What to Do When You Aren’t Where You Want to Be

It’s up to you.

As I’m writing this, I’m about to turn a year older. And I’m not ready.

The last thing any of us want is to look up one day and realize years have gone by and we still haven’t done the things on our bucket lists.

A few years ago I made a list of things I wanted to accomplish before I turned 30. And that makes me feel like I’m running out of time.

I assume there’s plenty of it. But you just never know.

I’m not where I want to be yet. There are so many things I haven’t done. Part of that is my fault. And part of it is, well, sometimes life gets in the way and you have to put things on hold.

The other day, I made a list of everything I want to do. I ignored time and deadlines and just focused on things I was, in that moment, interested in accomplishing.

It was — still is — a very long list.

But the most frustrating thing about that process was that I made the list, put it down, and proceeded not to do anything with it. It just sat there. Almost like I’d never created it at all.

And that left me in the exact same place I’d been trapped in before. Feeling like I was running in circles. Knowing what I wanted to do, but never able to actually do it.

I knew I couldn’t just sit around and wait for that list to magically come alive and tell me what to do. I had to make the next move. I had to do something.

The only way to accomplish the things you want to accomplish is to decide the most important things you can/want to focus on right now and set goals that are going to help you accomplish those things. Without goals, your chances of doing All The Things just aren’t high enough to better guarantee success.

I started by picking one thing from every category on my list to focus on right now. It changed everything.

I just glanced over at my list, and at the underlined items on it, and I feel so much better. Less overwhelmed. I feel like I’m going to be OK.

There are far worse things in this life than being afraid you aren’t going to do everything you want to do. I know I’m privileged to even have unlimited options in this regard.

But worries are worries, no matter how small. If you aren’t doing what you wish you could, then do something about it. Make a plan and set it in motion. It’s up to you.

Meg is the creator of Novelty Revisions, dedicated to helping writers put their ideas into words. She is a staff writer with The Cheat Sheet, a freelance editor and writer, and a 10-time NaNoWriMo winner. Follow Meg on Twitter for tweets about writing, food and nerdy things.

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