It’s Time To Stop Waiting For The ‘Perfect’ Time To Act On Your Goals
Do you find yourself low key panicking when people start to ask you about the progress of the plans that you have told them about? You then begin to give reasons that you’re waiting for the perfect time. Speaking from experience, I have found myself replying by explaining excessively about the importance of planning and why we should not rush into making decisions for something serious and so on.
Many of us have somehow romanticised the notion of ‘waiting’ for things to fall into place when all we need to do is start doing them. If we are being honest, underneath our good intentions about planning and rationality are just excuses for something deeper inside.
Why am I waiting for the right time?
Before figuring out how to start acting on your goals, here are some of the REAL reasons why you could still be waiting for the ‘perfect’ time to start working on your goals.
You are not ready for responsibilities.
I recently read somewhere that planning is usually procrastination in disguise (ouch!). While it may not be 100% accurate (depending on the context), sometimes we may find ourselves still reluctant to move on from the planning phase because we are aware of what comes next.
The next chapter may not be as rosy as we want it to be because getting started not only requires great courage but also GREAT SACRIFICES! Depending on your goals, it may require you to start something new altogether, move out from your comfort zone or relocate to a new place, invest your time, money and skills or even take up a new leadership role.
With great power comes great responsibility. This is where reality sinks in because nothing comes from nothing, and you have to face the music to GET READY to work without a guaranteed desired result.
You are afraid of failure.
Fear of failure is occasionally manifested in the form of low self-confidence which causes you to doubt your true potential and capability. Of course, nobody likes to experience failure but setbacks and challenges are inevitable in our everyday life.
In the long run, fear of failure eventually affects your determination to start acting on your goals because you believe that the plan will fail because of your “incompetence.” As a result, you are led to imagine the worst outcome ever, and you end up feeling discouraged and “waiting” for the right time or mood to feel inspired again.
On the other hand, if you are a perfectionist, you could also be too fixated to only do things that you are 100% confident in, which may lead to overthinking, paying too much attention to details until you delay the process to start for fear of ruining everything.
How do I get out of my comfort zone and act on my goals?
Now it is time to review some practical actions that you can take to kickstart your goal into fruition because getting started is the only way to get anywhere.
1. Start your plan with a commitment.
Commitment is a big word and it deserves to be taken seriously and literally when it comes to pursuing your goals. This translates to setting your priorities intentionally by taking responsibilities to make things happen! Action speaks louder than words!
To boost your commitment, you may even want to involve a friend or a mentor in the process to establish accountability by telling them what you desire to reach for each stage. Also, instead of focusing on the right timing to start, shift your focus to commit to a personalized and organized timeline to reach your goals.
The key is to make it EASY to start. One way to do so is to break down your BIG goals into SMALL goals that are manageable on a weekly, monthly and yearly basis to get the ball rolling without feeling overwhelmed. For example, don’t get too overly ambitious by claiming you want to save RM1000 in a week when you really cannot afford to do so within the time frame.
2. Align your strategies with CLARITY.
The saying “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail” may be a cliché but it certainly contains some truth to it. Nobody likes a navigation system that does not give you clear directions. Similarly, you should include specific and clear steps to move forward to your goals.
Your target for every step and milestone should be specific, realistic and feasible according to your ability and resources (it may vary over time). It could be as simple as joining a course, starting an investment fund or just going out to buy the items that you need to start working on.
For instance, if you are operating an online craft shop as your side hustle, you can set a target of releasing a new series of craft collections every 3 weeks, which means you have to secure materials for one or two crafts per week, depending on the size of your collection.
3. Execute your goals with CONFIDENCE
We get it, it is scary to do something new and unknown. Having confidence does not make you immune to failures, but it helps you to keep your eye on the game and bounce back from every setback with resilience because you believe that you will eventually achieve your goals.
Most importantly, have faith in yourself that your effort and growth will never betray you as you improve in your abilities, qualities and judgement over time. You gotta do what you need to do. Just do it!
One way to increase your self-confidence in this journey is to celebrate every small win along the way. For instance, if you have completed a one-month beginner’s class for a foreign language, that is something to be celebrated. Remember that eventually, it is the small wins that lead us to the big wins in the end.
The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago. The second best time is now. Stop waiting for the perfect time. Instead of that, why not start now by equipping yourself to march closer to your goals and dreams. Switch your perspective about timing, develop patience and perseverance to begin and to persist until the end.
Remind yourself that this journey will be worth it, and take it one step at a time, one day at a time, one milestone at a time. You just need enough bravery for the next step, not the entire staircase.