When I want a clean house, I don’t begin at once to clean. I start thinking about cleaning. If I think hard enough, I will discover a housekeeping regimen that is perfect for me. When I find it, I will set it in motion and follow it the rest of my life.
When I am prompted to be more physically active, I don’t put on tennis shoes and head outside for a walk. Instead, I think about walking and vow soon to begin walking three miles every day.
I have promised myself I will read all 89 Pulitzer-Prize winning novels before I die. Have I picked up a book today and begun reading it? Of course I haven’t, but I am thinking about it.
Resolutions are easy for me to make when fulfilling them requires no immediate action from me. I resist, however, making resolutions that include the word today.
While it is true I do want someday to maintain a clean house, to exercise regularly and to read good books, it is also a fact that today I want to sit in my recliner, eat mint chocolate chip ice cream, and watch reruns of Columbo on television.
I tell myself indulging in the sitting-eating-watching routine today will not deter me from eventually attaining my goals. These are simply the activities I am choosing to do today. Tomorrow will be different. Tomorrow I will run the vacuum, walk three miles, and begin reading The Caine Mutiny.
Sadly, if I am unwilling to do today the things I intend to do someday, I will probably never do them. Such is the fate of every procrastinator.
Proverbs against procrastinating abound. Many of them make me chuckle but none of them inspire me to take action when I am determined to be inactive.
I particularly like this advice given by Mark Twain: If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.
I hope you will get busy now fulfilling the resolutions you have made for today, whatever they may be. Clean your house, get some exercise, read a good book, and, if you feel compelled to do so, eat a frog or two. Me? I’ll start tomorrow.