We’re 18 days into the year. What have you done so far? What progress have you made?
Are you saying to yourself, “Well, it’s still early,” or are you saying, “Whoa, we’re 18 days in! I’ve got to get moving!” If you want to make the most of this great year you have in front of you, it better be the second thing.
I’m assuming you’ve already decided on your direction for the year. If not, read this or this. Consider your direction, and then use these three insights to motivate you to get off START and make progress now.
Any Activity Is Better Than No Activity, so Start Bushwhacking
I spend half the year in Colorado. I’m a photographer and go hiking in the mountains to find great shots. I’ve learned that when you do, you’ve got three options.
- You can hike on the established paths. Sometimes that works, but I’m seeing the same things everybody else is seeing.
- You can follow the animal paths. They’re pretty clear and they’ll take you to some good, isolated spots. You just have to be careful you aren’t following a bear.
- But if you want to get somewhere spectacular and you don’t see any paths, you just have to start bushwhacking. Trail blaze.
If you’re feeling stuck because the path isn’t clear, start bushwhacking.
Go with your best bet. Make a judgment call. You’ll be able to redirect pretty quickly if you need to.
You’ll Only Learn What You Need to Learn Once You’re in Motion
A friend of mine wanted to travel with her young family. The kids hadn’t been out of the country before. They planned a big two-country, six-week trip. She told me that as soon as she bought the plane tickets, she was terrified.
But she kept at it, figuring out the logistics, figuring out the best things to do with the kids, on and on. It was hard.
Guess what she told me last week? “Now, I could plan a trip like that in a week rather than two months.” She learned so much doing it the first time—kids can have frequent flyer accounts, apartments and houses are a lot cheaper than hotels, etc.—she’s ready to tackle any kind of trip now.
For any goal, you’re going to have to do some things over and over to get to the finish line. Every time you do those things, you’ll learn and improve.
It doesn’t matter if you don’t have all the answers yet. Stumbling forward is 100 times better than sitting still.
By now, you should have some clues about how to get where you’re trying to go. Follow those. Learn. Adjust.
Stop Waiting for the Perfect Plan
There’s no such thing as a perfect plan, so don’t get stuck in the planning stage waiting for it to appear.
As soon as you start moving, you’ll learn and then you’ll adjust. Your plan will give you a sense of direction. You’re never going to be able to map every step.
Be honest with yourself: Have you really got your year kicked off yet? Are you on track to be where you want to be at the end of the month, the quarter, the year? If not, let’s go! It’s time to get moving!