Most of us have something we'd like to accomplish. I'd daresay, every single one of us do. It may be "getting in shape," or whatever exactly that means. That's a vague statement. Perhaps it's writing a novel, spending more time with loved ones you don't get to see, going back to college and/or making a career change.

Whatever that is for you, start right now. Yeah, like stop reading this if that's what it takes. These free-floating goals we have in our heads can become phantom thoughts if we let enough time go by without taking any practical action steps to make them happen. Yeah, they can haunt us throughout our days and the proverbial sands slip through the hourglass.

There's a million reasons, of course, to just continue trudging through our lives as there are always things that can distract us from them. Another favorite pasttime of humans? Deciding that we are absolutely, positively going to begin accomplishing that phantom goal--later, tomorrow, Monday, when the kids graduate, etc. It's like a placebo soul salve. It feels good, and may help, but it doesn't intrinsically do anything to help you. In some way we feel we have, in fact, made progress because we've made a commitment to a certain day and THEN we will get started.

Does this work? Sometimes. Most of the time? Not really. I'm sure there are various psychological reasons why this may be. However, here's my opinion: When we place starting toward a goal we want to accomplish at some later date, we are letting ourselves off the hook to get started now. Now, that seems obvious, but we are creating a habit of staying where we are and not changing our habits or mindsets and doing the uncomfortable work of that immediately, with passion.

Sometimes we feel that if everything isn't "just right" it's best not to begin. We imagine we can perfect the scenario and then begin when we feel all is ready. The problem is, it will never be a perfect scenario. We are going to mess up. We will learn through the process of messing up. That's part of the work of achieving a goal--so why put it off?

Want to start on a novel? Right now--go and start churning out some words. They'll probably be quite imperfect, unless you're some kind of prodigy. Even if you are, there will still be errors.

Want to "get in shape?" First of all, break that down into steps you can tangibly take. Commit to walking 4 to 5 days a week for 30 minutes. Decide to change your eating habits. Not on Monday or next month. Tonight. Your next meal--choose differently. Will it be perfect? No. Will you have taken an actual step toward being more "in shapes." Yes.

Bottom line: Get started. Mood follows action. You can, in the very next moment after you've finished reading this, use your personal power and begin to change your life.

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