We all know someone who is a big talker but who rarely takes action. Sometimes we have good intentions, but lack consistent follow through. For example, we make losing weight our New Year’s resolution and talk it up, only to quit three weeks later or when the next big event/distraction happens. We desire to complete projects, exercise more, join a group, or even nurture friendships, but our desire isn’t followed by action. We’ve all heard the expression, “talk is cheap,” well there’s some truth in that since it doesn’t take much effort to talk about it, but significant effort to change our behaviors. We sometimes talk about the desired change to try to motivate ourselves into action, but those around us get tired of hearing about it without follow through.
Taking action on things that are difficult, painful, and challenging is never easy. Not to mention that we can be very creative in generating multiple excuses and rationalizations for not getting it done. Sometimes we are afraid to fail or embarrass ourselves so we talk ourselves out of it. Or we may fear being judged or ridiculed so we decide to avoid the challenge all together. Let’s face it, change can be very difficult, especially when you’ve been doing something a certain way for a long time. Professionally I’m in the “change business,” and believe that we all have the capability of doing things differently even if we have certain limitations. Many of us don’t realize how a little bit of change can make a significant difference.
Start thinking about your anticipated resolutions for the new year and develop a game plan today. Instead of starting big and burning out quickly, start with small efforts and work up to larger gains. Maybe you want to lose weight, workout more often, develop or nurture friendships, get more involved with your church, join a group, or volunteer more often. It doesn’t matter what you want to change, what matters is that you develop a plan, write it out, monitor your progress, set up a reward system, and get started. Developing a new habit takes about 4-6 weeks but carving out time for self-improvement has both physical and psychological benefits. I’ve always loved the Nike slogan, “Just Do It.” Time passes quickly so be intentional and use your time wisely. The right time is now!