What your ambivalence means (and doesn't mean)

I've missed you guys!

It's been five whole weeks since I wrote you properly—and, besides feeling glad to have survived my twenty-eight day commitment, I'm just really happy to get back into the routine of sharing weekly tips on small step taking.

If you didn't have a chance to read the blog after last week's newsletter, here are the final two reports in my daily accountability series:

Day 27/28
Day 28/28

(You'll notice that on Day 28, I came down with a nasty cold and everything kind of went to shit. But my haiku on that last day is by far my favorite. An important life lesson, for sure.)

As I worked on the book throughout the month of February, I thought a lot about a reader question that was suddenly very relevant to me and my experience:

I've been contemplating a lemon water cleanse for quite some time. I excitedly prepared yesterday. Today, I am not excited about it all! Even as I drink it. What's that flip-flop all about?

I'm all too familiar with that sneaky ambivalence, dear reader!

In both my experience and my clients' experience, it tends to come along for the ride whenever we attempt to create a new habit or embark on a new project.

It can accompany change of any sort, but especially the kind of change that requires a commitment.

Many, many times throughout my twenty-eight day project, I was not the least bit excited to work on my book. Some days, I flat out dreaded it.

But I'd been so eager to devote some time to this long-imagined dream of mine!

And I'd even felt a nerdy giddiness over the idea of writing a daily haiku about the process! (So meta! So me!)

I'd wanted an excuse to keep a daily blog, if only for a short time—and here was my opportunity!

So, then: What happened?

My idea began its transformation into an action.


Suddenly, the concept of what could be was replaced by the reality of what is.

(And that reality required my daily participation.)

Our imaginations, when they're working well, entice us to create what we desire.

Sometimes it goes no further than temptation; too much time between idea and execution and we'll think ourselves right out of doing.

Other times, we take the bait; we don't necessarily realize it's happened—aflutter in some fantasy one minute, knee-deep in materials and plans the next—but there we find ourselves, having announced to our readers that we intend to begin work on a book starting in two days' time.

So, while it was easy for me to imagine having already created the book I often thought about writing, it was an entirely different enterprise to actually task myself with daily book-building activities.

I had to change gears.

From thinking to doing.

From the imagined perfect to the actual imperfect.

From my well-worn daily routine to an uncharted schedule that necessitated my giving an hour of attention to something new.

From the excitement of making the commitment to the slog of following through on the commitment.

That ambivalence we feel as we transform an idea into an action or series of actions?

It lets us know that we're alive to the change we're making.


It doesn't mean we chose wrong or we don't have the requisite self-discipline or we're too mercurial to commit to anything.

It simply means we're experiencing personal transformation right alongside our idea (as it transforms into an action); in attempting something new, we're becoming someone new.

So, wait a little while before you let your ambivalence talk you out of your project. Recognize that change of any kind often triggers some resistance (which is fear in disguise) in all of us. And keep showing up in the meantime.