Start now. That is the best advice I can give for anything you want to change about your life. No matter what it is you want to do, take at least a few minutes today to do something that will get you started on your new plan.
I have lost 18 pounds since I started this blog in September. I still have plenty of pounds to lose, but I woke up feeling good this morning- I feel lighter and the same clothes that were a tight fit a few months ago are loose and will soon be too big. I would not feel this way today if I hadn’t made the effort back in September to start something. I started small, only trying to walk for 5-10 minutes per day and limit my calorie intake, but that was what I needed to get the ball rolling and start building momentum.
Setting a goal to walk for only 5 minutes may seem somewhat small and meaningless, but if you are coming from walking 0 minutes per day, 5 minutes is a huge improvement. The point is, no matter what the situation or what your goal is, changing your life can start today and it can start with something small.
Choose something you know you can do. Don’t wake up one day after months of inactivity and decide that you will jog for 30 minutes and lift weights. That is not realistic! Diets can fail for many reasons, but I believe the problem with a diet is the difficulty of making massive changes overnight. You aren’t building new habits if you take that approach. You are trying to force yourself to behave in a new, uncomfortable way- the odds of success are very slim.
No matter what you want to change in your life, I encourage you to start it now. Take the time to write down your long-term goal (perhaps losing 60 pounds or paying off $25K of debt). Think about where you are now and think about what you can do now (or at least today). Choose something that you can take care of in 5-10 minutes. It could be something simple like walking down your street and back, making an extra payment on a credit card, starting a budget, or getting a how-to book at the library- whatever you can do today, in a short amount of time, that will start you down the path to reaching your long term goal.
Decide what you will do today, then do it today and repeat it tomorrow.
There will be setbacks, there will be days you fail to keep up the pace, but the point is to build new habits. After a few weeks have gone by you will find yourself with a new point of view and that long term goal will seem a little bit closer.