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10 Things You Must Give Up to Move Forward

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“10 Things You Must Give Up to Move Forward” by Stephen Covey is all about consciously giving up certain behaviors and attitudes to pave the way for positive change.

We all need his teachings to help us to live a conscious debt-free life.

Don’t we?

Let’s explore how this book helps to “get your financial house in order”

Coffee on the table

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Toward the end of the article, I shared additional things we gave up to move forward and retire early.

12 years ago we said goodbye to old spending habits, embraced a frugal mindset, and paved the way to financial freedom.

It’s time for you to explore the teaching and apply it to simplify your life.

10 Things you must give up to move forward

These 10 things have definitely helped us break free from societal pressure to maintain a certain “materialist rich” lifestyle.

1. The Shame Of Past Failures:

It’s important to learn from past failures and use them as stepping stones to success.

How to use past failures in navigating your financial future?

  • Analyze and Reflect:

Take the time to reflect on your past financial failures and understand the reasons behind them.

Identify the specific mistakes or decisions that led to those failures.

For example, if you accumulated credit card debt due to overspending, recognize the patterns of impulsive buying or lack of budgeting.

Avoid dwelling on past financial mistakes. We all have made some mistakes that we are not proud of.

Instead, focus on the progress you are making in your debt repayment journey.

Commit to letting go of any guilt or shame associated with the debt you currently have.

  • Learn from Mistakes:

Use your past failures as valuable learning experiences. Understand what went wrong and why, and extract key lessons from those experiences.

Flowers and notebook

The debt repayment journey is no different. Learn to view this debt as a learning opportunity.

For instance, if you made poor investment choices that resulted in losses, learn about proper investment strategies, diversification, and risk management to avoid similar mistakes in the future.

  • Set Realistic Goals:

Use your past failures to set realistic and achievable financial goals. For example, if you struggled with excessive debt, set a goal to pay off a specific amount within a certain timeframe. Break down your goals into smaller, actionable steps to stay motivated and track progress.

Instead, focus on the present moment and the actions they can take to improve their financial situation.

You have the power to make positive changes now and start taking definitive action to not get into further debt.

Setbacks are a natural part of the road to your financial freedom. Accept them to move forward.

Take calculated risks, such as exploring additional income streams or negotiating with creditors, to accelerate your debt repayment progress.

Related Article: Save $1000 Fast and avoid getting into Debt for Emergencies

2. Letting The Opinions Of Others Control Your Life:

It’s not what others think, it’s what you think about yourself that counts. You have to do exactly what’s best for you and your life, not what’s best for everyone else.

How to stop others from controlling your financial decisions?

To not let others’ opinions control your financial decisions, it’s important to prioritize your own goals and values.

Consider the input of others, but ultimately trust your own judgment and make decisions based on what aligns with your financial objectives.

For example, if your family member urges you to sell an asset like a car or a house for their personal gains, do not just agree with them.

Your past does not define your future.

Instead, do careful research and give consideration to your original investment.

Make a calculation of how much money you will end up saving due to that asset. Even though some assets like cars depreciate over time, they serve the basic purpose of transportation.

If you sell the asset now, you will have to spend more money to acquire that asset due to rising inflation and the time value of money.

If there is only one thing you can do out of this “10 things you must give up to move forward” list, chose this!

You will feel empowered to take responsible action to make your life better!

3. Being Indecisive About What You Want

You will never leave where you are until you decide where you would rather be. Make a decision now to figure out what you want, and then pursue it passionately.

Action to move forward:

Decide what action will you take next that will either increase your income or reduce your debt. Choose one thing and go for it.

“Money loves speed. Wealth Loves Time. Poverty Loves Indecision”- Alex Hormozi

It can be as simple as :

4. Procrastinating On The Goals That Matter To You

There are two primary choices in life:  to accept conditions as they exist or accept the responsibility for changing them.  The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago.  The second best time is now.

How to use the power of challenges to stop procrastinating?

Challenge yourself to take one action that will help you on your goals.

Pretty Notebook and paper with 30 day challenge suggestion

Personally, I find that 30-day challenges are great motivators to get better with your money.

It is a good enough time to practice one good habit and see the result of it.

5. Choosing To Do Nothing

You don’t get to choose how you were going to die, or when. You can only decide how you are going to live, right now.

“Choosing to do nothing” can have significant implications for your financial position on the road to financial freedom.

  • Missed Opportunities:

By choosing to do nothing, you may miss out on potential opportunities for financial growth and improvement.

This could include investments, career advancements, or business ventures that could have helped you accelerate your journey to financial freedom.

  • Stagnation:

Doing nothing can lead to a stagnant financial situation.

If you don’t actively take steps to manage your finances, reduce debt, increase savings, or invest wisely, you may find yourself stuck in the same financial position for an extended period.

For example, if you need to increase your net worth, start looking for a way to increase your monthly income. Ask for a raise in your current job or look for another opportunity with higher pay.

6. Running From Problems That Should Be Fixed

Stop running! Face the issues, fix the problems, communicate, appreciate, forgive, and love the people in your life who deserve it.

Coffee and motivational quote

How to use this principle in navigating your financial future?

