When my sisters and I were in grade school, my dad had his own way of encouraging us to do well. He taught us the following exchange, which we had to say nearly every day.
Every morning, he'd say to us, "Do your best!"
We would always say that we would. Then he'd ask us, "Why are you going to do your best?"
Our response was, "Because we're going to be somebody."
Then he'd say, "Starting when?"
To which we'd reply, "Today!"
It's life's greatest opportunity and yet it's something we often take for granted.
Anxiety and fear have a way of making us think that starting something today is often too challenging.
So, instead of jumping into taking action, we set a time and date in the future to start making the changes or doing things that we really could start doing immediately.
With the New Year quickly approaching, so many of us are making plans for January 1, 2016, and the year to come.
We're going to start working out again. We're planning to read more, start that business, or reconnect with family. We're vowing to take more risks, quit smoking, travel to new places, and give back to the world.
But, Why Wait?
What's the point of waiting when you can start today?
There are no rules that say you have to wait until a certain day to begin working on your dreams. The only limitations that we truly have are the ones we place on ourselves.
I've spent a lot of time allowing anxiety, disguised as procrastination, to influence my decisions.
I'm always saying, "I'll do it tomorrow," and more often than not, that tomorrow never comes.
For example, my wife and I have a beautiful canvas painting that hangs in the dining area of our home. We purchased it shortly after we moved in and, since then, my wife has been asking me to add some additional supports to the frame to keep it looking perfectly square.
I must have told her over 100 times that I'd do it the next day, but never got around to it.
Two years later, the picture was still hanging there, but now the sides of the frame were bowing-in.
My loving wife asked me yet again to fix it and, with a healthy dose of fear and concern, I took it off the wall and figured out what was needed to fix the frame.
I took some scrap wood from a previous house project, measured and cut it to the right length, and slid it into place to provide better support for the frame.
Now the painting looked brand new and it took me all of 10-minutes to complete.
Two years of procrastination for 10-minutes of work.
After completing the project, I kept wondering to myself, why did I wait so long? What was I afraid of?
The truth is, I wasn't sure I could do it. While I am fairly handy at times, for whatever reason, I always have doubts about taking on something no matter how small it may be. Plus, I didn't want to ruin the frame, or worse, the painting.
But, I never tried to do it. I just kept thinking about it, without actually doing anything. I jut kept thinking I would have trouble doing it and that was enough to keep me from actually trying.
How many things have you been putting off for tomorrow because you're unsure of how it will turn out? How many of those things have you actively tried to do?
Honestly, you won't have all the answers. You won't be able to know with 100% certainty what the end results will be. But, I can guarantee, if you constantly procrastinate in getting started, it gets easier and easier to keep putting things off.
But, if you jump in and get started today, I can promise it's much easier to keep going.
Life Begins Today
Today is life's greatest opportunity.
Don't squander it waiting to get started tomorrow.
Whatever you want to accomplish next year, has at least one simple small step that you can complete today. Do it. Don't wait. You may even surprise yourself with what you can accomplish.
Don't wait. You may even surprise yourself with what you can accomplish.
Next Action Steps
In the comments below, name one thing that you were planning on starting in the new year that you can start today.
For example: On January 1st, I was planning on starting the practice of reading a short passage from the Bible every day. But there really isn't any reason why I can't start now. I use the YouVerson Bible app and decided to start reading a bible plan to kickstart my new practice. Since most of the plans are short, I've selected 3 that I'm going to start with. Here are my selections: