What are you waiting for?
Start now. There’s no reason not to.
If you’re anything like me, you might have a handful of legitimate reasons why you can’t charge full throttle at every dream, both big and small, that you have right now. You’re don’t want to shortchange your students or your colleagues. You are soaking up all the seconds with your family. You are
keeping up with homeownership struggling to remember the last time you washed the floor, never mind a window. Life is busy.
That’s not an excuse. It’s a reason. Being busy with prior commitments and having priorities means that some things have to wait.
But not everything.
And yet. We wait. We push pause, placing dreams and plans and goals on hold. Why? If you’re anything like moi, the not-so-legitimate reason that you put things off is this: The calendar says you can.
It’s already the 3rd of the month, guess I can wait until next month to give meditation a go again for the 139473163152 time. A coworker just talked me into eating a bagel for breakfast. Well, no sense in eating well at lunch; I’ll try again tomorrow. Pinterest says fitness gurus never miss a Monday, and I did, so maybe working out isn’t for me.
If I’m being totally honest, I wasn’t even going to do a post on setting any goals for the month or this quarter simply because when the post goes live, it won’t be the beginning of the month. It will be Q4 and a few days. I figured I would put it off again.
That’s one way to move through time without really going anywhere.
But let’s not wait. Let’s not wait for the start of the year, the month, the week, or the day. Let’s start now. There’s no reason not to.
It is easy for me to say the whole Start Today thing, but it is something else entirely for me to follow through with it. So instead of presenting advice as the sage expert that I most certainly am not, I thought I’d share my microgoals for the next twelve weeks. After that, I’ll let you know how I did. ::gulp::
Figure out my take-home pay.
After my unpaid maternity leave and the subsequent school year, my pay has finally be reinstated in full. But I also found out how I can send some cents (OK, I rounded up to a few dollars) to a literacy program in my district. And the icing on the cake is that my district is in the midst of processing my paperwork for my third graduate program. Pay bump! Pay bump! I hope to end the calendar year with a better idea of exactly what I’ll be taking home each month.
RELATED POST: National Boards: The Money Behind Being Better at Teaching
Go to sleep.
There is no fancy explanation here. For 39 weeks of my pregnancy, I got terrible sleep. For the first 55 weeks of my son’s life, I got terrible sleep. Now, HP sleeps pretty well. F.I.N.A.L.L.Y. Me, though? I seem to have forgotten how to sleep for more than four or five hours. It is killing me. It is also forcing me to wear undereye concealer. Yuck.
Keep saying no.
No matter how badly I crave balance and slowness and simplicity in my life, I always end up making more commitments than I should. Surprisingly, I’ve really held stedy to my intention to only side hustle when I can’t be spending time with HP. The trick will be to see if I can actually continue to turn down offers to tutor in the afternoons. Time will tell.
Recalibrate our savings.
Full disclosure: I don’t have an emergency fund. I have one giant savings account that is getting pretty close to having too much cash in it. I know. #notsohumblebrag But actually, it is kind of foolish to lock up more money than we need when we could put it toward retirement or our mortgage. So it’s time for me to take a hard look at how much money we really need in that account.
RELATED POST: Why I Prefer Extra Income to Emergency Funds
Final Thoughts on Starting Today
My to-do list is short. This list does not include all of my dreams and goals and aspirations. But it includes things that are important to me: my time, my family, my health, and my money. I may not be able to conquer the world in the next few weeks, but I’m going to conquer something. And I’m going to start today.
So Tell Me…Do you ever experience Start Tomorrow Syndrome? What are you going to start today?
Heck yes. Just this morning. I want to start a better morning routine, and yet, I am very comfortable with my coffee + blog reading time. I was going to start an exercise plan, and here I am reading blogs again. BUT, I do get a LOT out of reading blogs. Would I get a lot out of exercising? Yes. But maybe starting it during my blog time isn’t quite right…
I definitely think that’s part of it, too. Finding the right time in your day is important. But for me, I have to at least start trying. Otherwise, I never start.
There’s so much truth to this. I’m a master procrastinator but when I actually get started with a project I can get a lot accomplished. Thanks for the reminder that anytime is a good time to start!
