Quit making excuses and get off your ass and do it

A three-step guide toward moving forward

Photo by Wouter Dijkstra on Unsplash

o, how are you all doing with those things, great and small, that you promised to do because of lockdowns and isolation due to the COVID-19 pandemic? Not very well? You’re not alone. Not everyone has — including myself — achieved all they planned to do with all their “free” time. So don’t feel bad.

Even though there is now at least three drug companies working on reportedly promising vaccines for the coronavirus, here in the U.S. and also in the UK (to my knowledge), there is still a stretch of “shutdown” left for many of us to to live through. Therefore we still have time to tone up our bodies, read more books, get in touch with our inners selves through virtual therapy, and so on.

“Just Do It” — Famous marketing slogan for Nike

Several months ago, my ideas were to study Chinese, learn to play the guitar, and get back into making jewelry (one of my fave hobbies). Other goals I had involved what I DIDN’T want to do, that is, eat too much “junk,” imbibe boatloads of alcoholic beverages (like some people have fallen prey to), and spend too much time with my face stuck on a screen.

As it were, the latter things are going fairly well. As for the first three goals, not so good. I’ve learned to say “thank you” in Chinese (so now I know how to say that phrase in five languages), I’ve started (but not finished) a new necklace, and as for the guitar, I glance at it occasionally and its presence reminds me to pick it up but somehow I never do …

Obviously advice that I — and probably many, many other people — need to embrace is the aforementioned slogan by he famous athletic shoemaker, “Just Do It.” Or in the words of an self-help/improvement article I read here today on Medium, (I’m paraphrasing), “If you think you want to/should do something, do it.” I can’t remember whether this article was by Nick Wignall, Tim Denning, Ayo the Writer or maybe Michael Thompson, because my word consumption has included stuff by all of these men today.

Partly due to their inspirational writings, I got my butt out on my bicycle today in 20-some degree temperature. Needless to say the ride didn’t last too long but it did get my legs working and heart moving faster. Plus, after several weeks of writing no actual articles here (just clapping for and commenting on other people’s articles) I’ve actually taken to my computer and voila!! Here I am, ready to impart some hopefully useful advice. Either that or just spill words out of my head into cyberspace. Hard to say which it will be ….

I know there are those who will make excuses why they can’t achieve lofty — or even mediocre — goals; I know, I do this myself. I “don’t have time” to write, to learn guitar, etc. But then again, as yet another article writer mentioned in something I read today, if one breaks free of that which is distracting him/her (you know, like social media, Netflix, boozy get-togethers) then guess what?? You free up time to do things that are you really want to accomplish.

o, get off your ass and accomplish it. Yes, I know, it’s easier said than done sometimes. But if one really, really wants to do something they will — and probably should. Here’s the three-step plan I mentioned above.

  1. Formulate a plan. Big or small, doesn’t matter.
  2. Map out the steps to reach that plan.
  3. Set plan into motion, i.e., get your rear in gear.

Yes, I know this may be easier said than done. But here’s a motivator to get you off the couch and onto the computer, or outside walking, or whatever: Visualize the positive effects of your goal. See yourself as more fit, healthier, enjoying a new habit or hobby, and so on. Compare that feeling of accomplishment from starting something new/developing a new habit/achieving a deeply-desired goal to the feeling you have from setting around all day playing Words with Friends.

Even those of you who have school-age children who may feel overwhelmed and think you don’t have the time/energy for new plans of action. I feel for you and honestly am not sure what I’d do in your situation. I’m a stay-at-home mom whose child has flown the nest, leaving me with all these cats, who I don’t have to homeschool like many of you parents with two-footed children. Still, I see opportunities in all this time together; I’m thinking of, for example, creative projects for you artistic types, or getting more exercise with your kids to teach them healthy habits, or just having long conversations when you see a “teachable moment.”

People have what they see as burdens, struggles, and as such mental health issues are ever-in creasing in the world because to the pandemic, a visible affect of social isolation. Unfortunately, some of the world is very cold at the moment so outdoor gatherings are probably no longer feasible. And indoor gatherings are resulting in spikes of COVID-19 cases, so what to do? Wll, even though it may be cold out, there are such things as warm winter clothes which you can employ to gather outside (and/or get some much-needed physical activity and fresh air).

es, we’re all feeling stressed/isolated/lonely/(insert your own adjective here). For what it’s worth, here’s my two cents on growing and using pandemic time fruitfully, achieving new goals or positive results: Come up with an idea(such as getting more fit or writing a book), decide how to go about making the idea a reality/put it into action, and lastly go ahead and achieve. Oh, and remember: this pandemic/and the isolation that comes of it, won’t last forever; there IS a light at the end of the tunnel. Trust me on this. Good luck to you all, and stay safe!!

Experienced professional writer/freelancer and former newspaper reporter-turned-online writer/blogger. Thinker. “Old soul”, young hippie, empath.

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