“Just do it already”, my friend Marivic urged me. “I’ll cross the bridge when I get there”, I quipped. “You don’t even want to cross the bridge!” she retorted. Ouch! Her words shot right through my heart. She was right. I didn’t even realize it until she told me so.
How can deal with my issues when I don’t even want to take the first steps in tackling them? Worse, when I don’t even recognize them as issues at all.
We all have those things that we planned on doing someday but keep putting them off for one reason or another. As the year comes to a close, this conversation with my friend made me reflect on things that I and people close to me have been procrastinating on.
Here are some things that many of us need to stop delaying (consciously or unconsciously) and start accomplishing now:
1. Start that project. Whatever it is you’ve been meaning to do for a long time now. We all have at least one of these. Decorating your bedroom. Bedazzling an old pair of shoes. Creating your blog. DIY kitchen remodelling. Setting up your own online store. Writing a book. Saving the world.
2. Free yourself from toxic people. Dementors. Frenemies. Abusive partners. Emotional terrorists. People who put you down. People who treat you like you’re just an option. People who derail your recovery. Feel free to add to this list.
3. Clean your closet. That closet that looks more like a dumpster. Donate clothes you haven’t worn for more than a year. Someone else would be more than happy to have them.
4. Learn a new skill. Play the ukulele. Learn Spanish… PHP coding… pole dancing. Anything!
5. Try online dating. Create your online profile now! Enough said.
6. Reveal true feelings to someone. “I like you”. “I love you”. “You’re an a**hole!” Say it before it’s too late. Say it and mean it.
7. Have “that” talk. Clarify where you stand in someone’s life. If you don’t know the words to say, the best thing you can do is to borrow a line or two from Sergio Mendez’ song: “What do we mean to each other? Am I friend? Am I lover? Is it over now? Do you love me still or do you just mean well?” Revise it according to your own experience as applicable.
8. Move on. If you don’t get the response that you were hoping for after doing #6 and #7, cry, wallow and grieve if you must, but recognize that at some point you need to move on. When? How about starting now? Note to self: there is plenty of fish in the supermarket.
9. Make amends. Say sorry. Accept an apology. Forgive or seek forgiveness from a long-lost friend or an estranged sibling. Realize that life is short. Sooner or later you have to make peace with this person. Better do it while they (or you) are still breathing.
10. Volunteer. At the soup kitchen. Join the Peace Corps. Fight for migrant workers’ rights. Foster abandoned pets. Reach out to the needy. Or as simple as helping mom with the dishes.
11. Join an interest/support group. Church choir. Photography group. Book club. Alcoholics Anonymous. Professional singles. Join whatever suits your fancy.
12. Keep fit. Eat healthily. Do Yoga. Try Jujitsu. Be really good at pole dancing. Did I just say pole dancing again?
13. Apply. Whether it’s joining your local theatre, applying for grad school or auditioning for the next season of The Bachelorette or X-Factor. Let me give you a cliché: You’ll never know if you don’t try at all.
14. Embark on an adventure. Hike. Bike. Eat. Pray. Love.
15. Make the first move. That cute girl you see at the bus stop every morning? She probably likes you too. If not, then see #8.
16. Save. If the things you want to do require money, stop complaining and start saving. Cut off unnecessary expenses. Distinguish needs from wants. Stop making that trip to Starbucks everyday and learn how to make your own coffee.
17. Reflect. Set aside a few moments each day to reflect and nourish your mind and soul. Once in a while, disconnect from your gadgets and discover life outside the virtual world.
18. Seek help. Feeling depressed? Know that you are not alone and that there are people who are willing to help you, if you only let them.
19. Quit that bad habit. Quit smoking. Give up drinking. Stop cheating. Knock off that Candy Crush addiction or whatever bad habits you want to kick (this includes worrying too). Make that first step now.
20. Date. Go out with that guy or girl already. She already asked you, did she? If not, ask her then! Better yet, if you want to avoid #7, make it clear that it is a date.
21. Smile more often. Make the effort to change your default facial expression from a bitchy resting face to a smiley resting face. Try smiling at strangers. You’ll be surprised by what you can gain by doing so.
22. Overcome social awkwardness. This is something that a lot of my friends (including myself) need to work on. It amazes me how some people can easily weave their way through that complex labyrinth that I call “social gathering” (a.k.a. party).
23. See a doctor. If that symptom has been bothering you for a long time now, it’s probably a good idea to stop browsing through WedMD.com or asking random strangers from Yahoo! Answers.
24. Write. Make your own list of things that you have been putting off. While you’re at it, play Ingrid Michaelson’s song “Do it Now” for inspiration. Remember, you can only get “there” if you make the conscious effort to cross the bridge. What are you waiting for?