Next Week Comes Sooner Than You Think

Do the Thing You Want to Do Today! No More Waiting! Illustration courtesy of Stuart Miles /

Do the Thing You Want to Do Today! No More Waiting!
Illustration courtesy of Stuart Miles /

Call this an inspirational post if you will, but it is being written as much for me as it is for you. I also have a friend in mind who could use a little push.

What have you been putting off?  I’ve been putting off several things, and none of the procrastination has brought me any closer to these goals:  

Exercise. I got off to a good start with 25 minutes a day once I received a hand-me-down treadmill, but for the last week, the treadmill has stood still and silent.

I’ve been putting off writing a book.  I am here (on WordPress) for practice.  That’s what I’ve been telling myself, anyway. Gotta hone those writing skills.

Accepting an award.  A very gracious blogger friend nominated me for a blogging award, and it’s been almost 3 months since I said I would accept.  Why haven’t I followed through yet? Do I not deserve it?  

Cleaning out my closet:  I have suits out the wazoo, and I don’t need them any longer. Why are they still hanging there?  It really wouldn’t take 10 minutes to pick them up and transfer them to the closet in the guest bedroom.  Perhaps I am trying to deny the reality of what this means. 

In any case, and despite my unwillingness to do these things, I know that one thing is true.  Whether or not I choose to take action and see these things through, time will pass.  In one week, my closet can be clear of my workwear of yesteryear, or I can sift through them daily as I decide what to wear to work.

I can go ahead and get on the treadmill, set my iPod to songs that I like, and pass a mere 25 minutes by walking and jogging.  Or I can pass the same 25 minutes by sitting on the couch, or doing something useful (god forbid!) like vacuuming or cleaning out the bird cage.  Wait – where is that treadmill, again?

The truth is that you or I can insert any number of things into this sentence:  “If I don’t (X) today, or this week, that only puts me a week farther from my goal.” Or a month, or a year.  I could be (X) in a year, or I could still be thinking about it a year from now because I have done nothing to get started. 

Getting started is always the most difficult part. Next week, you or I could be just a bit closer to that goal which scares the bejeesus out of us. I am scared to start, because, what if it doesn’t work out? What if I fail?  And isn’t that what the hesitation is about?  Failure? If I never really start, and give it a real go, then I will never know whether I would have failed. This is much worse. But it is difficult to begin, still. The staggering, sobering fear of failure. What a lame excuse. 

Fear can be a good thing – it can keep us from doing all sorts of things that are dangerous to our health, but also to our very core. Fear can also keep us from pursuing the things that we most desire in life, but only if we don’t realize the reason for our hesitation. How about if we try, together, wearing our hearts on our sleeves, deciding to pursue what we think may be impossible, and encouraging those around us to do the same? No one ever did anything great by being too stifled by fear to make the first step. I can admit that I owe it to myself, and you should too. Baby steps, as they say.