“A year from now, you will wish you had started today.”
Think about that for a second.
Really let it sink in.
If you are like me, you probably have a ton of plans. A million things you plan on doing at some point. The problem we all run into is that they never seem to work their way to the top of the To-Do list. When I came across this quote a while back, it really spoke to me. Its the whole ” A long journey begins with a single step” thing…. the hardest part is starting.
For example, I love to play guitar- but I rarely pick it up and practice. I’ve often thought about dedicating just 15 minutes EVERY day to a quick practice. I wonder- if I had started doing this a year ago, how much better would I be today? Man- I wish I had started a year ago!!! So why didn’t I? That’s the question.
I think the biggest obstacle we face is that life is geared toward putting out fires. Whatever your job is, you probably don’t have the luxury to pick and choose what you do each day. Sure, you get to pick SOME things – but a good part of your day is spent putting out fires. Maybe it is filing paperwork or returning calls – but it is something that has to be done right away. It has a deadline. The things that don’t have deadlines get pushed back.
Pick something off your long-term ToDo list and set a deadline. Promise yourself that you will start that project by the end of the week. Even if you have to get up 30 minutes early Friday morning or work an extra 30 minutes Thursday night – you will START the project by Friday. Write it down and tape it to your computer – then DO IT. Just start.
When I did my 40@Forty Project a few years ago, it was a great creative exercise. It was also an incredible exercise in self-discipline because I had to meet the Monday deadline every week. Deadlines can be a powerful motivator- even if they are made-up deadlines. Again, the key is to take the first step.
As you sit down with your ToDo list, I hope you will keep in mind this final quote from The Shawshank Redemption.
“It comes down to a simple choice, get busy living or get busy dying.”