By Jimmy Warden
With the new year coming up, a lot of us are going to set some goals or resolutions, which is amazing, and I truly wish everyone the best with their endeavors. However, my question for today is, why wait? Why wait until the new decade to start executing on those ideas that have been marinating in your brain for the past three months? It might be difficult, but it will be worth while in the end.
The biggest reason why we wait is because we are looking for the right timing to start in on a new goal, especially if it is one we have not tried to accomplish before, and are unsure of exactly what it takes. This strikes fear in an individual and will cause a state of paralysis, from which we cannot act. There is, in fact, no need to act paralyzed in the first place because this state of paralysis creates more sorrow and self-pity, and in reality, if we give it our best at least one time, we can at least say we tried. Therefore, we need to get the idea that “the timing needs to be right” or “the circumstance needs to be set” in order to act out of our heads, that way we can work towards what it is that we truly want. The timing will never be right because if the timing always needed to be right, nothing would ever get done!
Now that we’ve moved past the idea that the timing needs to be right, let’s talk about why starting now is extremely helpful. First and foremost, it creates some positive emotion. We feel good about ourselves and our actions when we make decisions about what it is we want to do and execute on them. Especially, when these are not easy tasks. Now, once the positive emotion is flowing, we’ll be able to connect that outcome with the task or tasks at hand. That is when we can start building momentum and creating habits.
Momentum and habits go hand in hand because action needs to be taken regularly in order to manifest both momentum and habits. Even on days when we don’t feel like doing it, we must remember that outcome of positive emotion, that way we can feel accomplished after completing something we didn’t feel very willing to do. Once we have created both habits and momentum, next is the best, progress!
Progress cannot happen without building some consistency into a person’s life. No matter what it is that we want to improve upon, we must be able to perform at a consistent level, that way we have a baseline performance, and we can do our best to set up a trajectory for ourselves in terms of where we want to go and what we want to accomplish (think SMART goals or OKR goals). Once we have a trajectory and we start tracking how things are going, we can see whether or not things are going well or not going well. If they are not, that’s okay! Just think of what’s been going on as a “growth opportunity”, so that the information that’s been obtained in the journey can be used to help accelerate progress at a later point in time.