Like most things in life, I believe it depends! Sometimes it’s exactly what I need to say to myself to get going… like this morning when I was lying in bed not sleeping, thinking about how busy the day was and hoping I had time to get it all done. Just get up! It got me out of bed at 6:30 (when I would much prefer 8) so that I could do some planning, catch some ideas, and get some clarity so that when it’s time to sit down to write, I am ready! Much better than lying there with a mild headache, not sleeping anyway, thanks to all the thoughts swimming in my head. Getting up also gifted me the stillness of the lake, the quiet of this time of day, and some extra space in an otherwise overwhelming day.
That was a pretty easy “just do it” moment. Let’s think about where else it might make sense.
Are there things you’re on the fence about, but you know with all your being what your heart wants you to do? That retreat or workshop you really want to go to, that you have the money and time for, that fits in your schedule, but you keep hemming and hawing about it… How would it be to just make a decision? Sometimes the “do it” is to get clear and make a choice. Get off the fence! Yes or no – it’s up to you, but know that it takes energy to stay in limbo!
Are there things you’re putting off until retirement? Till your kid is doing ok? Till the stars align, the laundry is done, and all the lights are green? Here’s where it’s worth taking a good look at your life, at your priorities and make a decision that feels right. More often than not, I’ve found that waiting for some future mystical magical moment is not the way to go. If you can do the thing now, and you really want to, and you’re not going to hurt yourself physically or financially, then why not? If you want to prioritize your own joy or health, even if someone you love is struggling, then why wait? Why not make the choice to begin living your life?
“The best way to not feel hopeless is to get up and do something. Don’t wait for good things to happen to you. If you go out and make some good things happen, you will fill the world with hope, you will fill yourself with hope.”
- Barack Obama
The things that just need to be done… getting your teeth cleaned, oil change, taking the trash out – yeah, just do it! Unless, of course, there’s a good reason not to. Which there could be…
My mantra for many years has been, “Why not? Why wait?” One coach did point out to me that there might be very good reasons for not or not now. She helped me to see that it’s worth pausing to genuinely ask myself, “Why not? Is there a good reason for me to not do this thing?” “Why wait? Is this a good time or would I be better off waiting until I didn’t have so much on my plate already, or until I had the money to pay for it without going into debt or until I have the energy and bandwidth to really dedicate to this thing I’m considering?”
It is entirely possible that now is not the time to take that training, marry that guy, get a bird, move to a new town, or make a drastic change in lifestyle. Ok, let’s be clear we had birds once – it will never be the right time to do that again!
And, seriously, there might be things to get in order first. It might be wise to take a little more time checking things out, exploring options. It might be an actual no or a “not now” no.
How do you know? I find the sweet zone is often where you feel a little nervous but also excited (or “nerv-cited” as Glennon Doyle says!). This tells me that I really want to go for it, but I’m a little unsure. That’s ok. I’ll take the leap and give it a go.
I like to make a decision before a decision is made for me. I’m sure we’ve all had moments where we waited too long and the opportunity was no longer available. Or we’ve delayed making a decision that we know we need to make for our own health, and eventually our health steps in and makes it impossible to ignore any longer (leaving that toxic job or relationship, changing the way we nourish our body or not).
Tone matters too… do you say with frustration, “Just do it! For God’s sake, what’s wrong with you??” adding in judgment and shame? Not particularly helpful. Or can you say gently, “Just do it” with a whisper of sweetness that implies I support you, I believe in you, you got this… it’s time. Go for it!
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this one. How does it land with you?