“Whenever” becomes just “never” really, really easily.

Goals require timing. In order to achieve a goal, you need at least one of either a firm deadline or a firm cadence. If you have both, so much the better!

It’s fine to say, “I want to lose twenty pounds by December 1st.” It’s also fine to say “I want to do 50 sit-ups per day, and fast for 12 hours, 3 times per week.” It’s even better to do both! But if you say “I want to do more sit-ups and lose some weight,” you never will.

Some goals are naturally open-ended, and so you use a cadence: a set, regular schedule for the activity. No deadline, but that’s okay – if you stick to the cadence.

It’s hardest to do this when the thing you want isn’t fixing a problem, but improving an okay situation.

If you have a hole in your roof, you’re naturally more motivated to fix it than if you just think your house would look better with a different kind of roof. Problems come with their own motivations – improvements rely on us.

Otherwise, you’ll have the most mediocre version of every aspect of your life, until you improve it. And if you improve it “whenever,” it’ll happen never.

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