Don’t wait for tomorrow, start today.
Is there a change you wish to bring about in your life?
Do you want to lose weight? Stop smoking? Declutter your home? Start a new hobby? Change your career? Reconcile a relationship?
There’s always a reason to wait until tomorrow—which is why you should make the change today.
Take losing weight, for example. We know we have a few pounds to lose, but it’s easy to find a reason to wait. We have that dinner party over the weekend… our birthday is in ten days… there’s that vacation with the family right around the corner… or your good friend is bringing over cookies for your Book Club later this afternoon…
So we convince ourselves to wait to make the positive change we know we should make.
Unfortunately, once the first reason passes, there is another one right around the corner. Now we’re one day closer to our Anniversary dinner, our Office party, or Easter candy going on sale… so we put off losing weight yet again.
We can see this same effect with countless healthy habits we should be embracing:
- “I’ll stop watching so much tv… right after March Madness.”
- “I’ll start exercising… right after this busy season at work.”
- “I’ll start saving money… right after I replace this car.”
- “I’ll start going to bed earlier… right after this weekend.”
- “I’ll spend less time on my phone… right after I play this game.”
- “My schedule will slow down, right after…”
You see, there is always going to be a reason to wait until tomorrow.
But the best time to get started is today.
Regardless of the reasons you think you should, today is the very best day to make the change you’ve been needing to make.
But how? Here are some helpful ideas to get you started, right now, today:
1. Make one small step. Your first step in the right direction doesn’t need to be a big one. And you don’t need to be an expert to get started. Just make one small change in the right direction. Once you’ve got momentum in the right direction, the next step will be easier.
2. Remind yourself of all the reasons to start right now. Remember, if you start losing weight today, you’ll be thinner for Spring. If you start saving money now, you can probably save a certain amount of money by this specific date. If you stop smoking today, you’ll start to feel healthier by tomorrow. Rather than thinking of the excuses to not start, remind yourself of the reasons to begin.
3. The next time you feel the urge, read a helpful article. Reading about a habit is not the same as incorporating it into life, but it can be a helpful step. Years ago, I ran my first marathon because one evening when I felt the urge to do it, I pulled up an article online, “How to Run Your First Marathon” and started researching the steps. Whatever change you want to make, next time you feel the pull, find some helpful articles online to keep you motivated.
4. Find external motivation. It’s one thing to go on a diet, it’s something completely different to tell all your friends that you are going on a diet. Sharing your aspirations with another often serves as accountability and motivation for us. So go ahead, speak your dreams.
5. Set a reward for yourself. One common tip, based on psychology to overcome routine procrastination is to offer yourself a reward for getting started. The future motivation can help change our present-self. So choose a way to reward yourself tomorrow, if you make the change today.
There is an old proverb that goes something like this, “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”
Make the change you desire in your life… the one you’ve been waiting to start. No more excuses. No more waiting until tomorrow.
Do it today. Your future self will thank you for it.