Time moves too fast. Don’t wait to do things – start now.

I’ve previously written about aging and how much time we have in our lives and I’ve been thinking about that again recently, not least because yet another year has passed and we’re already, seemingly in the blink of an eye, 1 month into 2021. Time cannot possibly go by any quicker the older we get though it certainly does seem that way right now.

So, if I can’t slow time, just what can I do? Getting started on things is the key as far as I’m concerned. As I steam towards the grand old age of 50, it really does seem that there’s no time like the present, another theme I’ve written about numerous times previously. Whatever it is that I, and others, want to achieve in life, there are undoubtedly two key factors in moving forward: getting started, and finding the time on a regular basis to maintain the momentum.

So, let’s take a look at getting started. Not as easy as it initially sounds, is it? I’ve read a lot about this lately, as well as having listened to a lot of podcasts. The aspect of this I find most fascinating is the reasons that prevent us from starting most things in life. I’ve been guilty of delaying starting things which are important to me many times in the past and I never truly understood why until recently. The fear of failure; feeling overwhelmed; the fear of success; a lack of motivation. These are some of the common reasons offered and I am familiar with all of them. Yet, as I’m sure many will recognise, once we banish these feelings and actually take that first tentative step, whether it’s dressing appropriately and heading out for a walk, lacing up the running trainers and setting off jogging, writing the first paragraph in a blog or story, hiding the takeaway menus and taking the ingredients for a home-cooked meal from the kitchen cupboards instead, picking up the phone to call a friend, or even if it’s something as simple as ditching the phone or the games console for an hour or so to begin watching a movie as a family, taking that first step is crucial and, quite often, invigorating and uplifting.

Then there’s the issue of finding the time on a regular basis to maintain the momentum. I’m calling out the ‘I don’t have enough time’ excuse. I hate to admit that I’ve used it myself recently but it’s nonsense and usually a front for not being motivated enough. On those unproductive days, I’ve sat back and thought that I’ve been busy at work, that I haven’t been sleeping well and am therefore drained, and that we’re all at home as a family pretty much 24/7 and I’ve been prioritising family time over everything else. Here’s the thing – all those excuses are pretty pathetic, really. Yes, they’ve all taken up a lot of my time lately, but not every minute of every day. I’ve still found time on a daily basis to watch a little TV on my own. I’ve still found time to do some of the less important and easier to address tasks from my to-do list. I’ve certainly found time on a daily basis to trawl through Facebook, Instagram, the BBC Football website and God knows what other internet sites – quite likely much more time than I’d care to admit, actually. So, thinking that I just haven’t had time to do those things which are important to me is complete nonsense. For me, there has been time in every single day. I simply haven’t always chosen to use that time wisely.

So, this ultimately boils down to how you use that ‘personal’ time you have available to you each day; how you prioritise and achieve a balance. If you find you’re feeling the same as me, determine what really matters, whatever that may be. Consider sitting back and reviewing how life is at the moment for you. Write down what it is you feel is missing. Write down your typical weekly schedule (including weekends), what it is you’d like to change, and when you have the potential to make that change / address those things which are important to you. Perhaps you’ll need to make that a post-Covid list, especially if your passions and interests are limited by the current situation. If so, that’s fine – hopefully it will provide a little renewed hope and a reminder that we won’t be in this situation forever. Just don’t wait – do it now. Do it today. Because if you’re like me, you’re wasting much more time than you realise…

If you don’t have an issue with this at the moment, congratulations – you’re one of the lucky ones, and that’s a great position to be in. If there’s nothing you feel you need to change and do differently, then carry on as normal. A phrase I’ve repeated often lately is maintain the lifestyle that keeps you sane and will get you through the current situation (and beyond it). But how many of us does that truly apply to? Just about everyone I know, and in saying that I mean the people I truly know, the people I can have good, honest, meaningful conversations with, harbour desires to try something new or do something a little differently. If that is the case, it all boils down to a question of just how badly we want it…

As always, thanks for reading, stay safe, and, in the words of the hugely inspirational Captain Sir Tom Moore, the sun will shine on you again and the clouds will go away…

Best wishes and take care.

Mick

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