Are you waiting for the “perfect time” to start eating better, or exercising, or make a healthy change?
Are you putting off that dream trip, or a new project, or that skill you’ve been meaning to learn?
Do some of these phrases sound familiar:
Tomorrow. Next week. Never.
Human beings are always “waiting for the perfect time”. But why?
For many, it’s a great . It helps us avoid the real—and risky—work of .
For others, perfectionism and avoidance serve as strong armor against potential and .
“I ___ ___” keeps us safe from pain. Unfortunately, it’s also what keeps us from growing, thriving, and being who we know we have the potential to be.
There is no perfect time. There never will be.
Oh sure, there might be some magic moment in your fitness journey where the universe comes together… and you’re wearing your favorite t-shirt… plus your extra-comfy sneakers… and that song you love comes on… and your body is full of exuberant, bubbling energy… and your favorite piece of gym equipment is free (in fact the gym is empty today, hooray!)… and you bang out a set of ten reps like the angels are hoisting the barbell for you.
But that magic moment will be one in the zillion other less-magic moments that make up your real life. Yes, celebrate that perfect moment when it comes. But sure as heck don’t wait for it.
Take your moments. Make your moments.
Just so you know,
Hunt them. Chase them. Make them happen. Scratch and gouge moments out of other times. Chip off tiny flakes of moments from the monolith of your day. Use your teeth if you must—bite off mouthfuls of those moments. are holding the chisel and the pickaxe. You are the miner of your moments. This frustrates us, of course.
But it this way. For everyone. This is how it is, with moments. Moments resist expectations like water resists the intrusion of oil. However, there is a perfect moment. There is actually always a perfect moment.
Here. Today. The living, breathing sliver of time that you have in this precise second. Because : right now.
Just start. At the beginning.
Here is another secret. You don’t have to actually work to get to the next moment. And then, moments will keep moving, as moments do. One moment will stack on top of another and before you know it, you’ll have arrived at your destination.
You say. No, it’s not. If you can’t get started, you’re just jumping too far ahead
Push through. Embrace resistance.
Many people who are just starting out assume that because they feel resistance, they have failed. That because broccoli tastes bitter when they first try it, and because they accidentally overcook it, they just can’t eat vegetables. That because they forget the printed list of exercises on the kitchen table, they can’t work out once they get to the gym. That because their legs ache on the ascent, they are not ready to climb that hill. No. Starting will often feel like resistance, at least at first. Like grinding the brain’s gears. Give it time. Resist the urge to press pause. Push through. It will switch tracks, eventually.
Get support. For now.
In order for a rocket to leave the earth, it has to fire extra-hard against gravity. It needs a boost. In order for a heavy train to get moving, it might need an extra engine. We start—and stay moving—on our own. But it sure helps when someone gives us a push or a pull. Someone who can call us on our procrastination and perfection. On our information-cruising and waffling.
Someone who can snap us out of our all-or-nothing trance with a gentle nudge and reminder. For a while, we can even affix ourselves to this someone or something else, like hooking that extra engine to our front. As we go along, we can unhook superfluous cars that we realize are weighing us down. We grow lighter, leaner, more mobile. Eventually, we don’t need that extra engine any more. Our train is now whizzing along just fine on its own. The scenery blurs past the windows and we are heading on a grand adventure.
But in the beginning, we had to .
If you’re still “waiting for the perfect time”, try these tips to help you stop feeling stuck and start taking action.
1. Revise your expectations.
Recognize that there is no perfect time and there never will be.
There is only now.
2. Carve out time, even if it’s imperfect.
Nobody will give that time to you. You’ll need to take it. Give yourself permission to make yourself — and your fitness and health goals — a priority.
Find the time you need in your schedule. Don’t have time for an hour-long workout? No problem. How much time do you have? 20 minutes? 10 minutes? Work with what you’ve got. Don’t expect things to go perfectly smoothly. Instead, anticipate and strategize. Ask yourself:
· What’s likely to get in the way of what I hope to accomplish?
· What is something I can do today to help me keep going when I face those obstacles?
Instead of waiting for things to ‘slow down’, start making something happen right now, in the middle of the mess.
3. Just start.
If you feel stuck, just do something. Anything.
Find the smallest possible thing you can do right now, in the next 5 minutes, and do it. Now you’ve started!
When Coaching, I try to remind clients to “just do the next thing”. Instead of coming up with the biggest, grandest scheme, think about what you could do next to help move yourself — even just a tiny bit — in the direction of your goals. Then, go do it. Remember: action is a “vote” in favor of a different, healthier, fitter life. Vote early, vote often.
4. Expect resistance.
It’s normal. Push through it. Resistance doesn’t mean this won’t work. It just means you’ve started. You only have to get through this moment. This moment of starting will be the hardest. Luckily, it won’t last long.
5. Get support.
Let go of the concept of the lone hero. Instead, start building your support systems. Whether it’s a friend or family member, workout buddy, or a coach, find someone to fire up your booster rockets until you can fly on your own.
Most people that regular movement, eating well, sleep, and stress management are important for looking and feeling better. Yet they need help in the context of their busy, sometimes stressful lives.
That’s why I work closely with clients to help them and … no matter what challenges they’re dealing with.
Please Pass thing along to anyone you know needing that motivational boost to JUST GET STARTED!