not eating more than 300 calories of junk. And watch that fat melt away.

Alright, I get it. I’m not telling you to do anything new. Build a streak? I’m sure you've heard that before.

But with this article, I wanted to tell you exactly why streaks are so powerful — and exactly how they help you desensitize yourself to excuses.


And reading about it is one thing. But the only way you can truly realize the power of streaks is to start building one.

So what are you waiting for? Start one today.

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Akshad Singi, M.D. has been published in Better Humans, Mind Cafe, and more.