As all veteran perfectionistic procrastinators know, postponing the beginning of any project works to defer, or explain, feared failure.
You want to lose 20 pounds before your class reunion a year from now?
You could start today, and lose 1.67 pounds every month, easy-peasy, just skipping that glass of wine and going for a walk.
Or you could spend eight months vaguely worrying about the twenty pounds, easing the worry with chocolate, so that you gain another five pounds in the process, and then try to lose 25 pounds in four months, or 6.25 pounds every month. Ambitious, but not impossible.
And, just in case you haven’t figured out that the “you” here is me, you could also worry and eat for ten months, until you need to lose, say, 28 pounds in two months, and then begin to do the math and plan the fasting that will be necessary to even fit into your dress with the help of two pairs of Spanx.
Or, you could set out to do NaNoWriMo, knowing the 50,000 words in 30 days means 1,667 words per day.
And you could mess around for the first three days, setting up the perfect writing software or getting out your Thanksgiving tableware, so that you have to recalibrate and write 1,851 words per day for 27 days.
You know where this is likely to end: somewhere along the lines of giving up on the prospect of writing 5,000 words per day for the last ten days.
This year, in the first three days of NaNo, I’ve written 7,763 words.
Fire and pestilence could derail me still, but I have to admit that starting strong, despite its unfamiliarity, feels pretty good.