Neglecting to take action can result in the accumulation of more debt.

If you have existing debt and choose not to address it, the interest charges may continue to accrue.

Over time, it will be harder to pay off that debt.

7. Your Need To Be Right

Aim for success, and never give up your right to be wrong.  If you do, you will also lose your ability to learn new things and move forward with your life.


Keep an open mind and learn new things that will help you get better in managing and earning money

If you find it challenging to navigate your financial future alone, consider seeking guidance from a financial advisor or coach.

They can provide objective insights, help you analyze your past mistakes, and assist in developing a customized plan that aligns with your goals.

Read what the Richest Man in Babylon says about being a wise steward of money here.

Chose additional “10 things you must give up to move forward” from the teachings of the Richest Man in Babylon and see your future change.

8. Making Excuses Rather Than Decisions

Most long-term failures are the outcome of people who make excuses rather than decisions.

How to use this principle to pay off debt faster?

Without taking proactive steps, your financial growth potential may be limited.

Building wealth and achieving financial freedom often requires strategic planning, making informed decisions, and taking calculated risks.

By making excuses, you may limit your ability to grow your income, savings, and investments.

If you do not actively manage your money, you may leave yourself vulnerable to financial setbacks and emergencies.

Without a plan in place to build an emergency fund or protect your financial assets, unexpected events could have a more significant impact on your journey to financial freedom.

9. Overlooking The Positive Points In Your Life

What you see depends on what you’re looking for. You see what you focus on, everything else drifts by unnoticed. You will have a hard time ever being happy if you aren’t looking for — and being thankful for — the good things in your life right now

How to find positivity when times are rough?

During challenging times, it’s essential to cultivate a growth mindset rather than a limited mindset

Focus on the things you’re grateful for, even amidst challenging circumstances.

Recognize and challenge any limiting beliefs you may have about your ability to get out of debt.

Adopt a growth mindset by using the power of “switch words.”

Believe that you have the capacity to change your financial circumstances.

Take time each day to acknowledge and appreciate the positive aspects of your life, no matter how small they may seem.

This can shift your perspective and help you see the brighter side of things.

Seek out success stories of others who have successfully paid off your debts to inspire and motivate them.

10. Not Appreciating The Present Moment

Too often we try to accomplish something big without realizing that the greatest part of life is made up of the little things. Enjoy the journey.

Flowers and motivational quote

How to use the power of time to get ahead on your road to financial freedom?

Practice Mindfulness and Living in the Present:

Stay grounded in the present moment rather than dwelling on the past or worrying about the future.

Mindfulness techniques, such as deep breathing or meditation, can help you stay centered, reduce anxiety, and find peace amidst adversity.


In addition to the above 10 things you must give up to move forward, below are some additional things you must give up in order to be financially independent.

Blaming and complaining

It is often easier to find someone else to blame for our current situation.

But if you take a pause and ask yourself to look at the situation different, you might find that you’ve every reason to change the situation.

“You can get discouraged many times, but you are not a failure until you begin to blame somebody else and stop trying.”
― John Burroughs

How to take personal responsibility for Debt-Free Life?

Accept and Acknowledge Your Emotions:

It’s essential to recognize and honor your emotions during difficult times. Allow yourself to feel what you’re going through without judgment.

By accepting and acknowledging your emotions, you can better process them and work towards finding a more positive mindset.

Stop complaining or blaming others for your debt.

Instead, take personal responsibility for your financial choices and actions.

Channel your energy into finding solutions, such as

  • seeking professional advice,
  • exploring debt consolidation options, or
  • creating a realistic debt repayment plan.

Related Article: Free Debt Thermometer Printable Tracker to pay off debt faster


Remember that your financial journey is about your own well-being, not impressing others.

Therefore, prioritize your financial goals over societal expectations or peer pressure.

How to stop pleasing others and embrace frugal living?

By focusing on your own financial priorities, you can make sound decisions that align with your values and lead to debt freedom.

Set clear and definite boundaries and prioritize your financial well-being over people-pleasing tendencies.

Develop the confidence to say “no” to unnecessary expenses or financial obligations that could hinder your debt repayment progress.

Communicate openly with friends and family about your financial goals and seek your support.

As you continue making payments, keep coloring the printable until you have paid off your entire debt.

Control every aspect of your life

Let go of the need to control every aspect of your financial situation.

Accept that some factors, such as unexpected expenses or market fluctuations, may be beyond your control.

Focus on what you can control such as budgeting, reducing expenses, and increasing your income.

Tea cup and motivational quote

How to stop resisting change with better money routines?

Overcome your resistance to change by emphasizing the benefits of a debt-free life.

Remember that the temporary discomfort of making financial adjustments and lifestyle changes is worth the long-term financial stability and peace of mind.

Embrace new habits and behaviors that align with your financial goals.

Relate Article: Money Habits for Financial Freedom and Debt-Free Living

Final Thoughts on 10 things you must give up to Move Forward

When you say goodbye to these10 things, you create room for improvement.

It’s time to declutter your life, both mentally and physically, and pave the path to success. Are you ready to make room for greatness?

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