Goals won’t become a priority until you make them one.
It’s 10:30 in the morning. I’m looking out at a long stretch of time where I don’t have much to do. Time I could be dedicating to accomplishing my goals, to writing.
Yet, I feel the excuses pouring in. I don’t feel like it. I’m tired. I can do it later. The thoughts are almost automatic now.
So instead, I’m staring at my screen, reading articles, browsing the internet, wasting time.
In January, I set two large goals for 2019. Write (and finish) my first novel and lose my last 30 pounds. We’re now almost three months into the year, and I’ve yet to progress on either goal. But why?
I’m a procrastinator.
When you take a huge stretch of time, like an entire year or even a wide open afternoon, it’s easy to delay our tasks. We think we have plenty of time. Why start now?
It’s Parkinson’s Law in action: “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.”
If I have a whole afternoon ahead of me, I’m much more likely to waste time than if I only had an hour to dedicate instead.
I love pushing my tasks off. I love the promise of tomorrow and waiting for conditions to be just right before diving in.
But conditions are never just right. And there’s always another tomorrow. And another one. And that perfect tomorrow never comes. Instead, I’ve just wasted a lot of todays.
I’m waiting for the magic solution.
Writing a novel and losing weight are hard. They’re massive life-changing goals, and they both require a massive amount of hard work.
There’s no way around it. There’s no cutting corners, no quick fixes, no magic pills (though the diet industry will have you believe otherwise). The only way to really achieve them is to get down and dirty and do the hard work.
I know I need to work. I know I need to dig my heels in, put my head down and just work. I know this. Yet, I’m still searching for the right meal plan, the right workout schedule. The right plot outline, the right story idea.
Somewhere inside I still believe there has to be an easier way. But nothing worth achieving is easy. My search will only end in one place. Me, buckling down and getting to work.
I’m afraid of failing, obviously. Of putting so much of myself into these goals. Of committing completely, only to be left with nothing in the end. I know everyone is afraid of failure to some degree, but to achieve anything, we need to rise above it.
Failure is one thing, but I’m also afraid of what will happen if I actually succeed. What if I do write that novel, but no one reads it? What if it sits on my hard drive forever and never gets published? What if I get to my goal weight but I still hate my body?
I’m terrified of how this will end. Purgatory is much safer. Never starting, never finishing. Staying in one place, just waiting.
But purgatory isn’t happiness. Complacency isn’t growth. I’ll never get anywhere standing still. Whether I fail or succeed, the least I can do is try.