“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” – Chinese proverb
We are constantly looking for something outside ourselves to motivate us to make a change in our food, body shape or weight, or to stop using an unwanted behavior or substance.
People in recovery from eating disorders or other addictions often talk about “reaching their bottom” or receiving the “gift of desperation,” and how this is what brought them into the rooms of recovery and kept them coming back.
Until that time, they may have had many false starts. Maybe you have, too. You plan a fresh start in September, when there is excitement in the air about the new school year. Or January 1st in the spirit of resolutions, or Monday to launch the week, or on your next milestone birthday. Or maybe it’s an upcoming occasion such as a new job, wedding or family reunion. When is the most common time people say they’ll make a fresh start? Tomorrow morning.
I’ve done this, too, about a lot of different things. As someone who considers herself a “thrivor” (versus survivor), I seek to add things into my life, not just take things away. When I have taken away problematic behaviors, people and things, this has cleared needed space for me to add in, which is glorious!
What has worked for me and what I recommend for my clients is to begin again – NOW.
Don’t wait for some proverbial time in the future. There may not be such a thing as a bottom, or yours could be a serious health incident or even death.
1. To jumpstart your new beginning, try journaling every day – in The Artist’s Way, Julia Cameron calls this writing morning pages. Start writing NOW.
2. Don’t try to do this alone, there is plenty of help available – medical, counseling, psychiatric, self-help, in-patient treatment if needed. Call and book an appointment NOW.
3. Seek an accountability partner and be honest and completely transparent. Reach out and ask NOW.
4. Create or find your support network or team, any combination of professional, family, friends, or 12-step community. Rally your team NOW.
Did I say begin NOW?