If I had a dollar for every time a friend or family member told me they would start a big project soon … I’d be able to get CC’s twice a day. Think about how many times you or someone you know says the following:
- I’m starting a new diet on Monday.
- I need an entire day to clean my house because it’s gotten so out of hand.
- I think I’m going to sign up for the gym next month.
- I have an idea for a podcast that I’m going to start soon.
- I spent a ton of money this weekend, but I’m going to eat at home and bring a lunch to work every single day next week.
- I yelled at my kids this evening. Tonight is shot, but tomorrow is a new day.
Here’s the problem with all of these statements: They all either give no definite ‘first step’ to a plan or they push an extreme, giant ‘first step’ into the future so that no immediate accountability is necessary.
Think about two ladders of the same height: One has 20 steps to get to the top and the other has eight. The person who divides his goal into 20 realistic steps has a much better chance at getting to the top than the person who has to figure out how to take that first giant one out of his reach.
Another big issue with the above statements is the lack of troubleshooting involved. You can’t just keep starting over. Something has to change. Why did you overspend this weekend? Was it lack of planning or stress-induced? Why do you feel the need to start a new diet Monday? It’s probably because your diet is completely unrealistic and your deprived body wants to let loose by the time the weekend hits. Why not meal prep lunch for the week or eat vegetables with dinner every night? Why not apologize to your kids for yelling and consider what triggered it so you can better compose yourself next time?
I’ve realized how important it is to dig deep and figure out what you actually want and are willing to work for. Cue Mama Odie on Princess and the Frog:
“You got to dig a little deeper
Find out who you are
You got to dig a little deeper
It really ain’t that far”
If you can clear out all the goals that really don’t mean much to you, you can focus on what’s important. At some point recently, I realized I don’t care about my house being perfect, but I do care about it being homey and picked up. So, I arranged and decorated in a way that was easy to clean and had clutter out of view. I bought a couch cover and stopped fighting the dog hair v. couch battle. My priorities have changed and constantly cleaning isn’t a great use of my time.
I have a friend who goes to the gym every day and lifts the heaviest dumbbells there on a regular basis. You can take one look at him and tell he’s that person. He often gets told by his co-workers that they would like to look that way too, but they can’t spend two hours in the gym every day. They have work, kids, etc. Well … so do most people.
Here’s the thing: My friend does not spend two hours in the gym every day. The way he looks is a product of nearly a decade of CONSISTENCY of going to the gym. People say that to him because it takes accountability of away from themselves to accomplish something. It takes the burden of “digging a little deeper” away.
What is actually important to you? What can you actually do today to start achieving that? Do you have goals you really don’t care about when you “dig a little deeper?” Stop starting over on Monday. Start today.