No More Mondays…Stop Delaying, Start Doing
The excuse of delay is like a sour lemon. It looks pretty and tasty, but the taste of delay is actually sour. How many times have you found yourself deep in the excuse of delay? Delay sounds like..."I'll start Monday." "When I'm not so busy, I'll have time to cook healthy and workout." "I'll really make a change once the kids get bigger." "After the holidays, I'll focus on improving my eating habits."
Waiting for the "perfect" opportunity = DELAY. What if you stopped delaying and started doing? We have a few strategies to help you change your mindset from delaying to taking action.
"I'll start Monday."
We've all said it. "I'll start Monday." I'm guilty. You're likely guilty. Whether it's a lifestyle change, cleaning out and organizing the house, moving toward a goal set in January, or cutting a bad habit, we've all pulled the delay excuse. This is the classic, I'll start when ____________________ (fill in the blank). This is DELAY.
What's the big deal about delay? Well, for starters, it's not moving you forward. Time doesn't stand still. Time is always moving. Each day of delay is moving you further and further away from your goal. We have this habit of thinking we have to wait for the perfect moment to make the change that we want to make. We want everything to line up perfectly, and then we will change. The problem is, there is never a perfect moment, time, opportunity, or situation for you to make a change. Waiting for that perfect moment is a trap that will continue to set you back for as long as you let it. How is delaying instead of doing something NOW helping your situation? Do you really think that things will change so drastically from today to Monday that Monday will be the perfect day to 'start'? Absolutely NOT.
Do something, anything NOW.
With the sun rising on a new day, we often find it easy to convince ourselves that change is just too hard to do right now. However, it doesn't have to be that complicated. We don't have to go from off to on overnight. This all or nothing mentality when it comes to change is what traps us in delay, and delay equals zero progress. Instead of delaying, find something that you can do right now, today, this minute, that will move you forward. No decision, choice, or change is too small to make a difference. The small decisions and choices that you make day in and day out compound over time to make large changes.
Maybe your current situation looks a little like this....You aren't exercising as much as you want, and you know your eating habits could be better. You have been told by your doctor that you have elevated blood pressure, and maybe you are moving towards pre diabetes. You feel sluggish and tired. You are busy at work and at home, and you really have no time to make any changes. You do your best to cook, but you find yourself eating take out three to four nights a week.
If you look at tackling each of these things as a whole, the excuse of delay is going to come up over and over again. When work isn't so busy, when I can finally catch up on sleep, when the kids are out of school...when ________ happens, I'll do _________. Instead of falling into the trap of when, what if you decided to make a healthier choice when you picked up take out? Instead of the burger and fries, maybe you could get the burger on a lettuce wrap, skip the fries, and add a salad. Sure, it's a small choice, and it doesn't seem like much on Thursday, but you aren't delaying. That small choice is moving you forward. Instead of sitting at baseball practice or dance and looking through your phone or social media, what if you spent the 30 - 60 minutes walking? Again, it's a small action. But, you are taking ACTION. You are DOING. You are not delaying.
We can always do something to move us toward the changes we are seeking. The actions may seem small, but they add up. We can always make a better choice. It might not be a perfect choice, and our actions might not take us from zero to 100, but we are moving forward. If you are constantly pushing forward by making small, easy to do choices, you will make the change that you desire.
What would happen if you stopped delaying and just started doing?
The first strategy to overcoming delay is to recognize it. Pay attention. When you find yourself falling into the trap of "Monday" take charge. Own it.
Once you recognize your excuse, know that you can do something right NOW to move you forward. Stop thinking every change has to start with a big, life changing decision. Make a better choice, no matter how small or insignificant the choice seems. This better choice is moving you forward. Opt for water instead of a soft drink, order the salad instead of the fries, go for a walk instead of binging on Netflix, knock out one item on your to-do list instead of surfing the web. These are small choices that won't make a huge impact on your day, but done over time, they will pay big dividends.
Celebrate your wins. When you make a better choice, celebrate it. This builds momentum. It keeps you going. Celebrating even the smallest actions helps you continue to do those little things that are moving you forward.
Don't allow your circumstances to dictate your decisions. Maybe you really do have some great excuses. Maybe next Monday will be better. Even in some really bad circumstances, you can adopt the attitude, of "I can do something." By taking action, and not delaying, you are moving forward. You aren't allowing excuses to take over.
Just do something. Action, action, action. When you fall, pick back up. When you miss an opportunity, come back to the plate. Do something.
You've got this.
I heard this quote a few months ago, and it stuck with me. "Excuses are just lies wrapped up in reasons." What if we just stopped with the excuses? What if we stopped focusing on perfection, and started focusing on progress? What if we stopped waiting for Monday and decided at 1:32 pm on Thursday that we were going to make a better choice?
Stop saying "when" and start taking action right now, at this very moment. Don't wait for tomorrow or for your circumstances to change. Do something right now that will move you forward. Remember, it doesn't have to be big...just take one small step TODAY.
No more Mondays!