Stop Waiting for the “Perfect Time”. Make Changes Right Now.
“I really need to make positive changes in my life. I’ll just get through the holiday season and then it will be the perfect time to start.”
Does this sound familiar?
Are you constantly waiting for the “perfect time” to make something happen?
It’s amazing how often I hear this from people, and not just in relation to their health and fitness goals.
Human beings have a natural inclination to adopt an all-or-nothing mentality — we tell ourselves that if we can’t do something perfectly, it’s worthless to even bother with it.
Do you ever hear any of these conversations in your head?
If I can’t drop 25 pounds this month, there’s no reason to eat a salad instead of a cheeseburger.
I can’t take a fancy trip, so it's not worth wasting the vacation days to recharge at home.
Once I get a better job, I’ll start paying down debt.
I’ll start going to the gym when my schedule is less busy.
This way of thinking creates a constant cycle of waiting — next week, next month, next year it will finally be the right time to start.
But without jumping in to take the risk — and being willing to get uncomfortable and potentially fail — we rarely accomplish the “all”.
Instead, we sit back, wait, and set ourselves up for the “nothing”.
The “perfect time” is probably never coming.
Look, maybe I’m wrong. Maybe you’ll have that magical moment where the stars align for the change-making to start.
You’ll return rested from your Fiji vacation, with another two weeks to spend at home (after all, you’ve been saving those vacation days)...
Your house will be clean, your fridge will be full of healthy food, and you’ll have your favorite leggings because the laundry is all caught up...
No one will need you to take them anywhere or get them anything...
And out of nowhere your favorite hype song comes on the radio...
The Universe is telling you it’s “time”.
(Who am I to say it couldn’t happen? But I wouldn’t hold your breath.)
Here’s the reality — no amount of wishing, hoping, or divine intervention is going to give you the moments you need to make a change.
If you want them, you’re going to have to take them. It’s up to you to make those moments happen.
But just because there might not be a “perfect time”, that doesn’t mean there isn’t a right time. In fact, the right time is always there, just waiting for you to take it.
The right time is now.
Because that’s all you’re ever going to get, folks. This moment, right now, to make things happen.
Seriously, just start.
It really is as simple as that. You just have to start, right this moment.
And you know what comes next? The next moment, and the one after that. And before you know it, you’ve strung together this whole period of time that is propelling you towards your goal.
“But Jared, that’s the problem! I can’t get started!”
If that’s what you’re saying, you’re already already getting ahead of yourself.
Starting doesn’t involve some grand plan. It doesn’t mean having your gym time scheduled weeks in advance or prepping all your meals for the month (that can come later, if you want).
Starting is about being conscious and then acting.
You’re hungry in the afternoon so you head to the kitchen and grab an apple instead of chips.
You bring your lunch to work and immediately transfer the $15 to your savings account that you would’ve spent eating out.
You’re full of energy so you decide to go for a brisk walk instead of sitting on the couch.
After you take the first step, you’re free to move on to the next one.
It doesn’t matter how quickly you move, or even if you end up taking a step backwards, now and then. All that matters is that you’re up and moving.
Expect resistance and embrace it.
It’s not unusual to feel shaky when you’re just starting out. The moments you’re stringing together might feel fragile, and anything that comes along could knock you off-course.
And that’s probably why the first sign of resistance feels like failure is on the horizon.
You forgot your headphones, so there’s no way you can get through a treadmill session.
The holidays are coming, so your healthy choices are going to fly out the window.
An unexpected bill forces you to dip into the money you’ve been saving.
It can be easy to throw in the towel when these things come your way, especially when you’re close to the starting line.
But remember this — resistance isn’t dooming you to failure.
Give yourself a minute to breathe and regroup. Fight the urge to hit the pause button. Take the opportunity to lean into the challenge, grow, and come out stronger on the other side.
Instead of skipping that treadmill workout, push yourself to power through it, with or without headphones. You’re not committing to a life without music, you just have to get through one workout.
Outline your holiday eating strategy ahead of time. Give yourself permission to enjoy the dish or treat you want most, and make healthy choices for the rest of the meal. Sticking to the plan will help to empower you, instead of making those treats feel like a slip-up.
Embrace the fact that choosing to save is allowing you to pay that bill without worry. Remember that this unexpected expense is just that — unexpected. Those incremental deposits will still keep adding up, regardless of your balance.
The resistance won’t last forever. By allowing yourself to push through those moments, you’ll have the momentum to keep going on the other side.
Give yourself a boost.
Have you ever watched Olympic pole vaulting?
Athletes sprint down track, jumping, twisting, and turning to propel themselves over a bar almost 20 feet in the air.
It’s pretty insane.
But as impressive as these athletes are, they aren’t getting over that bar all by themselves — they’re using a pole to launch themselves over the top. The pole isn’t what gets them started, but it provides the assistance they need to complete the jump successfully.
And just like the pole vaulter, you can start making changes on your own, but you might find you need a push (or a pull) to keep moving forward.
Get a workout partner who can call you out when you want to pass on the gym. Join an online nutrition group to provide support and accountability when you need it. Or schedule automatic withdrawals from your bank account to avoid the temptation of skipping a deposit.
It doesn’t matter what it is, just make sure you have someone or something ready to give you that extra boost.
And remember, the pole vaulter only uses the pole to propel themselves over the hump — their own momentum carries them to the finish.
By choosing to take action, taking consistent steps, and getting the right support, you’ll be cruising towards your goal in no time.
All you have to do is start.
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