When I think I have good reasons for not getting stuff done it’s sometimes hard for me to admit I’m really just making excuses.
But no more. Time to get to work.
No more excuses.
I’m working on a new book. Non-fiction. It’s part commentary about aging and part memoir about my journey to menopause.
The thing is, I wrote the first draft 3 years ago.
I wrote it in hopes that my experience would help other women better navigate what can be a very confusing time.
But then I put the manuscript on a shelf and left it there.
For 3 years. (Did I already mention that?)
There are a few reasons I chose to get back to it:
- I still think my story might help other women or at least give them something to think about.
- There’s value in the message.
- Re-writing/editing the manuscript is do-able, even if it may be difficult.
So I decided to get back to it and have given myself until April 2021 to publish.
I made that commitment this past April, thinking, Oh yeah. That’s plenty of time.
And just like that, 2 months have passed.
I have been working on it, but it’s pretty slow going. Even when I was stuck at home in COVID quarantine with no place to go, no people to see, and not much else going on, I chipped away at it very slowly.
This has all helped me realize a few things about what I need to do to improve my results and meet my goals.
These realizations may help you, too.
Decide whether you really want to do it.
Projects kept on the “back burner” don’t get done. Of course it’s important to prioritize and you may have to shift things around now and then.
But if you really want to do that thing you’ve left on the back burner, you’re going to have to move it to the front burner eventually.
I left my manuscript on a shelf in my office without looking at it. For 3 years! If it was ever going to be finished I had to pull it off the shelf, read it, and decide, Yes, I still want to do this.
But this goes for anything you say you want to do. If you’re waiting for the perfect time to do X, and are just waiting for “someday,” it won’t happen because “Someday never comes.”
It’s okay to change your mind about stuff you thought you wanted to do. But if there’s truly something you want to do, you have to decide to do it, then get to work.
Which leads me to my next point.
Make a plan.
Time races by. It’s important to have a plan to do the things you really want to do. Even a loose plan is better than no plan.
I find I work a lot better when I have a clear idea of what I’m going to be doing and when I’ll be doing it. And I have to write it down in a calendar, planner, journal. Something.
I came across a journal in which I’d written my New Year’s goals several years ago. In 2015, I wrote that my physical fitness goal was to do 100 double-unders unbroken (double-unders are fast–you jump rope with 2 turns of a rope instead of 1).
That goal is funny to me now because I said I wanted it, even wrote it down.
But I didn’t make a plan to meet my goal.
Had I really wanted it, I would have practiced several times a week, gotten coached on the skill, set intermittent milestones throughout the year, so that on December 31, 2015, I had a good shot at setting up and knocking out a hundred double-unders with no problem.
Didn’t happen. Not even close.
No plan, no good.
Give it time.
If there’s something you really want to do that you’ve put on the back burner, take a peek at it now and then. Maybe you can’t be all in at the moment, but are there little things you can do here and there to prepare for when you can?
Most things take time and preparation. You may have to take a class, read up on the subject, do some research, start with trial and error. Expect it to take time.
No more excuses.
Anytime I come up with “reasons” I don’t do what I say I want to do, even though some of those reasons may be pretty significant obstacles, I have to see them for what they are…excuses.
Jim Rohn said, If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse.
When I make excuses for not sticking to my plan or continuing to put things on the back burner, I have to ask myself, if I really want to do this, then what’s keeping me from doing it?
At that point I can begin to discover what obstacles are keeping me from reaching my goal. Often, it’s some internal obstacle stemming from self-doubt or fear. Or maybe I don’t really want it that bad.
And that’s okay, too, because it frees me up to do the things I really want to do.
Now it’s time for me to plan my work and then work my plan. No more excuses.
How about you? Is there something you really want to do but have put it on the back burner for someday? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!
Read more about setting goals on the blogpost: Create your vision and dare to dream big