There are mornings when it seems you’ve woken up on the wrong side of the bed. You brush your teeth. You wash your face. You drink some water. And still, lethargy clings to you like clothes on wet skin. Somehow, you made it to where you need to be. But you have no energy.
There are tasks to be done, lists to be written, i’s to be dotted and the t’s to be crossed. But you are tired. There is nothing willing you to begin. To go after that huge goal that you’ve set for yourself. Maybe it’s the New Year’s Resolutions you were once so excited about. Maybe it’s a new dream that awakened itself in your heart.
In the hours of being awake, some days just feel like things to get through. And some dreams feel so impossible, that you can scarcely close your eyes and make them appear. In your mind, the vision is so blurry because all the little details are so unthinkable in the midst of a grand dream.
That’s when the overwhelm begins. It knocks at your door, begging to be let in. So you do. Inside, it settles and weighs on you like a big winter coat and you sit, finding a new desire. Instead, you’ll put it off for tomorrow. Or next week. Perhaps next month works better.
Think about all the dreams you’ve let die this way. The potential lost and the future rewritten to be what it is now.
This is a lie that you cannot believe. That tomorrow we will start. That tomorrow we will build something new. That tomorrow I’ll have the energy to go after what I want. That tomorrow is where the magic begins for a beautiful start to your own story.
We get so caught up in tomorrow, that our todays become these resting places for our dreams to die. A resting place we welcome. This graveyard gather our dreams and we move on, but parts of us linger, unwilling to forget what we have lost.
When our dreams are too big for us to even fathom them, we must make them smaller. Not diminish them. Rather we are looking for the first step. The next right thing. The action that will propel us into making our dreams a reality.
Show up anyway.
And if you’re here now, in the middle of exhaustion and lack of motivation, there is no point in leaving. No point in getting up and turning away. Just begin. Start small.
James Clear has this amazing rule. Often we think of progress as this immediate thing that just grows and grows nonstop. Rarely, do we ever stop to think that progress might not even be visible. It might be so small that it doesn’t seem to be there at all. The 1% rule.
15 minutes of your day is 1% of your day. Every day, just do it. Do anything. Research for that dream school you want to go to. DM all the amazing people you want to work for. Pinterest board all the houses you are thinking about. Create a list in your notebook about the places you want to travel to.
You may be exhausted and think your dreams are so out of reach. But what you don’t realize is that any time at all devoted to making your dream a success is progress. Even if it is 15 minutes a day.
Better yet, you can do this with the habits you want to build. Meditate. Journal. Read. Drink water. If you dive in too deep, you run the risk of burning out and falling out of love with your dream or destroying the habit you want to have. Build slowly and surely, so the overwhelm isn’t an unwanted visitor in your own home.
If you’re overwhelmed, maybe 15 minutes is all you can do. If there’s too much going on, perhaps 15 minutes in the morning or before bed is better than nothing at all.
Progress is slow and it isn’t built up overnight. It takes time and intentionality to return to the dreams you want to make real.
So often, we fail to reach our potential, not because we’re not trying hard enough, but we’re grasping for too much in a single moment. While you may have 100 dreams you are in the works of building, you work so much better when you focus on one thing at a time.
Beyond our own dreams, distractions come in the form of other people. We scroll social media, looking for entertainment and find comparison. Our parents drop not-so-subtle hints about the things we should be doing instead. The only way we’ll actually get to where we want to be is if we let our dreams be the things that hold our attention first.
This can look like less time watching TV and less time with the family. More time in planning and beginning to execute. This can look like setting aside a dream for yourself in 5 years, instead of letting it compete with the dream you have for yourself right now. This can mean 1 habit instead of 20 – after all, habits rely on consistency (and for that, you actually have to remember the habit).
When you have one goal and you’ve begun, it’s time to let the encouraging people in your life know. So many of us are 100% better at having outside obligations rather than internal ones. If your boss tells you to do something, you’ll get it done. But that script that you’ve been “writing” for a year is still collecting dust.
Get some accountability.
They’ll encourage you and spur you forward. Especially when it’s easier for you to give up, or say you never really wanted this dream. They are objective and they care for you, so they’ll tell you what you need to hear and push you to be a better version of yourself.
In the weight of the world, it’s easy to call it a day and let our dreams die (and some days, this is needed), but we don’t become the people we want to be when we do.
Wake yourself up and motivate yourself!
How will you spend your 15 minutes? Have you seen any progress lately?