Do or do not, there is no try

By glblguy


One of my favorite life quotes isn’t from Mark Twain, Buddha, Abraham Lincoln or any other famous historical human. Instead, it’s from a little green guy who lives on a planet named Degobah. While this little green guy named Yoda from the Star Wars movies is full of awesome and inspiring quotes, my favorite is:

Do or do not, there is no try.

Simple words yes, but powerful meaning they have, hmmm? Okay, I’ll stop talking like Yoda. Seriously it’s a great quote and one that my children can quickly quote as well, as I constantly remind them of it every single time they say “I’m trying”.

How often in regard to your personal finances have you said “But I’m trying?”   Generally that statement is proceeded with some type of statement like: “I’m not budgeting like I should…“, “I still use my credit cards…“, or “I can’t seem to keep any savings…”  But I’m trying…

Stop trying! Time to do or do not!

If you’re guilty of making these or similar statements, stop trying! The time has come to take control of your financial situation and do or do not. In my opinion, trying is an excuse that makes people feel better about not doing something they know they should be doing. Dedicate yourself 100% and do what you’ve been trying to do or stop trying to do it.

I truely believe that we can accomplish anything we set our minds too, it all boils down to how much effort we want to put towards it. I truely believe that regardless of how much you make that you can live on a budget, you can save, and you can be debt free. Doing so just requires commitment and sacrifice. Commitment is easy, sacrifice is hard.


Maybe you have a large (or even small) amount of debt and you’ve been trying to make a dent in it. Stop trying and make it happen. Here’s how:

  1. Make a commitment to yourself to stop using debt. Recognize that you are the problem, nobody else.
  2. Cut up your cards. Jesus said we should separate ourselves from our sins as far as the east is from the west. Why leave temptation laying around. Cut up your credit cards. You won’t miss them, I promise. We cut ours up two years ago and haven’t missed them once.
  3. Start a debt snowball. Use the proven process of a debt snowball to pay off your debt. Most all personal finance experts will agree a debt snowball is the most effective way to get out of debt. Add snowflaking to make it even more effective.


Have you been trying to save money, but just can’t? Time to stop trying. Head over to ING Direct and create an orange savings account. Link it to your primary checking account and set-up an automatic withdrawal. If you’re in debt, save a $1000-$2000 dollar emergency fund, and then stop saving. Begin applying the rest to debt to your debt snowball.

Once you make your savings automatic, there is not more trying, the saving just happens. Making your savings automatic removes you from the equation.


Have you been trying to budget? Today is the the day to stop trying. Start budgeting 100% right now. Download my free budget spreadsheet or better yet purchase a copy of YNAB Pro and spent an hour or so setting up your initial budget. Start following it today.

Don’t have the money in your budget to buy something? Don’t buy it. Have an unexpected and unplanned expense? Use your emergency fund (btw a new plasma TV isn’t an unexpected expense).

Create a budget today and start controlling your money rather than it controlling you. What? Budgets are for weak or geeky financial types? Wrong. Every successful corporation I have ever worked for has a budget. Read the Millionaire Next Door and you’ll find that even rich people live on budgets.

Make a commitment

Is there something you’ve been trying to do for a while but you just can’t seem to make it happen? Make a commitment to yourself today to stop trying and do or do not. Determine what it is that’s keeping you from doing and eliminate it. Even better, share your commitment with someone or share it below via a comment. When you make a commitment to others, it makes you significantly more likely to go through with it. That’s referred to as accountability.

What have you been trying to do? Make a commitment to do or do not today.  Add a comment and make your commitment public.

17 Responses (including trackbacks) to “Do or do not, there is no try”

  1. Miranda Says:

    I’ve always loved that quote as well. Personally, I’m saving more. We talked about doing it, we tried doing it. Finally, my husband and I sat down together, looked at our money situation, and did what we needed to do to make it happen.

  2. Baker @ ManVsDebt Says:

    Awesome post! I’m a huge fan of writing that makes me want to get up and go do something, rather than just think or analyze it. This is the perfect time for a call to action like this! Time to get my April budget rolling!

  3. Neal Frankle Says:

    I also love that quote. Another favorite “Perfect” is the enemy of “Good”. I’m happier when I dive in after some thought vs freezing and waiting for the “perfect” situation. Go for it! Thanks, great reminder.

  4. Gina Says:

    Excellent quote! I too had an emergency earlier this year and my $1k emergency fund covered it – just like Dave said it would – so I didn’t use my credit card. And I’ve been more committed to following a budget. I think I’ve finally broken the pattern. Thanks for the reinforcement – the timing of your post is perfect!

  5. Emily Says:

    Thanks for this post! It definitely hit home for me since “fear” of not having enough is what was holding me back from making the true commitment to staying on track. It is a daily struggle, but I know (and my husband knows) that we are on our way to being debt free.

  6. Sue Says:

    Make a commitment to yourself to stop using debt. Recognize that you are the problem, nobody else…

    This really struck me! How often do we (as people) say things like, “Well the bank shouldn’t have raised the credit limit if they knew I couldn’t pay….” or “they wouldn’t have given me the loan if I couldn’t make the payments…”.

    Even Eve said, “Adam gave me the apple!” It’s so human that we might even need to admit that we need help! Accountability from a good friend, online groups etc. are very helpful, and of course encouragement from awesome Blogs like GLBL!

  7. DDFD at Says:

    Great post!

    Some things are black and white– there is no gray area! Savings and debt reduction are two examples of these things . . .

  8. MyJourney Says:

    This advice is beyond applicable for saving. I have had to FORCE friends and family to set up an ING account and just do $25 bucks a week. But inevitably about 6 months later I get thanked!

    I always say, “Just DO IT!” it takes 5 mins.

  9. Carrie Says:

    I really enjoyed this post. It is very motivating.
    Sue – It was actually Adam that said that about Eve (but your point still holds true).