Do you feel like you never get across the finish line with your goals? Maybe you’re not even able to get to the starting line! What’s holding you back? Are you waiting until you “feel” ready? Wait no more! Noted Psychologist, Jerome Bruner, once said “You’re more likely to act yourself into a feeling than to feel yourself into an action!” It will never “feel” like the right time… you just have to start!
I’m a goal-oriented person, but I still have trouble getting started on occasion. Here are some things I’ve discovered along life’s journey that have helped me to stay motivated:
- Whether you begin or not, time will pass all the same. When I was 31, a coworker approached me about returning to school. Our company was encouraging all employees to take advantage of the tuition reimbursement program. My friend and I had taken classes here and there and each had the equivalent of an associates degree, and so we’d be able to earn our bachelors degrees in two years. “Two years!” I thought. “There’s no way I can invest two years into night school!” I didn’t seize the opportunity because I had a new baby at home. I had longed for many years to become a mother and I wasn’t letting anything get in the way of my enjoying my son’s early years. Two years later, my friend was graduating with her bachelor’s degree and I thought “Has it really been two years already? Wow that went by fast!!” Those two years had passed for both of us, but my friend had accomplished so much more than I had in the same time. I regretfully realized that I could have easily managed the work and still have plenty of time for my child. I immediately enrolled and had my degree two years later. Time will pass all the same. Don’t let time be a factor in preventing you from starting.
- It gets easier as you go. In June 2015, my cardiologist became concerned about my cholesterol and wanted me to start taking yet another prescription. I knew the only way I could avoid this was to lose weight and get my levels in check, so I acted that day (no time to wait for a feeling)! I immediately replaced my diet sodas with water and began eating healthier, smaller portions. Those changes were very difficult at first. Drinking water with meals was a huge challenge! Even harder was giving up fried foods. The first few days were so tough, but each day got better and within a couple of weeks I had adjusted to my new diet. I was so proud of the fact that I didn’t need drugs or special potions, I simply ate healthier! After 15 months I am down over 50 pounds, and while I still have 30 more to go, I am happy to report that my cardiologist is thrilled with my progress and I haven’t had to add any medications to my list!
- It may take a while before you see your progress. Sometimes others will notice your progress more than you do. Sometimes, no one will notice. Results can’t be your focus. Progress is what counts… any amount of it. Weight comes off slowly and so with my diet, I had to avoid weighing myself daily. I restricted myself to once per week on the scale and I tracked my progress on a chart. I knew that as long as I stuck with the process, I would see improvement gradually, not overnight. It was the same for my schooling. I knew what classes I had to take and checking them off my list as I completed each one felt amazing! It inspired me to keep going!
What is it that you’ve been putting off? Start working toward your goals today. Act yourself into a feeling! Franklin Roosevelt once said “To reach a port we must set sail – Sail, not tie at anchor – Sail, not drift.” Start sailing now! Ready… set… go!