“Do not wait: the time will never be ‘just right’. Start where you stand, and work whatever tools you may have at your command and better tools will be found as you go along.” – Napoleon Hill
I’ve been waiting. Waiting for a while now to focus on my health. Not on purpose, of course. I didn’t consciously say to myself, “Hey Self! Stop making your well-being a priority. Throw caution to the wind and let that body go to hell in a hand basket!”
It didn’t really happen that way. It was more the result of an overwhelming 2017. Relationships, self-discovery, stress, and basic human functioning (you know, like getting out of bed and semi-regular showering) took the wheel and there was zero room for other passengers. Zilch.
I didn’t beat myself up about it. That’s one of the cool things that came from all that self-discovery. Grace can’t just be talked about. It has to be practiced. And it usually begins with the reflection in the mirror.
As Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 says, there is a time and a season for everything. And I am all about the new social movement that is encouraging us all to love ourselves, embrace our flaws and to finally put the Kibosh on comparing ourselves to others. But there’s a balance there, too, amiright? Sometimes there is a season for a Friday Night Lights type of pep talk. Eventually there is a time to lift your head, brush that dust off ya shoulda, and GET TO WORK. That time for me is NOW. Is it time for you, too?
Unfortunately, I didn’t get the typical Happy New Year! euphoric buzz. Shockingly, when the clock struck midnight, my life was exactly the same. Same worries. Same circumstances. Same state of mind.
But one thing has changed: ME.
I accept 2017 for what it was. I made mistakes. I loved like crazy. I dug deep. I fell down hard and got back up every.single.time. And I learned more in this past year than I have in the first 33 years of my life combined. True story.
I’m sure those things will continue in 2018, but the lesson I want to focus on this year is the power of CHOICE. This year I am CHOOSING to make my health a priority. I will CHOOSE to care for my body, soul, and mind. I will stop waiting for the time to be right and I will just START.
Do you feel me? Anybody out there raising their hands?
It can feel overwhelming, right? This is more than just your run of the mill resolution scribbled in a posh pink planner that cost more than your weekly groceries.
So how do we begin? I’m taking a page out of last year’s playbook and keeping it simple. Let’s do this.
START WHERE YOU STAND
No more waiting. Stop waiting for Monday! Don’t wait until you get that new job. Don’t stall until you lose that weight. Don’t pause until you feel better, make more money, or for heaven’s sake, do NOT wait for SOMEONE ELSE to change. Take a deep breath. Memorize the shoes you are wearing and the ground you are standing on and throw those shoulders back. Start with one step. And don’t you dare look back. You aren’t going that way anymore.
WORK WHATEVER TOOLS YOU MAY HAVE
Remember that pretty pink planner? You don’t need it. I’ve already bought 5 of them, so I’m not judging; it’s just not an integral part of our ability to begin. A pantry full of “perfect food” and a fool-proof workout plan? Nah. An ideal bank account, a pristine bill of health, the flawless educational credentials? Nope nope and NOPE. Begin with whatever you have. Take a good look around, dig deep, and get creative! Whatever you have AT your command, you can USE TO command.
BETTER TOOLS WILL BE FOUND AS YOU GO ALONG
There’s this incredible life-principal that is under-utilized and rarely talked about. This idea that when we are good stewards of what we have (no matter how much or how little), it grows! (“The servant to whom he had entrusted the five bags of silver came forward with five more and said, ‘Master, you gave me five bags of silver to invest, and I have earned five more.’ The master was full of praise. ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!'” Matthew 25:20-21)
When we care for and appreciate what has been given to us, God blesses that, and often, it multiplies. Whatever we are CHOOSING to START, let’s nourish and cultivate each step and every phase. Then be on the lookout for better tools around the corner.
One word of caution. Do not let perfection move your starting line. Waiting or aiming for perfect will derail us faster than any mistake or failure. I write from past experience; perfection has paralyzed me and my dreams more than I care to admit. I mention it now because I know it will be lurking around my corner and yours. Let’s make the CHOICE to abdicate perfection from its throne.
As we nurse ourselves back to health this year, let’s grab hands, cheer one another on, and lunge forward. There is no time like the present, and the present is NOW. Are you with me? Let’s start!
Live Life On Purpose,