Many of us have things in our lives right now that we are dragging our heels on – for whatever reason. You know, those should’s, need to’s, chores, tolerations and more that are cluttering the to-do list. Often they are things that are molehills we build into mountains. Things that, if we just did them, would make life flow more smoothly. And yet, if you’re anything like me, we drag our heels about starting. We waste time procrastinating and coming up with excuses before we reach that tipping point, often with a deadline looming, and realize we simply have to START.
One of these annual chores/have-to’s for me is organizing my taxes. I know beyond a doubt that taxes are a reality, and I will get the job done, no matter how much I whine and moan about it. In fact, this time of year I’m probably in good company with many others. Before I begin to wrangle my receipts and other financial info, it feels like that I am standing at the base of a numbers mountain that will be hard, if not impossible, to climb. If I look at this objectively I know this is not true. I also know that there is a deadline involved – my appointment with my accountant. I don’t know about you, but having a deadline always is a motivator for me. (The fact that I make this appointment for the following year as I’m leaving her office helps – it feels like I ‘m already in motion.)
Funny thing about doing my taxes (even though I drag my heels) in recent years I am finding that I schedule more time than is necessary and finish early – which is unheard of for my former self. No matter what the financial outcome is, I can accept that I did my part in the process, to make it easier for my accountant to do her work. All it took was a shift in perspective.
As I am organizing all my tax stuff, sometimes the pure act of working with the numbers can take on a zen-like quality of chop-wood, carry-water. In fact, once I’ve started, it can even be kind of fun and a time to look back and reflect on the year. I can celebrate what I’ve accomplished, sigh at lessons learned the hard way, relive time spent over a meal with family or friends, that course I took, etc. – and recognize this is a time to be grateful.
How did I climb this mountain/molehill? “You can’t finish what you don’t start” became my mantra. I created a strategy for the climb. The idea was to chunk it down into manageable parts which looked like this: On the first day I will explore one area, and when I’ve reached camp for the night acknowledge that I have finished that part of the journey. The next day I will start another part, and before I know it, I will be at the summit. From there, I can enjoy the feeling of accomplishment, the beauty of the view and the relief I that I made it. The key is to start. After all, you can’t finish what you don’t start…
The question is – when will you climb your mountain/molehill?