Waiting for the fish to bite or waiting for wind to fly a kite. Or waiting around for Friday night or waiting perhaps for their Uncle Jake or a pot to boil or a better break or a string of pearls or a pair of pants or a wig with curls or another chance. Everyone is just waiting.– Dr. Seuss
Do you want change? How long will you wait for it to happen without you? For anything to happen there must first be a personal action.
I’m a great procrastinator at times. I know what I want to happen. I know what it will take to make it happen. Yet I wait. Why?
It’s been said that one person can make a difference, and if you want to change the world, change yourself first. While that may rely a little too much on the Pollyanna principle, it makes sense. A personal change for the better is certainly a good thing and can spread to others.
But sometimes we wait, or put things off, because we’re lazy, or overwhelmed by the task, or fearful we won’t succeed. What does it take to get ourselves going? Because nothing will happen unless we do.
The sluggard does not plow in the autumn; he will seek at harvest and have nothing–Proverbs 20:4.
Yes, happening things take time. No one builds a house in a day. A business doesn’t start off amazingly successful in its first week. An education can take twelve plus years. But each of these require a first step, a starting point–an action. Otherwise they are only wishes blown in the air.
We must take that action, whatever it is.
Here are ten things to get us moving, presented by Marcia Eckerd, Ph.D. on Psychology Today. They’re not instant, she says, but at least helpful:
1. Create a deadline you must meet. I set up a meeting that requires me to finish a report and use panic to get me going.
2. It’s common knowledge, but it works – go on your diet or exercise routine with a friend.
3. Break the task into smaller pieces and reward yourself when you actually finish a piece. (Snickers is my reward of choice.) It helps to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
4. Work somewhere outside of home so the usual distractions aren’t there. Or make your work area as distraction-free as possible.
5. Get started even if it’s a gesture. Often, that’s the hump that’s hardest to hurdle.
6. Actually look at your to-do list. Take off anything non-essential, and set a time to start on one thing. The size of the list may scare you away.
7. Talk to yourself, although not out loud if you’re somewhere public. Repeat to yourself: “I have set a priority.” If you feel pulled to do errands or check e-mail, you have set a priority.
8. Organize the bills/papers/supplies you need to do your task. You’re less likely to wander away if you have everything together.
9. Set a time when you must sit down, and don’t allow yourself to do anything else for at least a half hour. You might start out of boredom.
10. Figure out a time to do what you need to do and stick to it. As crazy as it sounds, I lift weights before I go to bed. It’s the only consistent time I can manage.”
It’s very possible those ten things will be helpful, but what must happen first is a deeply felt, deliberate, and personal step by you and I to make a difference in what we see as wrong for us individually, as Americans, and as Children Created by God.