We really can accomplish a lot, can’t we?
Despite what I put in my FinCon recap post, my #1 takeaway was I need to stop being lazy. That’s true for the blog, for my diet & exercise, for work, and for friendships.
Champagne & Capital Gains has me convinced to bring FinCon Josh back to Regular Life Josh, and I’m excited to see how much life improves by giving a damn and taking steps forward every day. Even baby steps count!
Oh penny. You always know just what post I need!
I wrote down a ton of goals in my planner this morning. Ok, well two big ones, but they seem like a million.
I’m the worst with setting a goal, and then ONE SLIP UP derails everything. 🙁 trying to fix that!
Me too, friend. Me tooooooo! Here’s to crushing it, no matter the timetable!
It’s easy enough for me to put things off — especially exercise and being on a diet — so I have to make my schedule flexibly rigid. Which is to say that I need to start my workout some time between 11 and 1. If I don’t, it doesn’t get done, so it forces me to stick to a relatively rigid (but still a bit flexible) schedule. And I need to only take one free day each week to eat whatever I want (within reason). Once that’s done for the week, I have to get back on the straight and narrow. This means that even if I have a bad eating day, it’s fine to start again the next day rather than waiting til the beginning of a new week.
And as for getting things done, I just aim to knock 1-2 tasks off my list each day. Doesn’t matter which ones because the system means I’ll get around to the things that matter within a few days. It keeps me from procrastinating (for too long).
I love the idea of quarterly goals! I usually make goals (or resolutions) in the new year, and they are long gone by April. Okay, February 😉 So why not start over in the 4th quarter? There are plenty of football games won with just minutes to spare. I’m going to take a good, hard look at the things I wanted to accomplish this year, and get down to the task of working on them. If I complete them, great! If not, at least I am one step closer. Thanks for the kick in the pants!
(says Frogdancer Jones, awake at 4 AM writing this…)
Must turn off the laptop and get back to sleep. It’s only on 8% battery.
Apologize in advance for the morbid tidbit…This post has inspired me. I wanted a medical giving fund for my mom’s final years with residual going to charities after she is done. Dragged my feet for years but I am opening a brokerage account today. Thanks for the I aspiration Penny
You’re welcome. And it’s morbid but it’s also not, you know?
I haven’t talked about this at all because I’m not really ready to yet, but I lost a coworker very unexpectedly. So I’ve been thinking a lot about what I would want my (very small) legacy to be for my students and my school if something were to happen. Morbid but important.
Happy I could help!
Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life
Some things I put off perpetually, some things I make myself do immediately worrying that I’ll put it off forever. It somehow works, mostly.
Know thyself, right? 🙂
I’m starting to really know me. And for someone who gets such a rush from accomplishing tasks well before deadlines, I am very bad at getting started on personal work.
Britt @ Tiny Ambitions
I can relate to this so much!! I recently had an idea for the podcast that I absolutely loved. But, for some reason, I just couldn’t commit to actually putting it on paper. ‘oh, I’ll do it tomorrow and etc”. Well yesterday, I finally got around to doing a honest to goodness brainstorming session and out everything down on paper. It was literally only a page long, but I felt like I’d conquered the world!
Okay, so I’m shutting off the laptop and going to do my morning stretch!!
Also, you can retrain yourself to sleep somewhat better. Lots of info on how to do this, it’s kind of important but not to be a downer, sleep is never 100% back to your old days once you have a kid, sorry but true?
Now off to stretch!!!
Not a downer! I need the honesty 🙂 Even if I won’t sleep the same, I know I can do better.
Oh man, I can relate to this!! My son is now 2.5 years old and sleeps well at night but for me, I’ve been only getting 4-6 hours a night because he wakes me up in the middle of the night!! Sometimes I half jokingly tell friends and family that I haven’t slept since he was born. On those rare occasions I get 7-8 hours, I feel so relieved that I got that much.
I’ve been pushing off mediation as well. I always tell myself that I will do at thirty minutes of it a night but I end up doing something else like browse on my phone to watch youtube videos. I think your post is telling me I need to start like….now!!! Thanks for this Penny!
Thanks for the reminder that I’m not alone, Kris!