Fella calls me toward the end of last year; “I want to do triathlons, I want to win, and I want to do Escape from Alcatraz in June.” (this was his first sentence….no pun intended ha ha). Now, straight up, Escape is a pretty tough race; he got in through lottery and was excited and nervous. And I thought, “hmmm…he said WANT three times in 8 seconds, so he’s likely got the stuff for this”. Turns out he REALLY does.
Back story here: there’s a continuum of need from “I wish” -> “I’m planning to” -> “I want to” -> “I’m going to”. Telling me his plans his voice was a hair’s width from “I’m going to”. He’d already made the transition from thinking about a major accomplishment to knowing damn well he was going to do this. Needless to say, he did achieve becoming a solid triathlete over the succeeding 8 months and finishing the race in a decent position is a wonderful accomplishment as an ‘over 50 years old’ triathlete in a field of much more experienced athletes.
I’ve gone through the same transitions myself in so many different areas of interest: from “I’d like to” through “I’m going to”. Those times when I don’t get very far beyond the word “like” aren’t quite as productive and I move along more slowly; for instance getting a certification in the technology world where I work. When it’s “I’m going to”, like a triathlon accomplishment (because races DO occur on certain dates) I’ll grind under my coach like a rented mule.
If you’ve been doing the “I’d like to” thing for a while, either to get more healthy, to accomplish something you’ve always wanted to do (lose weight, run your first 5k, kill that Olympic distance tri, do improv theatre, whatever), you can upgrade your thoughtware/wantware to the next version and actually start. You don’t need an internet connection to download the next version…..you just need a friendly nudge.