The Hard Work of Getting Started
Sometimes all we have to do is decide.
“Do. Or do not. There is no try. “ —Yoda
I’ve never actually watched Star Wars (I know, I’m sorry), but I love this quote, and I think it applies to many aspects of our lives.
I’ve been “trying” to master a regular exercise routine for most of my adult life. And I actually like exercise, which makes this self-made predicament a little extra stupid. Apparently I like sleep, the Gilmore Girls, and excuses more because somehow, a daily or—even an every other day—routine has yet to make it on my calendar.
How many times do we say, “I’ll try to do that” or “I’ll try to get to it”?
- I should try to get up early and exercise before work.
- I should try to eat better.
- I should try to get out of debt.
- I should try to save more money.
- I should try to lose ten pounds.
- I should try to work on my marriage.
Instead of feeling guilty about these goals we keep skipping out on, what if I simply made a decision? And then actually did them?
Dave Ramsey is my personal financial hero and the person who changed my life when it came to my finances, and he tells his listeners all the time to just decide. I think there is power in that, because when we say, “I’ll try,” we’ve already given ourselves an out. If we’re tired, if we don’t feel like, fill-in-the-if, well, we didn’t really commit, so it’s okay. We don’t have to.
But what amazing parts of life are we missing out on because we won’t decide? I think there is power in saying, “I will do . . .” because suddenly, we’ve made a decision. An act of our will has committed to something. Our hearts, minds, and words collide with a promise that we are going to do it. And it feels cruddy to break a promise, even if it’s to yourself.
If you’re reading this because you’re interested in personal finances, it’s possible you have some goals you keep setting to the side or some things you haven’t really committed to. We get that. We’ve been there too. And we’ve made decisions to do better. They’ll still be times we falter, mess it up, or don’t quite hit the goal. That’s okay. Everything gets a little easier when you have a destination or a goal you are aiming for. If you want something to change, money or otherwise, here are three simple things to keep in mind:
- Make a decision.
- Learn and make plan.
- Get to work.
Life is much better spent when lived on purpose. Here’s to good decisions and cheering each other on.