Time’s Running Out
I turned 40 last year, and like a lot of folks who hit middle age, I began to take stock of my life. Like everyone, I have some regrets—things I wish I had done better, people I wish I had treated better, mistakes I wish I hadn’t made—the usual self-assessment.
But there was also a slew of things that, though I had regrets about my life’s performance so far, it wasn’t too late to change.
My family recently got out of debt, and it’s one of the best things we’ve ever accomplished. I feel so much more hope for our future than ever before. It took time, work, and sacrifice, but we got there. One day we just decided that it was time to do the work to get out of debt, and that’s what we did. The truth is, we had tried to get out of debt before, but were only half-hearted about it. This last time around we were serious and attacked our debt with passion.
As part of my self-assessment, the bulk of which has occurred in the last six months or so, I started looking at other parts of my life. Had I accomplished what I wanted to accomplish by the time I was 40? If not, why not? Why not start now?
Part of this assessment was my writing. I’ve gone through cycles my entire life where I’ll write for a year or so, then put it aside for a year or so, then pick it back up for a year or so…you get the picture. Because of this, I really never finished anything. Sure, I completed the first drafts of two novels, started a bunch of other stories, but never took them any further. I never started editing and revising. I never really worked toward getting things out into the world for anyone else to read.
I literally couldn’t sleep one night back in March because it was bothering me so much. I got out of bed, pulled all my writing materials, notes, and files together, and spent the entire night organizing my next steps as an author.
See that? I made the decision and went for it, realizing it would take me a significant amount of work to achieve my dreams. I intend to self-publish some things, and seek traditional publishing for other works. Honestly, however, the point isn’t about sales. I won’t measure my success by how many books I sell, or how many positive reviews I receive. I will be a success when I accomplish what I set out to do, which is finishing a book, setting it free, then moving on to the next one.
Take the First Steps
I’ve been overweight for the majority of my married life, slowly gaining more and more weight each year. I started out only slightly overweight, but eventually ballooned into obesity at over 240 lbs. About six weeks ago I had another one of those moments where I just couldn’t stand it anymore. Late last year I had lost about 20 lbs. by walking everyday and counting calories. For some reason, like my past experience with getting out of debt and writing, I gave up and ended up getting fatter than I had been before.
This time around, I’m passionate about it. There’s been no half-hearted effort, and I have no intension of stopping this time. In the last six weeks I’ve lost nearly 30 pounds. I’ve got about 50 more to go to get to where I really want to be, and I’m determined to get there.
The point is this. What’s your dream? What is it you want to accomplish?
Decide right now to do it. Decide right now to do the work involved to accomplish your goal. Attack it with passion. No half-hearted efforts allowed.
Take today and think through your plan. Gather your resources. Collect what you need to help you take the first step toward achieving your goal, then go to bed tonight with determination that you’re going to get up and kick it tomorrow.
Then wake up in the morning and just do it.
I’m Jeff M. Miller, and I help ordinary people who are stuck in a rut change their behaviors so they can be extraordinary. I’m an entrepreneur who retired from my full-time job in my early 40s to work from home. I’m a financial counselor, life coach, graphic designer, and passionate believer in helping others improve their lives a little more each day.