"If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done." -Ecclesiastes 11:4.
Seriously, how did I not know that verse existed? The bible endlessly amazes me because of how every situation is covered somewhere in the book.
I, too often, find myself saying I will start that as soon as I finish school, or as soon as I get married. As soon as I pay off my student loans, the list goes on. People tell me they would like to start running when the weather warms up, or eating more vegetables when they are in season. "I would be a lot more generous if I had more money." "I'd be nicer to people if I had a better family." Any of those sound familiar? We could all think of something that might make a situation better, but when are we going to take action for ourselves? In New York, when Anna and I were waiting in long lines and freezing we played a game of "what would make this situation worse?" Like, "we are standing in the cold, but being wet would make this worse"...The opposite game---"What would make this situation better" wasn't quite as fun. I think it's human nature to dwell on situations we wish we could change. And, for most of us, we like to think we would change them if only the conditions were right for change.
In reality, what are we waiting for? Perfect conditions that don't exist? Maybe, if we want to see change, we should start initiating change in the ever-existing imperfect conditions.
That bible verse made me think about New Year's resolutions and the hope that people share for change in the beginning of the year. I have spent the past week silently observing people and their new found health goals. I genuinely love the excitement and enthusiasm people have at the beginning of the year. There is just something about the new year that brings a clean, fresh start for so many people hoping to make a lasting change. As a dietitian, I thrive on people's ability to make changes that stick. I love hearing new goals, new steps that they will take to get there and my favorite of all---the look of "I got it!" after a diabetes education for a child who's family was seriously stressed! Seeing someone's face light up when they figure out what they need to do is what keeps me coming back every day. I only wish people held onto their excitement.
It seems like sometime around March people lose hope. Is it because spring is in the air but some have yet to change the habits they hate the most? Or pick up that exercise routine they were waiting to start in the new year? Are we still waiting for the right time to begin? Discouragement sets in and the negative self talk comes back. Some say, I am going to start eating better when we have more time. Truth: you will never have more time. There will never be a better time than right now. So, go ahead, make your resolutions, write them down, and be sure to use the SMART goal format... but most importantly, stick to them. If you have a bad day, don't give up! If you eat a cookie too many, move on. Get right back on track the next day and remember that there will never be perfect conditions. In the words of Nike...Just do it.
What motivates you to get things done?