Have you ever felt so stuck in a rut that you convince yourself the only way you’ll be happy is to drop everything and start over?
Two years ago, I was struck by this notion. I had so many things going wrong in my life, I didn’t think I could be happy where I was. The dream of running away to Colorado became a daily fantasy as I imagined dropping everything, getting in the car, and just driving until I hit mountains.
But my mother chimed in with some wise advice:
If you can’t be happy here, then you won’t be happy there.
It’s true. The things making me unhappy in DC were the same things that, if left unfixed, would simply follow me wherever I went.
Every Day is an Opportunity to Start Over
Maybe starting over doesn’t have to feel so big. Maybe it’s not a cross-country move, but instead just getting up an hour earlier for some quiet time to yourself. Maybe it’s planning an exciting weekend away. Or maybe it’s just starting a new book.
I realized that starting over is more a state of mind than an action. It’s about deciding that today I will do something different.
It’s about starting.
This is when and why we set goals—because everything means more when it has a purpose.
So then the biggest question becomes, why wait?
Do Exciting Things Now!
Do you ever find yourself saying, “I’ll start when…”?
You’ll start reading every day when you find a good book.
You’ll start running outside when winter’s over.
You’ll start saving money when you get through the sale season.
Everyone falls into this trap. I know I do, especially when I’m convincing myself that I’ll start working out more as soon as the weather improves. (Spoiler alert: I won’t.)
It would be a whole lot easier for me to hold off on starting anything new until I move in July. Between money concerns, timing, a to-do list a mile long, and trying to survive my job before I go…it would be easy to say, “I’ll start being happy after I move.”
But who wants to wait that long?
So I made a conscious decision to make the most of my time left on the east coast; to make a point to spend time with my friends and see the local landmarks that I’d been putting off. I wanted to make sure that I didn’t sequester myself away, waiting for my opportunity to be happy once July rolled around.
Why should I wait when I could be happy now?
Never set some arbitrary deadline to start living your life. Do exciting things now!
Otherwise, you’ll just find another excuse to put off on doing what you love.