Spring always gives me a boost. The longer days, the birds chirping, the ability to go outside without hats, boots, coats, and mittens. It’s when I feel most motivated to clean my house and my car and get my garden ready for planting. I love the feeling of putting away my Canadian winter clothing and lightening up for the warmer days ahead. There is a spring in my step and my mood, as well. We move the clocks forward one hour (“spring forward”), and we get to enjoy days that are longer and warmer.
The spring forward metaphor can apply to our lives as well. The past year of COVID has been long and hard. It’s been easy to get into a slump and lose motivation. What have you been putting on the back burner for the past year? What have you been ignoring? What have you been procrastinating about? What have you been saying, “Someday I will…” and yet are still not doing it?
Procrastination is a choice. You decide that a goal or a task isn’t important. (After all, if it were important, you’d do it, right?)
[ctt template=”3″ link=”06k8w” via=”yes” ]Procrastination is a choice. Are you saying it isn’t important enough for you?[/ctt]
Have you been procrastinating about going back to school? Updating your resume? Looking for a new job? Joining a professional organization? Attending an online workshop?
Why do we procrastinate? If I offered you free coaching to help you make plans to spring forward, would you take me up on it? Even if you did call me (although many people wouldn’t take advantage of my offer in the first place), would you faithfully implement all the plans we created?
Now, if I offered you $5,000,000 to call me at 9 a.m. so we could talk about making plans to spring forward, would you?
So, the telephone conversation isn’t the problem.
What is? The problem is that you need the right motivation. Five million dollars is plenty of motivation. In fact, there are probably a lot of things you’ve been procrastinating on that you would get done with that kind of motivation.
We’re capable of coming up with lots of excuses when we’re not motivated to do something. We blame the weather, the traffic, our busy schedule, our tight finances… the list can be endless. And some of these excuses are legitimate. But should they stop us from implementing our plans? No, because it doesn’t have to be an “all or nothing” situation.
Take your job, for instance. Let’s say you’ve been in your job so long that it’s bordering on boring. Some days you can just flip the on switch and move through your day. There is something very soothing and comforting about knowing you can do your job with your eyes closed. But on other days, you’re frustrated by the lack of challenge. You know that if you took a job that was more challenging, you would be more interested in your work and you might even make more money.
Why don’t you find a better, more challenging job? Well, you certainly can’t get one that would require you to work late because you need to pick up your kids at school. You like your current boss, and you’d miss your coworkers if you worked for a remote-only based company. If you leave your current company, the next one might not be as good. If you are currently remote, maybe you don’t look forward to a commute anymore. And what if the new job requires you to travel to events? How will you manage that?
Are those excuses? Of course, they are. Are they valid? Potentially—but one thing is 100 percent certain… they are holding you back from springing forward.
If the new job with occasional overtime paid $5,000,000 a year, would you take it? If it was across town and you needed to buy a car to get to work, would you take it? Yes, you would. Even if your new boss wasn’t quite as nice as your old one? Even if it meant you had to travel once a year for an annual meeting?
The working late, the nice coworkers, and the convenient location are one thing and one thing only: excuses.
It’s not likely that you will find a new job with a $5,000,000 salary, but what would be enough to make you leave your current job? What would it take for you to be willing to increase your challenge level at work and potentially your salary?
Warren and I lived in the suburbs of the city in a really nice home where we were comfortable. It was just a mile away from my son and daughter-in-law, and we were able to walk over and visit. We had a beautiful pool in the backyard, a maintenance-free front yard, great neighbors, and convenient shopping, and it was close to the airport (which was handy since I used to fly at least once per week).
However, we knew the house was too big for us. We had many reasons why we should have moved, but we came up with lots of excuses for why we didn’t. We were comfortable.
We decided last year to spring forward in our thinking and stop making excuses. We drafted a list of what we wanted in our new home and started seriously looking.
And, if you’ve been following me online or in my newsletters, you know that we found a new place to call home. It has required extensive renovations. We moved walls; we replaced virtually everything. It wasn’t perfect, but it had the potential to be perfect.
When we saw it, I knew immediately that with a lot of effort, love, (and money!) we would have the house of our dreams. We are almost done with the renovations, and last week our new boat arrived, and we can hardly wait for the winter to go away so we can enjoy the boat in our backyard as we now live on the Rideau River.
Each night we watch the sunset in our backyard over the river and wonder why we waited so long to move. Even during the height of the renovations, we loved everything about our new home and didn’t let the stress of not having a kitchen, walls, closets, or the constant mess make us ever second-guess our choice to move and renovate.
We realized that our excuses almost cost us our dream home. As we talk about our choices, we realized that our procrastination might have cost us this, and it gives us both shivers. I would have hated to miss this because we were caught up in our excuses and procrastination.
If you’re in the job I described earlier, it doesn’t mean you need to leave it. It might mean that you just need to keep your eyes open for something that’s a better fit. When you see it, apply for it. Even if you apply for it, it doesn’t mean you have to take it.
We looked at other houses on the river and realized that they weren’t for us. Deciding to spring forward does not mean you must take the first option offered.
If you are the right fit for the company, you’ll be offered the job. Once you’re offered the job, you’ll have to decide if you are excited enough about it to make the leap. To do that, you’ll need to be clear with yourself and acknowledge when excuses are getting in your way.
You don’t have to go back to school right now, but take a look at the courses your local college offers online. Does one of them excite you? If it does, sign up for it. If you can’t afford that option right now, go to YouTube or Lynda.com and look for similar online courses which cost less.
Instead of saying you can’t afford to go to a workshop or buy a subscription, start keeping quarters (or dollars) in a jar. You can probably collect quite a lot of spare change without even feeling the pinch. Change that you can then put toward your own change—in your life and career.
The bottom line is that we all need to spring forward into action rather than procrastinate or invent excuses about why we can’t.
[ctt template=”3″ link=”80kRf” via=”yes” ]The bottom line is that we all need to spring forward into action.[/ctt]
Spring is coming—are you ready?