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No Excuses for Annual Goals

Most of us use this time of year to set goals for the new year and I wanted to use this very small post to share a personal story about my own excuses and self-sabotage!

Be Aware of Excuses and other Self-Limiting Beliefs!

What do I mean? Allow me to share my personal story with you from last year…

I often have some physical fitness goal as part of my annual goals. However over the last two years, as my discretionary time became more limited, I gave myself easy outs:

  • “family is the priority followed by day job and online job…not working out means I correctly prioritized my work”
  • “I don’t have time to do it all, something has to give”
  • “I can catch up later”
  • “I don’t work on my online business when my kids are awake so I need to make the most of the time they are asleep”

With these limiting beliefs or excuses I didn’t push as hard as I could have to find a solution.

Given my schedule I am not beating myself up too much for not finding a solution sooner.

Typical Schedule:

Priorities – Wife, 2 kids/family, day job and online business…

  • Wake – 6am
  • Leave for Work – 6:15am
  • Home By – 6:00pm (20 min commute)
  • Family Time & House Cleanup – 6:00pm-8:00pm
  • Work Online – 8:00pm – 10:45pm
  • Prep for Next Day – 10:45-11:00


  • Weekends I can add another work block of 1-2hrs per day when my kids are napping
  • Some stretches at work can consume 90hrs of my week (1-2 months a year typically)
  • I play 1 low intensity sport once per week (volleyball winter & 2-pitch summer) (see my shin below for proof)
  • TV/computer games has been almost all cut (Game of Thrones and House of Cards still)
  • Schedule generally varies by up to a 1/2hr given the day

Instead of pushing to find a way to make it work I accepted my schedule and other time commitments as a valid excuse for not setting any fitness goals.

So What is Going to Change Now? No More Excuses!

Instead of thinking why I can’t do something and then validating that excuse I am determined to figure out how to make it all work.

So in prep for 2016 I have engineered hacked together (with 2×4’s, PVC piping, floor padding and zip-ties (only $6 of new material)) a way to not have the excuse of not enough time to workout…


(still a work in progress… think of this as my minimum viable bike desk… more comfortable seat(must!), mouse pad, second monitor permanent, accessible water bottle holder and white board on the wall beside me are still to be added – once fully setup I will share an update)

So far I have been able to use this everyday I have been home and my productivity has not taken a dip.

Key Takeaway – When you are setting your goals and you hear the little voice inside your head giving you a reason/excuse/self-limiting belief why you can’t achieve the goal recognize it and attempt to come up with a solution don’t simply accept it!

About the Author Jon

I am a 33 year old husband, father of 3, engineer and a huge fan of developing systems to build useful and profitable websites. The reason I build online businesses is to provide financial independence for my family and yours AND so I can spend time outside skiing and biking with my family.
Jon Gillham, Online Entrepreneur

Leave a Comment:

Tung Tran says December 28, 2015

Awesome job Jon!

I’m sure with this hack your level of productivity is going to increase even more as your physical health is going to be better.

I’m still a single guy and only work online so I put a lot more effort into exercising and fitness and it’s always been my #1 priority.

Are you going to do a post about your 2015 review and 2016 goals soon? 😀 Looking forward to it!

    Jon says December 28, 2015

    Hi Tung, definitely agree that there should be some additional productivity benefits of being in better shape. Good luck with you fitness goals in 2016. Yes, I will be doing a post about my 2016 goals, similar to last year my monthly income post will be updated to track my goals.

Tom says December 28, 2015

nice DIY project. That makes me think on how I can install an old tablet on my Exercise Bike I got myself for Christmas without obstructing the view to the training computer. Would free up about 20-30 minutes per day of time I otherwise spend in front of the laptop to read my newspaper.
Looking forward to what your final installation will look like.
All the best for the new year.

    Jon says December 28, 2015

    That would be a good time savings. Good luck with your project and I will be sure to share my final setup.

Webrave says December 28, 2015

Hillarious that, thanks John

    Jon says December 28, 2015

    Thanks! If I can’t make fun of myself than I am taking everything too seriously.

jeff says December 28, 2015

Really like the bike jon, nice solution. I was having the same problem, and in the fall I finally broke down and joined a crossfit gym. I have most of the stuff at home even, but I needed someone to tell me “show up here at a specific time” so I just paid the money. I’m glad I did.

