I know, I know – you want the perfect plan in place before you take the first step toward your big goal. Believe me, I get it. I put off planning the route for next year’s run across America for months, because I just didn’t have any idea how to get started.

But do you know how you get started? With anything and everything? You just start.

So, a few months ago, I sat down and typed “Santa Monica, California” and “New York City, New York” into Google maps and did the only next step I could think of: I clicked the button for “walking directions” and, when the results came up, I burst out laughing.

THIS IS SUCH A BIG COUNTRY, YOU GUYS.

Of course I didn’t have a clue about how to plan my way across 3,000 miles. That’s a wildly overwhelming task. Of course I had procrastinated on it; I was terrified. Ever since I first committed to this run, which was over a year ago now, I knew in the back of my head that I truly had no idea of what I was getting myself into. And, honestly, I still don’t have a clue, but I think that’s a good thing. If I sincerely understood the craziness and the intense physical, mental, and emotional struggle that awaits me on this journey – over the next ten months of training and then the five months of the run itself – I think I’d quit right now.

But I don’t have a real picture of what’s coming, so I don’t quit. Instead, I click back to Google maps and stare at the screen. Overwhelmed, I close the window and distract myself with Twitter instead. Twitter is easier than admitting I’m scared out of my mind and totally lost as to what to do next.

The following day, I do the same thing: open the map, get overwhelmed, close the map and back away slowly. And I do the same thing again the day after that, and the day after that. And so it goes – never making any progress on the planning, just staring at the map for a while and asking myself what the fucking fuck I think I’m doing trying to run across the entirety of the United States.

Finally, after a few weeks of this, I get sick of myself. The frustration of not taking action has gotten worse than the fear of taking the wrong action, so I decide that doing something is better than doing nothing at all.

(Ladies and gentleman, we have a turning point!)

read more…

{ 13 comments }

04.16.2014

Effort Is Not Pain (A Credo For Pushing Your Limits + Being Your Best)

The #1 reason why you aren’t making the changes you want to make and doing what you want to do is this: You can’t stand being uncomfortable. That’s it. That’s […]

read more…
04.09.2014

Stop Playing Small. If You Want It, Own It.

A few weeks ago, I found myself in a conversation with a couple of new runners who were preparing for their first ever 5k race. The subject of goals came […]

read more…
04.02.2014

The 9 Stages of Goal-Setting

One of the most common myths with goal setting is that it’s a three stage process. It’s easy to assume that getting what you want goes something like this: Step […]

read more…