“I always hope to be a better person tomorrow than today”
~ Mahershala Ali
Sound familiar? I say this more often than I care to admit. I use the excuse that I need to prepare myself for whatever change I intend to make and use Monday as my deadline. This could be anything from starting a new diet to developing a business idea.
I convince myself this is the sensible option – to make a plan and put it into action a few days later and in some cases, this may be true. It may not be practical to launch into the intended change until Monday but who I am kidding? This is procrastination on a semi-grand scale.
Leaving it until Monday simply gives me permission to continue along the easy road until such time that I need to make significant changes – something most of us find it hard to do. When it comes to diet, I use the lead up to Monday to stuff my face with all the ‘naughty’ food in the cupboard in a desperate bid to cleanse the house ready for the new plan. If the change on Monday is to do with work then I justify to myself sitting around doing sod all until Monday arrives.
There are 53 Mondays in 2018. The first one being the 1st January – how fitting. That is 53 chances to Start on Monday! 53 opportunities to make a change? What a scary thought. I would like to bet that I would have used at least half that number in 2017 and the previous years before that to Start on Monday.
As I write, the next Monday is tomorrow, 8 January. I had already decided for myself a couple of days ago that this would be the day ‘to start’. There are plenty of aspects of my life which I would like to improve on – hey, it’s good to learn and grow, right? But as we have previously written, a good way to make progress is to take small steps forward. My starting point tomorrow will simply be to adopt a different mindset to the way in which I am spending my time. Focusing on my Future Self, rather than mindlessly letting the minutes and hours tick by. I have been inspired by Todd Henry, who said in a recent podcast: “You are going to be a different person this time next year, whether you’re intentional about it or not. Make sure that the person you’re becoming is the person that you intended to become.”
I don’t want to keep ‘starting on Monday’. Tomorrow will be the last time. Unless of course, I have a good enough reason not to (hee hee hee).
“It was my fear of failing that first kept me from attempting my master work. Now I am beginning what I could have started ten years ago. But I am happy at least that I didn’t wait twenty years”
~ Paulo Coelho
How many of us can honestly say that we are 100% happy with 100% of our lives? There are always areas in which we can, as Rach says, ‘learn and grow’. Yet it is often more comfortable to avoid taking any action.
We can fool ourselves in a myriad ways that we are on the right track. Planning ahead to make changes is just one such ‘loophole’, allowing us to stay where we are, feeling safe albeit unhappy and dissatisfied. To achieve any kind of change, we need to become comfortable with feeling uncomfortable. All the decision-making and planning in the world will make no difference without some kind of action, however small that may be.
And there’s some good news! It can often be the case that our perceptions about how difficult something is going to be turn out to be unfounded – once we get going, it doesn’t seem that bad after all. And guess what, if it turns out that we don’t like we are doing, we can simply make another change at any time – no need to wait for ‘a Monday’!
Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending. ~ Carl Bard