January 24th is National "Just Do It" Day!
Updated: May 2
Did you know that today, January 24, is National "Just Do It" Day?
Almost everyone is familiar with that famous athletic shoe company’s slogan “Just Do It”.
But “Just Do It” is so much more than shoes or even winning a race.
In fact, “Just Do It” is one of the top keys to success in accomplishing your goals.
Think about the last time you wanted to accomplish something. Did you spend endless days dreaming, debating, planning and gathering supplies or did you just get started? Which approach is more activating and which approach gets you closer to your goal in less time?
Of course for some projects it makes sense to do a little planning before you get started. If you are going to build a shed, for example, it helps to determine the shed’s purpose, location, dimensions and materials before you start.
But there are some tasks that lend themselves well to procrastination. Take cleaning out a closet, for example. There it is, staring you in the face day after day. Every time you go into that closet, you tell yourself “I really need to clean this out.” Or even “I’ll get to it tomorrow.” When tomorrow comes, you might decide you need to buy some bins to organize all the stuff in your closet. Thus begins the research project to find the perfect bins that will contain your stuff and fit into your closet. Then you need to purchase the bins by either driving to the store and praying they have what you need or ordering online and waiting for them to arrive.
So a few weeks have gone by and you still haven’t cleaned your closet! And now you have to squeeze in the new bins, promising you’ll get to this project “soon”.
Visualize yourself in this scenario. How do you feel? If you’re anything like me, you might feel burdened or even anxious every time you open the closet and see the mess.
Now how much time do you think you spent thinking about, planning for and feeling anxious about that closet? Do you think you spent more, less or about the same amount of time if you would have just cleaned the closet when you realized it needed cleaning? Could you have repurposed some boxes to temporarily contain your stuff while you are cleaning and get the bins later? You might even save yourself some money when you realize you don’t need bins!
When discussing procrastination with my clients, I ask them “What comes first: Motivation or action?” 9 times out of 10, they say “motivation.”
Then I ask them - do you ever FEEL like doing the dishes? Do you ever WANT to clean your closet? The light bulb goes on and they realize that the truth of the matter is that in most cases, action comes before motivation. And when we take that first step, more often than not we end up taking the second, third and fourth steps as well!
When we give ourselves too much time to think about doing a dreaded task, we can come up with a million reasons not to do it right now. But if we do the task when we think of it, or at least get started by making a plan and scheduling it in our calendar, the energy generated builds enough momentum to carry us through.
So the next time you think about putting off something, remember these three words: Just. Do. It. You’ll be glad you did!
Do you have a goal you keep putting off? Contact me today for your free SMARTS Goal Accomplishment Tool! Don’t think about it - just do it!
Sarah VanderMeiden, M.S., BCC is a Board Certified Coach with over 30 years of experience helping people effectively navigate the challenges of life and accomplish their goals. Learn more and sign up for her newsletter at sarahvandermeiden.com.
Photo courtesy of Henrik Nordstrom, scantran.net