I have a confession to make. In mid-Septemter, my brilliant friend Beth gave me the idea for this post about perfection holding us back. It has taken me over a month to sit down to write it... because I wanted it to be perfect.
Yes, I wanted a post about how perfection isn’t possible to be perfect.
Nothing is ever perfect. Not even posts about perfection. We know this. And yet, we expect it.
If you wait for things to be perfect — or for you to be perfect or your life to be perfect or your kids to be perfect or the market to be perfect — you’ll be waiting forever. You’ll never get started. You will literally spend years thinking “I’m going to do it…soon.” Soon will go from next week to next month to next year. I’ve been planning on learning guitar…soon…since I was 16. That was in, sigh, 1994.
How often do you hit on the perfect timing of an inspired mood, boundless energy, endless motivation, strong will, nothing scheduled for an entire day (!), and no unfinished tasks sucking your energy? (Note: If you find yourself in that situation often, please comment with your contact information so you can be my life coach.)
There is always something else that could be done. Even more frustrating, there’s always something else that should be done.
We go through this cycle of waiting for things to be perfect, and every day is Groundhog Day. But instead of a repeat “I Got You Babe” and Ned Ryerson, we replay our excuses.
We always think we don’t have time. Since we all seem to be busier than ever, maybe we don’t. At least not the way we have our lives constructed currently. But think of all the time we waste in a given day. Just cutting back on social media alone would probably give us enough time (and my personal, untested theory is that it would also make time go slower).
It feels like you need a four-hour block of time to get anywhere on your projects. But you don’t need large swaths of time to make a dent, and if you only work on that timeline, you may never get to your goal.
We all underestimate what we can accomplish in 10 and 20 minutes, but for most of us, those pockets of time are all we have. If you’re going to make progress, you need to make peace with this fact and learn how to adapt to your schedule realistically. What can you do in small spurts? What can you do if you take things one step at a time. Like Bob Wiley, you just need to take Baby Steps toward your goal.
And as you start working toward your goals, don't forget to take time to notice and celebrate the small accomplishments. We always discount the importance of the incremental achievements that make up the big ones. Take time to enjoy the journey, not just the outcome.
Whether you have goals for your business or a personal passion you’ve been putting off, you just have to get started. Sure, starting is scary. It’s much easier to think you’re too busy or that you’re doing prep work or that you’ll start soon.
But if you have a passion and don’t start, it’s never going to let you go. It's going to hang around, cycling over and over as a reminder of what you didn't do. Take one step toward that goal today. Right now. And then another tomorrow. And the next day. And watch how they all add up.