The Problem with Someday
How many times have you heard yourself saying–someday I would like to … go on a trip, write a one-time gift to my favorite charity, get into shape, start a business, lose ten pounds, finish sewing that quilt, etc. I can’t tell you how many times I talked to people who said that someday they would write a book. The next words out of their mouth were why they couldn’t do it now. By the end of our conversation, I realized that that person probably never would write that book. Someday became the enemy of today for them. Someday is like yesterday and tomorrow. Someday never really comes.
Value Your Dream, Make it a Goal
The first thing you have to do is determine what your dreams are and if you’re willing to do what it takes right now to get those dreams accomplished. Are there things that you would rather be spending your time doing? My husband for instance, is perfecting happy driving a semi-truck all week and spending his free time watching Netflix, listening to music, kayaking on the river, and shooting pictures and videos that he puts on Flickr and YouTube. He had written a blog for a while decided that was not how he wanted to spend his time. He lives in the moment and is perfectly happy with his results.
What’s your dream? What is the one thing that you want to accomplish that you feel you don’t have time to do? Write it down. A dream doesn’t really become a goal until you write it down. Look at that goal every day. When can you start working on it? If the answer is not today, figure out what you can do to make today that day. Start by writing down the details of this dream. Get your senses involved. What does it look like, sound like, smell like, taste like, and feel like? Get as detailed as possible. Reach the point where the dream is as real as being there. If you cannot finish this part of your dream today because of prior time commitments, don’t let it stress you out. However, do look at what you do with your time and other resources. See if there is something that you can do to take a baby step toward that dream.
Make your dream one of your priorities. Laura McHugh, author of Weight of Blood, a novel about slave trafficking here in the Ozarks, took a year off from working and stayed home with her two preschool children to write the book. Yes, she had children and yes she had household responsibilities, but in between taking care of the children and cleaning house, she wrote her successful novel. She didn’t waste her day watching soap operas. She stayed to task and by the year’s end she had a winning product that agents and publishers were fighting over.
Value Your Time and Other Resources
Fight to protect the time and resources you want to devote to your dream. At first you may have to steal those moments and those resources, but do what you can today.
However, like exercise, don’t overdo it in the beginning. Ease into it so that your subconscious doesn’t rebel. Start new habits related to this dream by taking tiny baby steps. For instance, if your goal is a thinner, healthier body, rather than starting a diet today to help lose weight, begin to change your eating habits. One habit at a time, spend the next several weeks getting into the habits of eating breakfast, taking a kelp or vitamin tablet or capsule after that meal, drinking a glass of water before eating any meal and eat your protein and fat before your salad or carbs and take no less than twenty minutes to eat. Even if you never change the kinds of food you eat, you’ll still find you have better control of your weight. However, if you do decide to switch out unhealthy foods for healthy foods, you’ll be better able to continue the path to a healthier lifestyle.
If your day is filled with a job, taking kids to after-school activities, running errands, and doing housework, but your dream is to be a professional writer, you will no doubt have to get creative if you want to make that dream a reality. This goes for any ongoing dream that you have, you will have to carve out the time and resources that you need if you will ever make this dream a reality.
You could simply wait until your children are grown and out of the house, but why wait? Can you find fifteen minutes every morning to work on your first book? Do you realize that if you type 40 words per minute you can write an entire book in a year? If you have a smart phone, you can work even when you’re nowhere near your computer. Get the app Evernote on your phone and computer and when you’re out doing errands, waiting for your children at their school or after school activity, whenever you think of something to add to your book, add a note, a voice recorded note, or even photo that of a person who you could use to help describe a character. Even if you’re nowhere near your phone you can still work on your book in your mind. After your fifteen minutes at the computer is over, decide which aspect of the book you will focus your attention. Then whenever you are working around the house, driving on the freeway, or showering take a few minutes to think about what you will write about next. Authors like Thoreau and Twain have been doing this same thing for hundreds of years. Smart phones and computers make it easier today than ever before.
Whatever your dream, whether it is to lose those excess pounds, write a book, save for retirement or whatever, don’t wait for someday. Today is your day!