    Jon says December 28, 2015

    That works…the challenge with a gym is that between even a short commute, transition times and workout it burns 2hrs to complete a 1hr workout. But the motivational kick in the ass and enjoy-ability of working out with other in a gym vs in the corner of my basement is worth it for a lot of us.

Edgar says December 28, 2015

Hello Jon pleased me your bike with your permission I copeare design haha, I have a question with PBN, if I have an expired domain can redirect it to a blog 2.0. as and try to make the same theme and then from there move a link to another blog 2.0. with more money relevant to the site and go from there finally a link to the site money items, you think ?. work

April says December 28, 2015

Very creative! I have to admit that I totally didn’t expect “that” to be the solution, lol! I thought you had re-configured a way to add fitness to the schedule – you did but in an out of the box way. Good for you!

    Jon says December 29, 2015

    Thanks April for the comment…yah a little out of the box solution.

AA says December 29, 2015

When you workout the blood from your brain goes to your body in order to feed the muscles. When do mental work, your blood goes from your body to your brain. It’s a part of a prioritization. If you try to do both, you won’t do any of them. I suggest you just to quit your job and start earning more money from online marketing than from your regular job. It will pay off. I’ve been there, I know how you feel, you can’t live like that forever.

    Jon says December 29, 2015

    Interesting point… I don’t disagree that I am doing neither as well as I would be if I were doing them on their own. There is some online work that requires 100% focus but others that can be done with less than full mental resources (answering email etc) and I am not exactly training for a 100mile race or anything so am ok with a less than optimal workout.

    Although I like your solution 🙂

      AA says December 29, 2015

      Well, the prioritization is way more than you think, I guess you can ask some fitness coach, you’ll do both things way worse than if you split them. You’ll notice this yourself I am sure. Don’t push yourself so hard, it is not healthy.

        Jon says December 29, 2015

        Appreciate the comments…if I am wrong(it wouldn’t be the first time) and I will be happy to share my findings.

    Nadya from says January 2, 2016

    You definitely have a point here.
    I used to work like this – in the office, we used to have a running machine with a computer on top of it. While I loved it, my colleagues dod not use it much, because they found it too distracting.
    But for me, it was not – somehow my legs were walking on auto-pilot seemingly without draining too much blood from my brain or requiring too much mental effort.
    In the regular life, I can also walk and read at the same time – or play a video game. I almost hit a lamp post once! It was very funny :)))
    I guess I am just wired differently – and maybe Jon too!

      Jon says January 2, 2016

      Walking and reading… that would be a challenge. I do find there is some stuff I can’t work as well on…strategy thinking or working through a process in my mind I am unable to do while riding the bike but there are also other activities that I find flow smoother like writing. I will keep tweaking to see what type of work is best for me to do while on the bike and prioritize things that way.

Dominic says December 30, 2015

The more successful (read: busy) I got online, the bigger my belly got too. I wish it was because of dining out more, but in reality I just gave myself excuses for not working out. I’d tell myself I was too busy, but really if I could spend 30 mins relaxing on my bed, I could spend 30 mins working out. I love the idea of setting something up so you can’t give yourself that excuse anymore!

    Jon says December 30, 2015

    Similar problem… justifying the lack of working out due to prioritizing work over top of it… I still think it can be ok for a short period of time but it is easy to live with the excuse. Congrats on the ongoing success!

Financial Samurai says January 2, 2016

That’s a pretty damn good work exercise hack my man! I try to just do pushups and situps while watching TV, and play tennis.

But, like many people, I need to lose at least 5 lbs!



    Jon says January 2, 2016

    Thanks Sam, we could all get a lot of exercise in without adding any time if we took advantage of the natural breaks we have. We would get some weird looks doing dips on the grocery cart while waiting in line (I have not done this and will not be doing this). Thanks for the comment and hope 2016 is off to a good start.

Paul Manwaring says January 18, 2016

Omg that is awesome! I have a standing desk and have been looking for ways to incorporate some sort of movement exercise into the desk when i work. I think i just found the solution!

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