Goins, Writer

On Writing, Ideas, and Making a Difference

Start Today, Not Tomorrow

What’s the secret to beginning a movement? To launching something revolutionary and world-changing? To getting your business idea launched?


Start today, not tomorrow. Don’t wait for the world to change. Change. The. World.

Start Today, Not Tomorrow

Photo credit: Sadie Hernandez (Creative Commons)

Here are some words from Julien Smith that recently challenged me:

There isn’t a single thing in this world that’s made better by starting tomorrow.

Everything you care about, everything you are about, needs to begin today or it may never happen.

If you don’t want to do it now, you clearly don’t want it bad enough.

I hate it when someone calls my bluff. Don’t you?

The world can’t be changed by those who don’t act. It’s basic physics.

As my friend Ken says, “A body in motion tends to stay in motion, and a body at rest tends to rest in peace.”

If you’re not moving, you’re dead. Please don’t be dead. We need you fully alive.

Tomorrow never comes

What’s something that you’ve put off doing till tomorrow? Did you really do it? I didn’t think so.

Here is a list of things I said I’d do tomorrow:

  • Clean the house
  • Go for a jog
  • Start dieting
  • Write a book proposal
  • Be kinder to my wife
  • Read more books
  • Be more productive
  • Fix my computer
  • Donate to a nonprofit

Many of those I pledged to start months ago. All with the same promise: Eh, I’ll do that tomorrow.

Face it: Tomorrow never comes. You only ever have today. Embrace it for what it is, or surrender to a life of regret and mediocrity.

What have you been putting off indefinitely? What’s been thrown into the endless void of “I’ll do that tomorrow”? Stop lying to yourself. Really what you’ll mean is: I’ll never have time for that.

I hate to tell you this, but there are no “Best Intentions” awards at the end of your life. It’s now or never.

It’s time to act

It doesn’t have to be like this, you know. You have a choice.

You can do that thing… today. Not tomorrow. Not in a month. Right now.

If it’s worth the effort, you shouldn’t wait. If it’s not, then simply tell the truth: I don’t want that badly enough.

Whatever you do, I hope you begin.

Build momentum. Overcome Resistance. Break free of laziness and malaise. Do something.

You’ll feel better about yourself once you’ve started. Trust me. It gets easier as you go.

Starting is hard

It requires courage and perseverance and all kinds of gumption. That’s why most people simply talk about it, but never do it. That’s why it’s the hard part.

But starting is necessary. It’s crucial to making your mark and leaving a legacy.

I dare you to begin. (And then tomorrow, do it all over again.)

* * *

If you need help, check out this book: The Art of the Start by Guy Kawasaki (Affiliate link)

What’s something you need to start today?

*Photo credit: Sadie Hernandez (Creative Commons)

By the way, if you like this kind of kick-in-the-butt, you should sign up for free updates to this blog. Find out more here.

About Jeff Goins

I write books and help writers get their work out into the world. I am the best-selling author of four books, including The Art of Work. Each week, I send out a newsletter with free tips on writing and creativity.

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  • Great thoughts.

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  • Autumn L

    Just began again, TODAY, to try to get into a better morning routine. Up at 4:50a after going to bed at 12:30a. Thanks for the praise – it feels pretty good. 🙂

    • sometimes, we just gotta hustle a little more. way to work!

  • Anonymous

    “Tomorrow, do it all over again.” Best sentence in the whole dang challenge. Thanks for another Monday kick in the pants, Jeff! 

    Time for me to go write a Christmas song. I’ve got my foot in a door and I intend to use it.

  • Good thoughts Jeff!

  • This is the theme of my life… besides getting 5 days work done in 1 & 1/2 this week, I’m working on my first E-book as well as a musical project. Being goal oriented and writing out your goals has really been a benefit.

    ‘If you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail!’ 😉

    • there’s power in writing out your goals.

  • Increasing my prayer life. 

  • Starting is good. Finishing is even better. The only way to finish, though, is by starting. Great words, Jeff.

  • Sarah B Farish

    I’ve been thinking about starting a blog for over two years. I never started. No title was ever clever enough, no idea ever worthy enough, no template ever looked good enough. The turning point came when I read Blaine Hogan’s Untitled this week and began blogging the next day. This post is so true…you just have to start! Does my blog need major design help? Yep. Does it need pages and tags and blogroll? Yep. But, that’s OK. I’ve started!

  • Great post Jeff! I had almost the same concept post today as well. We are all bad about talking about what we want to do but never actually getting around to DOING anything! Great Monday kick in the rear!
    How to finally do what you REALLY want to do

  • Jim Martin

    Jeff, I really like this post.  You are on to something very important.  Far too often important things are put off as we wait for a better time.  At times, I have have delayed an action so that I could be better prepared.  That may be appropriate sometimes but there are other times when I simply need to start.

    Great post!

  • Sage

    Just what I needed today! Thanks Jeff! I’m going to go start something. 🙂

  • I love this post, Jeff! I’ve been putting a lot off until tomorrow concerning my ministry and some of the steps that need to be taken to get it to grow beyond one campus. Last week I stopped putting off until tomorrow and started acting. I’m so glad I did. I have a few meetings set up and am looking forward to see us growing.

