Have you been thinking about making health changes? Have you thought about getting to the gym more regularly? Or changing your eating habits? Maybe your goal for this year was to “eat healthier.”
One of the big problems with these thoughts is that many people are waiting for the perfect time. After the holidays I’ll start my exercise routine. Or maybe after my daughter’s birthday party this weekend, or after our vacation next month. When things at work settle down…I’ve been working with clients for years and it’s incredible how many of them have had a “busy stretch” at work that has lasted for years. It’s not a busy stretch when it never calms down. And if you have kids, calm won’t exist for another 10-20 years if you’re lucky. So waiting until things settle down to make a change is waiting too long. And not that it’s ever too late to make changes, the longer you wait, the more challenging it can become.
Why do we continue to wait for a better time? Because it allows us to delay the actual work. The actual “doing” part. “Doing” can be intimidating. It means we have to make an effort. It means there’s a chance of failure. If we always have an excuse not to do something, we remain in this realm of safety from frustration and embarrassment.
But if we wait for the galaxies to align, we’re going to be waiting around a very long time. I hear it from many parents, “there’s never a perfect time to have a child.” You just do it and figure it out along the way. This isn’t to say that planning is not necessary, but if you spend too much time planning, you’ll run out of time for doing.
We can’t change the past and we cannot completely control the future. Therefore, it’s important to embrace NOW. NOW is the time to take a step. Even if that step is just writing down your goal on a piece of paper, you’ve taken that step. You’re closer to your goal than you were 10 seconds ago. You have momentum. Give yourself something you can do right NOW.
Write down a couple healthy foods you actually enjoy. Add those to your shopping list for the week. This is a forward step. It takes very little effort or time, but gets you leaning towards your goal.
Expect hurdles. There will always be resistance. Don’t be caught off guard when something gets in the way or slows you down. It will happen with 100% certainty. Remain focused. Know that a crappy weekend of eating or a flu that keeps you out of the gym for a few days doesn’t mean your journey is over. It doesn’t mean you’ve been defeated. It means you’re human and you had a minor hiccup. And in the big picture of life, a little hiccup doesn’t derail us.