Well, I’m just going to go ahead and start it. I committed to do the thing that matters to me for the next 40 days. And I had plenty of reasons not to do it today and one major reason to do it anyway, and that’s what I want to share with you today.
My good intentions: Since I proved to myself yesterday (or, more accurately, had it pointed out to me by my super-coach) that I was capable of getting up at 5:30 AM to do something I didn’t actually want to do (go to a networking meeting), then wouldn’t it be interesting to get up that early to do the thing I most want to do in my life that I can never seem to find time for?
Um, yes. That would make sense.
So I went to bed a little earlier than usual, and then woke up a lot earlier than usual, and was really proud of myself. Then I realized my throat was hurting and I was probably catching the miserable cold my husband has so I reset the alarm and went back to sleep. Then I woke up, still felt sick, and hit snooze. And then I finally got up and took my son to the bus stop and went by my dad’s apartment to look at the picture of the entertainment center he wants to buy and then my internet didn’t work, and I felt mildly guilty for putting my daughter in front of Angelina Ballerina while I tried to work, and my head was full of all of the other things that had to get done before I started my day, so I made peace with it and got them done and went off to my client.
Then I had another meeting, and led a workshop where I taught other people how to get to the most important things on their lists, and then I went hunting for Kickass Cold Remedy so I could stop my cold before it got full-blown, but I couldn’t find it. I was kind of out of it, so what was supposed to be a 15-minute shopping trip turned into an hour and when I got home my husband was not so happy about this, especially since he’d apparently tried to call me several times to ask me to come home, but it turned out that although I’d made a point of telling him that I had my phone with me, I had not made a point of turning the ringer back on after shutting it off for my workshop. Oops.
He suggested that I didn’t call to let him know how late I was running because I didn’t want him to tell me to come home, and there is something to that. Sometimes I just need some time for myself. And he gets that, he needs it too. But that doesn’t mean this is the most considerate way to get it. So then we had what I consider to be a very mature argument about all of this and I got to practice thinking clearly without getting defensive and also got to practice showing the kids what healthy arguing looks like so they don’t think that arguing is bad or that it signifies the end of the marriage.
Anyway, lots of other stuff happened that’s just regular, everyday stuff in my life—getting the kids to bed, searching for the labels I bought at Staples that seem to have disappeared into thin air, talking to a friend who needed to talk—and it got later and later and every nook I’d carved out for doing my Thing That Matters got swallowed up or handed over and now I was left with a choice: Put it off or just start.
No one was really going to know, other than my coach, if I told her the truth. I wasn’t breaking a pattern by skipping a day of something I’d already started, I could just push it off another day, couldn’t I? Didn’t I have good reasons? Legitimate reasons?
And then I understood that that was exactly the pattern I wanted to break—saying, “Tomorrow. I’ll do it tomorrow.” All of these reasons sounded good, sounded legitimate. No one would really argue with me or tell me I was ridiculous or frivolous in choosing to do the things I’d chosen to do. BUT my Thing That Actually Matters wouldn’t have gotten done, and I would know it. I would walk around with that knowledge, that one more day had passed and I hadn’t started, hadn’t moved it forward, and that would be one less tomorrow that I’d have to do it.
So I did what I’ve been teaching my clients to do: Just Start.
And it feels pretty good. This is the beginning of my Thing That Matters. I did it.