Raise your hand if you've ever waited until New Year's Day to start a new diet or exercise program. Raise your hand if you've ever waited until Monday, or your birthday, or the first of the month.
I see a lot of hands...
We tend to like the order and structure of starting something new on the first day of the month or year, or the beginning of the week, or a significant day like our birthday. We like starting something new on what we consider to be a fresh, clean slate.
The problem with this is that Monday comes, your birthday passes, and you haven't started. Sometimes these symbolic dates are so far into the future that, when they come, you've moved on from your original intention. Or you get to the date and you haven't done your "research," so you're not prepared.
What's wrong with starting today? Want to quit smoking? How about starting today? Want to stop drinking soda? How about starting today? Want to spend more time with your kids? How about starting today?
I love this quote by Earl Nightingale:
"Don't let the fear of the time it will take to accomplish something stand in the way of your doing it. The time will pass anyway; we might just as well put that passing time to the best possible use."
We know that the thing we want to accomplish will take time -- like getting better at public speaking. We'd like to start working on it, to take a class or get coaching, but it seems like an insurmountable task. "I'll never achieve what I want to achieve," we tell ourselves. And so we never begin in the first place.
But as Earl Nightingale says, the time is going to pass anyway. In six months, you can be exactly where you are now, or you can be a person who's lost ten pounds, quit smoking, reduced your debt by $5,000, or given your first conference presentation.
Take baby steps. Do something small but significant. Tell yourself you're not going to wait around any longer. Yes, do the necessary research to make it stick, but do something now.
Rufus Wainwright said in an interview a few years ago:
"I'm in the midst of negotiating and writing an opera, and that has always been my life-long ambition. It is really something I thought I would do years down the line, when I was fat and bearded.
But I realized that you really have to start yesterday if you want to get your dreams accomplished. It's all about action."
This quote is from 2008. By July 2009 his opera was finished and had premiered in England. Now it's 2011, and Rufus Wainwright can say he accomplished his dream to write and produce an opera. Will he write more? Who knows? But he set his mind to it, took action and now he can say he did it.
Time's going to pass anyway. Why wait until next Monday to start achieving your dreams, bettering yourself, heck -- just getting things done? Why not start today?
What have you been putting off that you could start now? Please share in the comments!