This is a guest post from Oli Lewington, Smile Through It
Monday is when everything starts. The diet, the great new habit, the exercise program. Everything we do, we always tell ourselves we’ll start on Monday. Do we? Sometimes. Does it stick? Rarely.
The January 1st Complex
Any entrepreneur in the health and fitness industry will tell you that their sales absolutely skyrocket in the first couple of weeks of January. Everyone blasts through the Christmas over-indulgence and sees the changing of the calendar as a fresh chance to start anew.
It’s understandable – the start of a new year is a natural point for us to pick to kick ourselves into gear.
When it comes to knuckling down to the hard work, whether for our health, our business or even our relationships, none of us want to start right now; we always pick a nice, natural kick-off point we can build toward.
Often, that’s January 1st. But in the mid-year months, it’s nearly always Monday.
Picking Your Moments
Way back in 2007, I received a life-saving double-lung transplant.
It’s impossible to quantify the impact it had on my life, but one of the phrases I most use when I’m speaking to business or charity audiences is that transplants and organ donation don’t just save lives, they change them completely.
I went from being on 24-hour oxygen and using a machine to help me breathe to running a mile in 11 minutes for the first time in my life. And that was just the first 5 months after my op.
When I was ill, my life was on hold – as morbid as it is, I was waiting around, trying to stay alive long enough for someone else to die so that I could have a second chance.
Not a day goes by when I don’t think about the person who lost their life and let me live and it’s hard to know I’ll never be able to thank them.
But now, my life is an open book, constantly being rewritten according to the rules I want to play by. I don’t have to wait for that moment to change everything, the power lies with me and me alone.
Avoiding The Monday Trap
That power, I have come to realize, lies in all of us. We each have control of our own lives and that simple first step we need to take to start living the way we want to can be taken whenever we choose.
The worst thing we can do (OK, maybe not, like, the worst ever, but you know what I mean) is to wait for Monday to come to get started.
There is never a good time to start a new habit.
There are always excuses.
If you really, truly want to start something, start it today. If it’s super late when you’re reading this (or when you make your decision to take action) I’ll cut you some slack and let you start in the morning.
Some people can’t bring themselves to act on the spur of the moment, just like that. If you absolutely, positively will not be able to bring yourself to take massive action or the smallest step today, then don’t set Monday as your start day.
Pick Tuesday or Wednesday.
Why? Because we both know you’re not going to start it at the weekend and Friday is basically the weekend anyway, which means Thursday is kind of already starting to wind down for the weekend and you can’t really start anything and… you get my drift. Endless excuses.
Select a day, a date, an hour, whatever you need to pick that you can write into your calendar and commit to
Taking the first step can be the hardest part, but don’t get in your own way by trying to start it on Monday.
Your life, lived your way, starts now. Go do it.
Oli Lewington, Smile Through It, is a digital creative – a writer, a filmmaker, photographer and digital specialist. He is also a double-lung transplant recipient and public speaker with an amazing and inspiring story to share with the world. You can connect with Oli on Twitter, Facebook, or through his website!
Related article: Procrastinating is dumb. Don’t do it.