Once in a while, we sit down and try to figure out what we need to start doing. We ponder our past actions and their results, where we are right now, and what we should do next.
While these are logical steps to take, we neglect the fact that putting more things into our lives means we have to take out other components. After all, we only have so much time and energy in the day. And in order to make space for what we want to do, we need to discard our bad habits first.
Give up daydreaming about the future.
Research has found that fantasizing about an idealized future decreases energy levels, giving you less motivation to actually pursue those daydreams. So when does picturing the future become detrimental, and when is it helpful?
Think of the difference between the two as fantasizing versus envisioning. When you fantasize, you imagine something so distant from reality it’s difficult or impossible to take action. Envisioning the future, on the other hand, is about seeing realistic possibilities of where your everyday actions can lead you. When you can differentiate between the two, you learn how to move forward versus pretending that you are.
Give up looking for a reason to get started.
We fall into the trap of thinking there’s a perfect time to pursue a goal. Maybe we wait until our careers have reached a certain point, we’ve accumulated enough money, or someone has given us the permission to do so. And while certain conditions are better than others, the stars aren’t going to align to create the perfect scenario.
Someone I knew once said that there is never a perfect time to start a family because something always gets in the way. Similarly, there’s never a perfect time to start working on your idea, trying something new, or picking up a skill. The best time to start is now. Along the way, you’ll make mistakes and keep learning.
Give up waiting for your situation to change.
Being stuck in a rut can lead to a vicious cycle. You feel down, so you don’t do anything to change your situation, which makes you feel even worse. Once you get into this cycle, all the components of your life begin to weigh each other down.
If you’re feeling trapped, focus on just one thing you can work on today. Before you can run, you need to walk. Improve one small component of your life first.