  • So true. I’ve had to force myself often to start today, even if it’s just a small action. There are really two questions you have to ask: “What am I going to do today?” and “What am I going to do tomorrow?” The today question gets you moving, the tomorrow question keeps your momentum. Ask those two questions and execute, and you’ll be on your way.

    • momentum is so important. thanks for the comment, loren! sounds like you’re doing great.

  • I really like that Julien Smith quote. Beating procrastination just feels good.

  • It’s Monday morning.  I’m lying in bed thinking about how I really need to hit the gym.  But, then I decide to read Goinswriter.com and BAM!  Kick in the pants to send me to the gym.  Thanks, Jeff.  You’re the new Jillian Michaels in my life.  LOL

    • ha! remember: discipline knows no boundaries. becoming more disciplined in one area of life often spills over into other areas. for me, exercising more also means being a more intentional, proactive writer.

  • Anonymous

    Don’t you just love people who ‘should’ all over themselves and others! ‘I should be doing this or that, you should do …’ 

    These ‘should’ pressured people have a heavy load to bear and like to throw it on others. 

    I encourage people to transform their ‘shoulds’ into ‘coulds’. I could be doing this or that. 

    ‘Could’s’ bring options and freedom.  

    Today is my ‘day off’ as such. I have lots of ‘shoulds’ haunting me, things I have possibly procrastinated about in the last week. What  ‘could’ I do today? Make a list to tackle them proactively! Focusing my attention on what I can do and not what I hope to do. 

    Thanks for the post Jeff

    • don’t should on me….

      • Anonymous

        Especially after a nice holiday!

  • Love the John Mayer comments! Ha.  Great post! 

    Right in line with my 5 minutes a day philosophy.  Rarely will a task take the entire day to accomplish.  The problem is getting started.  If you give yourself just 5 minutes at least you think you can finish it.

    • starting has to happen before you can finish. even johnny boy knows that.

  • I wrote the first part of the first chapter of my first book today!  I had already planned to start it today, but your post was affirmation to stop talking and start doing!  Thanks so much!!!

  • Great advice, Jeff!

  • You said it, Jeff.

    As Elvis sang in Las Vegas, “It’s nooowwww or neveerrr!”



  • Jill Crew

    Wow, I love this article!  I am currently working on a vision speech and the quote by Smith is just what I needed to hear.  Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Gabriela Pereira

    I’m building a Do-it-yourself MFA program for writers, which I’ve been working on for months. Every day is a renewed commitment to work on it and keep plugging forward.

    Great post! Just what I needed this morning. I think I might print it out and hang it by my workspace for a continual kick in the pants. 🙂

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  • Good point. I think I’ll have that candy bar NOW!!!! 

  • I wonder how much of this has to do with the fact that a dream not attempted is a dream that hasn’t failed. It seems like we’re so often motivated by not feeling the pain of trying and failing, because where do we go from there? 

  • Wow! Thank you for that! As a student entrepreneur I much too often put things off. Time management and prioritizing have never been my strong suit! This post is definitely been a wake up call to get my… together. 

    • you’re welcome, Tim. thanks for reading.

    • me neither. that’s why i have to write reminders like this to myself.

  • Anonymous

    “Start today, not tomorrow.”

    I want this engraved/printed and hung up somewhere!
    Just off to bed and tomorrow will be day 3 with me writing a blog post each day of the week so far. I ‘could’ be onto something if I keep this up, rather than a ‘should of been’ later on in life 😉

  • Even if what you do seems insignificant, it unstucks you and removes some of that resistance.

    I find that accountability works best for me – to my coach and mastermind partners. I commit to XYZ, then I have to do it or I have $ penalties! That gets me going 🙂

    • wow – whatever works!

      • It sure does! I believe took this concept originally from Eben Pagan. Do you know him?

        2011/8/18 Disqus

        • nope

          • He’s a very successful internet marketing guru… He created and launched dozens of information products online. Get Altitude, Guru Mastermind, Wake Up Productive, Ignition, Get Connected, and I believe his latest his Guru Masterclass (www.gurumasterclassblog.com). Very interesting follow! Worth a look…

            2011/8/19 Disqus

  • Kenley Belony

    I feel pressured. I am starting today.
    Well, I guess I needed that.


  • Mylene Orillo

    I love this. 🙂 Thank you.

  • Jenelle DC

    It must be a wake up call for me today to stumble on this post. Thanks, Mr. Goins. You made me realize how important to start today than any other day. I’m going to start writing now 🙂

  • Begin, begin and begin everyday.

  • seriously… ouch! “the wounds of a friend.” thank you for this reminder to do the next thing now! I have a sign on my desk- “someday is not a day of the week!” yet i still find myself cleverly avoiding the harder and more uncomfortable actions that are required for world changing.

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  • Danijela

    This post is evergreen! I suffer from I-ll-do-it-tomorow desiese, and this post reminded me to think about reason I wanna do something, not about how hard it is.