Do you find yourself making excuses almost every time you attempt to achieve something worthwhile? From “I am too old” to “I don’t have enough money” to “I don’t have enough time,” the vast sea of crippling excuses seems to be nearly infinite and unfortunately as equally arduous to overcome.

Even though excuses, on the surface, seem to be a lofty hurdle to clear in your quest for success, in reality they are nothing more than a paper tiger when you toss them aside and take action.

So stop making excuses and achieve your dreams by utilizing the following 4 pointers.

1. Recognize that you are an excuse­maker

The first step in stopping an ineffective behavior is to first recognize that it exists. Every time you reach for one of your many excuses, stop in your tracks and focus on it. In most cases just recognizing it will take the power away from an excuse and will allow you to move forward.

2. Take an in­depth look at your most common excuses

Most people have their go­to excuses like the ones mentioned above. For instance if your favorite excuse to employ during tough sledding is “I don’t have enough time,” try to determine why you perceive that time is so short. Are you organized? Do you plan your day to optimize the time you do have? Or do you just wing it trying to cram every activity you have to complete into a 12 hour window of opportunity? Usually when you look further into an excuse you will find that there is absolutely no validity to its claim. You have plenty of time you just need to utilize it more effectively.

3. Nike said it best “Just Do It”

Actions speak louder than words and in the realm of excuse making this is especially true. Have you been dragging your feet starting a new business venture? Or have your plans to begin working out evaporated into a fog of excuses? This is when you just do it, take action, dive right in… you get the point.

4. Set realistic goals

Take the time to sit in a quiet room and compose a list of short and long­term goals. Make them lofty yet still believable. When you are finished, become excited about your goals and start working toward achieving them immediately. Passion will always trump excuses.