"I can't start becoming healthier this week, work is just too crazy and I've got a big launch coming up!"
"Between running the kids to soccer games and dance classes, I just don't have time to focus on myself right now"
"I'll definitely make time for my health and fitness when life calms down."
Guess what? Life never calms down. Just when you think you've got it all figured out and life is going smoothly, it never fails-- you hit a bump in the road.
Countless clients have come to me with these excuses before. And I don't blame them at all. I have totally waited for the "perfect time" to do things in the past too. Many of us wait for the "perfect time" when it comes to our health, family decisions (is it the right time to get married or have a child?), and life decisions (is it the right time to jobs or move?).
This way of all-or-nothing thinking, as in, "if I don't do this perfectly then it's worthless," rarely gets us anywhere, and actually tends to get us nowhere.
As humans, why are we always waiting for the perfect time in life?
For some, it's a good distraction and justification. It helps you avoid doing real, and sometimes scary and risky, work.
"When I lose 20 pounds, I'll __________." When you say these types of statements to yourself, you avoid doing any of the work now and put it all in the future.
For others, it's about being perfect, and saving yourself from embarrassment, failure, or criticism from others.
"I could ______, but _______."
Unfortunately, this type of thinking keeps us exactly as we are, and prevents us from thriving, growing, and becoming the person we know we have the potential to be.
There is no perfect time, and there never will be.
Sure, there may be a magic moment for you along the ride or the universe comes together. You know what I'm talking about, it's happened to all of us before. You're out running while wearing your favorite workout clothes, your favorite jam comes on, traffic seems light, the weather is perfect to be outside running, and you finish your run in record time.
Believe me, magic moments like that do you happen, but they happen and way less often than the bumps in the road. Celebrate these perfect moments when they come, but be sure as heck to not wait for them.
For all of those moments when the universe doesn't align beautifully, let's talk about ways that you can CREATE the perfect moment, and actually get started on your goals!
1. Just start. At the very beginning.
The most important decision to get you to your goal is taking the first step. You have everything you need to get to your goals, you just have to get past the excuses.
If you just can't seem to get started, you're jumping to far ahead and trying to bite off more than you can chew. Try to make your "start" a little smaller. If you're trying to lose weight, make one small change to your diet every week. Or, if you're considering looking for a new job, start with making one small update your resume every day. As long as SOMETHING is moving, you've started.
If it helps you get started, try to make your goal smaller and more manageable. For example, if you're trying to lose 20 pounds, focus on losing the first 5 pounds. if your goal is to get a new job, make your first goal updating your resume.
2. Be prepared for roadblocks
Let me be the first to say, there WILL be roadblocks along the journey to your goal! That day will happen where you're trying to eat healthier at lunch, and then a business lunch pops up where all they serve is pizza and breadsticks. Or, that night will happen when you're trying to update one thing on your resume every night, and your friends surprise you with tickets to the movies.
Don't use your roadblocks as an excuse to fall off the bandwagon, but use them to motivate yourself to be better! When that business pizza lunch happens, try to eat a little healthier at dinner that night instead. Or, the day after your movie night with friends, try to update two things on your resume.
3. Remember results don't happen overnight!
Sometimes, I wish we lived in the world of Harry Potter, where all you had to do was wave a magic wand and you're goal would be completed. Do you ever feel this way too?
Remember to be realistic with yourself. It may take weeks, months, or even years for your goals to happen! Focus on progress, not perfection. Try not to think of your goal in black-and-white terms, but more on a gradient scale. Do one thing every single day that put you in a little bit closer to your long-term goals.
4. Shift your priorities so that they align with your goals
Before you even start working towards your goals, ask yourself why you want to hit that goal. Write your why down, so it can remind you when ever you start to lose motivation.
When you start to lose motivation, check in with your priorities. How can you subtly shift your priorities so that your goal becomes one?
I'm not suggesting that you quit paying attention at work, or you become so focused on losing weight that you forget about your kids at home. Instead, maybe you use your lunch break at work to visit a Starbucks or Panera to work on your resume. Or, you cook healthy meals with your kids so that you can spend time with them, teach them about healthy meals, and make meals that supports your weight loss goal! Boom! You can kill three birds with one stone there.
5. Get support to help you hit your goals!
As we've learned, starting the journey towards hitting your goals can be terrifying. This doesn't mean you need to do it alone. Find the support of a mentor, a family member, a friend, or a community that will help you with all of obstacles mentioned above.
If one of your goals is to lose weight or become healthier, join my free Facebook community! This network of women is a great way to help you stay accountable, motivated, and inspired to reach your goals!
Share with us below, have you ever experienced waiting for the perfect time before hitting your goals?