Have you ever found yourself saying something along the lines of:
“I’m too busy right now, I’ll do ___ when things calm down.”
(“I’m too busy right now, I’ll get back on track with sleep once I finish this work project.”)
“I just need to do ___ first, then I can do ___.”
(“I just need to lose a few pounds, then I’ll sign up for those dance lessons.”)
“Once ___ happens, then I can___.”
(“Once the kids go off to college, then I can start investing in my own self-care.”)
I’m pretty sure every one of us has told ourselves some version of this story at one time or another. I know I've done it many times in the past:
I’ll start working out this summer, when I’m done with school.
I’ll start eating better when I’m living by myself and can do my own grocery shopping.
I’ll create better boundaries with my work schedule after I get a few more clients.
It’s the classic “I’ll start on Monday” or New Year’s Resolution promise we make to ourselves, assuming that a certain point in time will magically make it easier for us to implement a change.
But let’s be honest: there is never going to be a perfect time. Life will always be there to throw something else the way, and if you’re waiting to start something that you know is going to be challenging (as most change is), it’s always going to feel like the wrong time.
(Our brains are very good at coming up with reasons for why we should maintain the status quo and avoid making a change. After all, it is your brain’s job to protect you from the unknown and potentially dangerous things out there!)
Sometimes we are waiting until life feels less hectic. But when has life ever felt totally calm and under control? If you always waited until the time felt just exactly right to make your move, chances are many of the things you’ve accomplished in your life would not have happened.
Other times, we think we need to gather more information: “Once I figure out the perfect exercise plan or find the right gym, then I’ll be ready” - but that’s often just a tactic for procrastination. We feel like we are moving forward, when we are actually still in the same exact place in the end. Real change comes from action, not information.
Or maybe we are waiting for motivation to kick us into gear. But the truth is, we might never be totally motivated to make certain changes or try new things. Taking action before you feel ready is what ultimately provides the motivation you’re looking for.
Bottom line: there is never a perfect time to start.
Life will inevitably throw something in the way or try to derail your plans. And even if there were a time when things were “perfect,” you’d only be learning how to do the thing when conditions are ideal. When those ideal conditions no longer exist, that change you made falls apart.
Let’s say you go on vacation: suddenly you’re getting a solid 8 hours of sleep every night, waking up feeling rested and ready to go. There’s no alarm to jolt you out of bed in the morning, you’re more relaxed during the day, and everything is working in your favor for a good night's sleep.
But as soon as you get home, real life intervenes – there’s laundry to do, errands to run, and that 6am wake up call. That sleep routine you had on vacation just doesn’t translate into the context of your normal, everyday life.
Instead of waiting until the timing feels right, make the change fit into your life as it is right now. Build the skills and systems that will allow you to start moving towards your goals in whatever way is possible at this very moment. Even the teeny, tiniest steps are moving you in the right direction.
Now is the time to start moving forward.
That thing you’ve been waiting to do, putting off, or saving for another day? There’s no time like the present: If there is never a perfect time to start, it’s also always the perfect time to start!
Have you been holding off on making a change in your life because “it’s not the right time?” What can you do today that gets you started, no matter what else is going? What is a manageable step you can take that moves you towards your goal?
...for your free 30-minute consultation call or visit https://calendly.com/meganfschall/consultation-call to get started!