Today is January 1st!!
It really doesn’t matter what your smartphone, desktop icons, or traditional flip-over calendar shows you—Today IS January 1st! (And yes, I realize this article is dated and posted on December 30th—but I still affirm that Today is January 1st.) And do you know why??
I’ll Start Tomorrow…
It’s because, as humans, we have a tendency to hold off, to delay, or to procrastinate. We want to wait until the calendar says it is the beginning of something before we actually begin something (a psychological trigger for so many of us–myself included). It’s a fascinating (but anti-productive) tendency that perhaps comes in part from wanting structure, clarity, order, and a clear starting point.
It’s why gym parking lots are full the first couple weeks of January, but then relatively normal all the rest of the weeks of the year (including, and especially, the last two weeks of the year. “I am going to get started on these fitness goals just after the holidays when the New Year starts…” are some of the most famous, overused, and unintentional words).
Not only do we wait for a completely arbitrary start date, but we assume that for our effort to be worth continuing, they must produce perfect results. [We’ll have more posts and podcasts on this concept later.] So, to continue the fitness analogy, if you miss the third workout you had scheduled (for whatever reason), the resolve to continue or to believe in future results often starts to weaken.
That’s why we must consider every day to be January 1st.
What Is It I Really Want?
Perhaps you want to develop a new talent or ability (play the guitar, take up pottery).
Perhaps your have 10 (or 25, or maybe even more) pounds that need to part company with you.
Perhaps you have a great idea or outline for a book in your head.
Perhaps there is a relationship you would like to create or improve.
Perhaps you have some plans to explore or build your own business opportunity.
Perhaps you want to become more patient, more understanding, more grateful.
Perhaps you want to continue your own education in some way.
Record your own list. Then start something today. Start now. (It is January 1st, after all…)
“Tomorrow” Never Comes
It may sound cliche, but the “tomorrows” we are continually committing to generally never happen.
“Of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these, ‘It might have been’.” – John Greenleaf Whittier
If you plan to start tomorrow—sneak up on your goal a day early and surprise it.
If you are going to make it happen next week—blow it out of the water (up to seven days early!) and start now.
Anyone can start—and if you’re looking for a powerful (and fun) read on the subject, you have to check out Jon Acuff’s book START. He does a masterful job walking the reader through five phases (Learning, Editing, Mastering, Harvesting, and Guiding) that all begin with a simple, solid start.
His approach is principle-based (which we love) and can/should be customized to the need of each reader. In his own words, here is a passage that I really like:
“The solution to [our] problems is to share principles that are true of everyone and applications that are flexible. As we continue to march down the road to awesome, that’s what we’re going to do. The five stages, for instance, are true for everyone. The road to awesome always travels through them.
“However, the method you use to travel from one destination to the next will be determined by your own experience—what you’re made of, what you desire, and what you’ve done to this point” (START, p. 94).
Decide on something to do today—no matter how small or simple—and set aside 15, 10, or even 5 minutes to get started with the very next action you can take to move forward.
Conclusion and Accountability
It’s time to take action. What is it you want to start today? Write it down in a way and in a place that it will invite consistent action. If you want some accountability, we invite you to share one key start goal in the comments below (I’m going to put one down there as well—debating between a fitness objective or a commitment to more regularly creating content her on LearnDoBecome—and I hope you’ll hold me to it). We can do this. You can do this.
So when the mattress wants to absorb you or hold you prisoner, break free because Today is January 1st.
When the voices of procrastination, doubt, or fear creep in, let them know Today is January 1st.
And if others around you don’t believe in your abilities to achieve, the only way to set the facts straight is to get to work and create the reality that you desire. And what better day to start than January 1st?
TODAY IS JANUARY 1ST! Make it happen…
Calendar image by taesmileland at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Gym image from sagedynamics.blogspot.com