Ever notice how planning to do something feels a lot as though you’re actually making it happen? And how, once you’ve been in planning mode for awhile, it becomes a great excuse for not taking the final, scary leap off the edge and into action? I both love and value planning – I think it make success much more likely in most things – but it does have this shifty dark side.

Procrastination is planning’s evil twin.

You’ve examined your big adventure. You’ve made an impressive to-do list. But you want to wait for a perfect day to start. Monday might be more convenient; the beginning of the week has a freshness to it that makes everything seem more possible. No, wait, actually after your mother visits is the best time. Or maybe once Jimmy has finished his exams. Or when you get back from the family vacation to Aruba.

The evil twin in action.

If you want to make an action plan turn into real, live action, start the moment you’ve finished your plan. That very moment, start in at it with some small thing. Then do something else – whatever – the next day. And the next day. And the one after that.

As Gretchen Rubin of The Happiness Project (http://www.happiness-project.com/says: Put it in your schedule, or it will never happen. So true, Gretchen! Some of the best advice I’ve ever heard.