So are you like millions of others who carefully wrote out their New Year’s Resolutions with the best intentions and extreme motivation (in that minute) only to not have made any progress on them? Is there a daunting task that you have been putting off for months or even years that you know you need to work on?
Well, if you haven’t got it done by now, it’s not going to happen right? It’s time to just give up and count that resolution as yet another regret. (yes, that was sarcasm) So what are our five excuses not to take the plunge and get ‘er done?
1. You will probably fail
Of course you’re going to fail, you’re trying something new! No one experiences success every time they take on a new venture. 1 out of every 2 marriages and businesses are going to fail but people still yearn for them to make them happy and every day people jump into matrimony or working for themselves. Does that mean there are that many crazy people out there? No, it just means that they have looked at the pros and cons and the pros have won out. They ignore the fact that failure is a real possibility and focus on building their dreams and making it a success- they focus on the positive.
2. I’m probably going to hate it
Really? This is an argument of a three year old. If you try something out and you don’t like it, you simply stop doing it. Let’s say your big dream is to water ski. If you never go out on the water to do it, you will be that ninety year old grandma telling her grandkids that she could have been the greatest water skier in the world, if only she had the time or money or body to do it. Or, you could pick one day to get water skiing lessons and commit to at least trying it one time. You might find that you don’t think it’s fun after all- you don’t like water spraying in your face or you get too cold (my excuse!). If that’s the case, you get to cross water skiing off your list, making room for another adventure and you have a quirky tale for your grandkids. Did I ever tell you about the time I tried to water ski and never even made it up on the skis??
3. It’s going to be too hard
Yes, it’s going to be hard. Think about the last time you started a new job. The first couple of months are miserable and you never think you will survive- there’s so much to learn and process and you are constantly making mistakes. Now think about your first one year anniversary on that job. You were proud of that achievement, you really knew what you were doing and hopefully you were enjoying your work! All your hard work in the beginning and your perseverance to learn new things paid off in the long run. If your goal seems too hard, try breaking it down into smaller projects or steps. Let’s say you your ultimate goal is to be a concert pianist but at this moment you can’t even read sheet music. Yeah, you have a looooonnngggg way to go before you can play at Carnegie Hall but it’s not impossible! (Author Malcolm Gladwell claims that 10,000 hours of practice can make you a professional in certain fields. Even if you practice as a full time job, you won’t be at a professional level for four years.) Focus on your short term goals and that will help keep you motivated. Maybe your first goal is to be able to read music notes within a month, your next goal after that could be to finish the beginner’s piano book within three months and your first recital within a year. Having short, attainable goals will help you to progress and they each act as a step to your ultimate goal.
4. I don’t have the time to do it exactly like I want to
Screw perfection! Just get started, with anything. You can always edit, add to, redo or completely start over. You’re not going to make any progress though unless you GET STARTED. When you start something new, most of the time you won’t even like the first few rough drafts or runs you make. Let’s say you want to start a blog (hello!) but you’re overwhelmed by buying a URL, setting up a theme, plugins, monetizing, networking and all the thousands of other things you’re told you MUST DO in order to have a blog, just pick one thing and start. If you just want to start posting blog posts- sign up for a free blogger account. Get in the habit of posting consistently to see if you enjoy it. Then maybe set aside 15 minutes a day to work on getting it to where you want it to be. See item 3 above about breaking things down into smaller projects.
5. I feel like just being lazy
Really? What are you going to do instead? Sit on your couch and binge watch Netflix all day?? Think about how your goal would improve your life. It’s possible working towards just one thing on your goals list will lead to you completing more of them! Think back to your Physics class, an object in motion tends to stay in motion while an object at rest tends to stay at rest. Life is too short to be resting, you need to get MOVING. Just do something, anything that moves you one step closer to your goals or a better life. The worst that could happen is you may lose a few pounds and end up with some classic stories for your grand kids.
Stop over thinking and just do it! No more excuses, no more procrastination, just get it done.
Originally posted 2/28/17