Yesterday I was chatting with my girlfriend while she was on a run. (I was biking next to her because I was heading in the same direction.) She was listening to a running coach and he had some good advice.
This running coach said that he has had all the same thoughts, and used all the same excuses, as everybody else who doesn’t feel like running on a given day:
- It’s raining
- It’s cold out
- My friends bailed on me
- I’m tired
And so on.
The key, of course, is to run despite less-than-optimal circumstances. If you wait to run until all the lights are green, you won’t end up running very often.
It’s excellent advice and you can apply it to anything you want to do, theoretically, but that you never quite feel like doing in the moment.
I would add another layer, though: act fast.
Excuses pile up. The longer you wait, the more time you give your subconscious (or maybe even your conscious thoughts) to find extra reasons not to do the hard thing. The longer you wait, the more excuses you’ll generate, and the more excuses you have, the less likely you are to act.
So, act fast.
For example, yesterday I wanted to shoot a video for you all. But it was already 10 p.m., it was dark out, I was biking home, and I faced a headwind. Then it struck me that maybe I could just shoot the video right there and get it out of the way.
So, I stopped at a park, pulled out my phone, and shot a video about conscious living.
Is it a perfect video? No. Did I get it done? Yes. Because I acted fast and didn’t give excuses time to pile up.
Act, before (too many) excuses appear.