Hey, how are things going there for you in the comfort zone? Pretty cozy? Maybe a little bit boring? Oh my, the status quo is so soft and adequate, secure and convenient. It may not be perfect, but it’s certainly not the unknown. The unknown is so uncomfortable. It makes you a little bit queasy. Too much you don’t know about the unknown. No, let’s just settle back into the nice, cozy comfort zone . .
Hey, wait just a doggone minute! What about your plans? What about those big dreams you indulge yourself in every now and then? Ah, if only you could sit in your comfort zone and make those things happen with the click of the remote. Maybe if you think about them a little longer, read up on them some more. Then they will happen, right?
If you really want to make awesome things happen in your life, here’s the secret: take bold action now. Stop thinking about it. Stop reading about it. Stop worrying about it. Stop talking about it. Stop questioning it. Take bold action now. And in case you didn’t understand: take bold action now! That doesn’t mean next week. That doesn’t mean tomorrow. It means finish reading this blog post, think about what you want, and go take the first step toward doing that — right now! Then take the second, third and fourth steps.
So I’ve thought about all of the things people fret and fidget and waffle about, and I’ve made a list of bold actions that you can take:
1. Call the doctor. Or the counselor or the coach. Are you constantly worrying about a health problem or a strange symptom or a personal issue you can’t resolve? Go make an appointment with a doctor or other professional right now. Go do it this minute. Worrying won’t cure the problem. Action will. If one doctor doesn’t solve it, go to another one. Take control.
2. Put on your tennis shoes and clean out the fridge. Are you overweight or out of shape? Are you worrying and moaning about it? Stop that and go put on your tennis shoes and run in place for 10 minutes. You’ll lose 100 calories in just ten minutes. Mix in some jumping jacks to spice it up. You have ten minutes. Then take another ten minutes and clean out the fridge and the pantry of all the fattening stuff. Throw it away and take the bag to the garbage can. Now you’ve started a fitness program. Congratulations! Do it again tomorrow.
3. Reclaim your finances. If you are financially strapped, then stop spending. No kidding. Stop spending on anything other than what you absolutely need to survive. Cut up all of your credit cards (except one for absolute emergencies). Then go ask your boss for a raise if you haven’t had one in a while. He or she may say no, but ask anyway. You may be surprised. If you don’t ask, you’ll never know. Take on a part-time evening job for a few months. Tiring? Yes. Uncomfortable? Yes. Do you need money? Yes. So go do it. If you are in debt, go buy Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover. He gives you the best step-by-step recovery plan I’ve seen. He may give you the book free if you ask. So ask. His website is www.daveramsey.com.
4. Take stuff off your plate. It you’re overloaded, then it’s time to make some bold choices. Write down everything you have to do this week. Block out the hours you will be sleeping and getting ready in the morning. Give yourself enough sleep. Count the number of hours you have each day to accomplish stuff. Subtract one hour for a cushion. Fill in family or personal activities that are important and revitalizing. Do this first and don’t compromise. Look at your remaining hours. Pick 3-5 things that you really want to accomplish and that you know you can accomplish in the remaining time. Cancel, reschedule, or reassign the remaining stuff. Apologize. They’ll get over it.
6. Book the trip. Do you dream of that once-in-a-lifetime vacation? Stop dreaming and do something.Think about how you can earn or save $500 a month for the next year. If you can save it, go to the bank today, open a savings account and deposit $500. If you need extra cash, take on a fun part-time job or project. In six months, you’ll have $3000, and you’ll have $6000 in a year. Start planning your amazing adventure today.
7. Hire a career change professional. Have you been thinking about changing careers? Do you feel unfulfilled or unhappy with what you are doing? If you haven’t done anything about it, most likely fear and complacency are holding you back. Don’t allow that! This is your life we’re talking about. The most expeditious way to get started is to hire a career coach or counselor. Yes it costs money, but it will save you so much time, effort and money in the long run. You don’t have to quit your job while you are figuring it out. The coach or counselor will help you address all of the obstacles and fears.
8. Have the conversation. Do you have something uncomfortable or difficult to discuss with someone? Would you rather compromise what you want or need in order to avoid the conversation? Of course not, so stop stalling. Do yourself and the other person a favor and get on with it. Practice what you are going to say in the kindest way possible. Rehearse it with a trusted friend. Think of all of the possible repercussions and how you would respond. Prepare to run. (Just kidding.)
9. Make the decision and move forward. If you’ve been struggling with a decision, then it may be time to pick one and proceed. If you have weighed your options, reviewed the pros and cons, discussed it with trusted friends or advisers, done your research, and spent time contemplating it, then just go with your gut and pick one. It’s not often that decisions are black and white. Sometimes it just comes down to a choice. So choose and move on with your life. Don’t look back.
10. Change the behavior. Have you heard rumblings over the years from your spouse, friends or co-workers about some element of your behavior? Are you seeing a pattern? If you had spinach in your teeth and people kept pointing it out, would you leave it there out of defensiveness or pick it out? If you have some consistently immature, defensive, selfish or unkind behaviors, take a look in the mirror friend. Admit your flaws and work on changing them. We all have them, and they hold us back. People embrace others who acknowledge problems and work to change them.