097: Don’t Delay Happiness: Someday Syndrome | Tanya Dalton Skip to the content
November 20, 2018   |   Episode #:

097: Don’t Delay Happiness: Someday Syndrome

In This Episode:

How many times have you said that you’d do whatever it is you want to do Someday? In reality, someday is this indefinite time in the future that never really comes. Today, I want to focus on your someday. We’ll discuss the roadblocks that keep us from pursuing the things that we say matter most to us & how we can take actionable steps towards prioritizing and achieving those dreams. We have to stop delaying our happiness and give ourselves permission to change, to start, to do the things we need to do, and to move towards the lives we really want.

Show Transcript:

The Big Idea

When you make room for what’s important to you, you are really allowing yourself to value your priorities and yourself.

Questions I Answer

  • How can I get started on my dreams or goals?
  • How can I feel like I have more time?
  • How do I prioritize my goals?
  • How can I feel more productive with my goals?

Actions to Take

  • Take a moment right now and list out all the things that you’ve saved for someday. You have the ability to give yourself that permission to change, to start, to do the things you need to do, to move towards the life you really want. When you think about your ideal life, what does that look like? How do you move closer to the life you want every day, rather than someday? Because someday is now. Start moving towards those somedays.

Key Topics in the Show

  • 3 roadblocks of Someday Syndrome and how you can address them

  • Giving yourself permission to pursue what matters most to you

  • How you can make someday a reality through intention and planning

  • Evaluating your somedays in order to determine how they fit into your life

Resources and Links

Show Transcript

Welcome to season eight of Productivity Paradox with Tanya Dalton. A  podcast focused on using productivity not just to do more, but to achieve what’s  most important to you. Join Tanya this season as she focuses on planning for  success using proven productivity strategies. To get her free checklist, Five Minutes  To Peak Productivity, simply go to inkWELLpress.com/podcast. To get her free checklist, Five Minutes To Peak Productivity, simply go to  inkWELLpress.com/podcast.  

And now here’s your host Tanya Dalton. 

Hello, hello, everyone. Welcome to Productivity Paradox. I’m your Host, Tanya  Dalton, and this is episode 97. 

We’ve been talking all season long about how planning for success can help us  make progress towards our goals. And lately, I’ve heard some feedback from many of  you saying, “You’re so focused on making your way through the days and the weeks  and it’s really hard to think about the future. You’re not able to think about what’s to  come in the future.” We have to stop delaying our happiness. And that’s what I’d like  to focus on, on this podcast; Your Someday. 

How many times have you said that you’d do whatever it is you want to do,  “Someday?” Someday, this indefinite time in the future. We know that indefinite  means it’s not clearly expressed or really defined. So let’s start there. 

Why are there things in our lives that are not clearly expressed, or even clearly  defined? You know maybe that you want to travel more, or try out a new hobby,  someday. You might whisper to yourself or even say it out loud to your loved ones in  passing, “Someday I’ll …” These are your somedays. I found that we say someday  because we don’t feel the immediacy of making time for these things right now, in  the present, in the here and now. And there’s a term for this. It’s called Someday  Syndrome. 

Someday Syndrome is defined as, not doing what you want because either,  one, you don’t know what it is. Two, you’re procrastinating about it. Or, three, there’s  just too much in your way. So I want to address each of those three roadblocks first.  And then I want to talk about some actionable ways we can move past these and  move closer to your someday. 

So let’s start with that first roadblock; you don’t know what it is. So let’s start  with this first step, which is, ensuring that our goals are clearly expressed and  defined. What is your it? Maybe it’s, “I want to start a business.” I hear this from so  many of you. So let’s start with this as an example. 

So ask yourself, “What kind of business is it I’d like to start?” It’s not just any  kind of business, right? You have passions, and pursuits, and things that interest you.  

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Begin with doing a brain dump of these things. Define what this looks like to you.  How will you start? In each state, there are requirements for starting businesses.  What kind of documents will you need? How do you file them? How much does it  cost? 

When we chart a path towards this unknown, it’s important to find answers to  the things that we can, since so many things are uncertain. So establish some  containers of time for the energy that you want to put into this project. Maybe it’s, “I  will work on my business development each morning from 5:30 to 6:30 a.m.” That’s  pretty early, right? I know, but I have found that carving out time early in the day  allows you to really focus on what’s important to you. 

And then, because you’ve started your day with something that is important to  you, the rest of the day feels like a big win. Because if you put it off, the time that you  need, will end up being taken by something else. So if this is a priority item, tackle it  first. Get up a little bit earlier, make a commitment to it, and really spend time on it  first thing. Setting aside this commitment to yourself and to your someday is really  important. It really takes dedication to know your why, and that’s why you’ll need to  remain really focused on this journey. 

I understand the reluctance you might be feeling. Knowing what it is, is very  overwhelming. And when you start to pile in all the other unknowns, those questions,  it can make anyone want to throw in the towel. And trust me, I definitely understand  this. Most of you know through the podcast that inkWELL Press is not my first  business. My first real business was a jewelry company and it was kind of a unique  business. What I would do is, I would take photographs that people gave me, and I  would set them into heirloom-quality jewelry, but I didn’t start there. 

When I first started, I had 50 bucks and zero knowledge. The fact that the 50  bucks was way more than the amount of knowledge I had, maybe it should have  scared me. But it didn’t. When I started, I just started small. When I first started, I  used Scrabble tiles, and I would use a coating on them. That didn’t hold up, which  really wasn’t what I wanted. I didn’t like that. So I decided to discover what would  hold up. 

I wanted to create these heirloom pieces, and that was really important to me,  but I had no idea how to do it. And you might feel that way about your dream or your  goal. You don’t know how to do it. So what I did, is I started researching. And that  brought me to discovering different coatings and resins. A topic that, at the time, I  knew absolutely nothing about. 

So as a lifelong learner, I started researching. I learned all about resins and all  about coatings. I talked to people who put coatings on surfboards. I spoke with  people who knew about dental resins and UV resins. I chatted with scientists, who  used really big words that I couldn’t pronounce, and they didn’t seem to care. They  liked that I asked a lot of questions, lots, and lots of questions. 

You see, I gave myself permission to explore and to discover and then I started  testing them, just like the scientists. You know, minus the fancy degree. But I spent  three months testing adhesives, and coatings, and metals, and then I would set them  

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outside in the elements to see how they held up, through rain, and snow, and  blistering sun. And eventually, I found what worked for us. 

It took a lot of trial and error but I developed a coating that was so unique, it  was considered a trade secret. I was the only person to make jewelry that was  guaranteed never to yellow or cloud and I became a leader in my industry, but that  never would have happened if I hadn’t given myself the grace to admit that there was  an awful lot that I didn’t know. 

And that’s the thing here, trial and error is key. Not just in an instance like this,  in the big picture, too. You see, I found, eventually, as you probably know that, that  business wasn’t really my passion. And ultimately, I chose to change gears and pursue  what really mattered to me. And what I learned during the process of that first  jewelry business, is what I applied with inkWELL Press. That’s what really allowed me  to grow, the clarity I got from that pivot is what I needed to make me successful  today. And it’s so important to have clarity about our somedays, so they’re no longer  these lofty, unattainable, undefined goals. Defining our it makes it more real and that  moves us closer to making action. And I think that’s really most important here. 

So let’s get to that second roadblock; you’re procrastinating about it. We put  things off because we think we have more time. Or, that someday we’ll be in a better  place to start. And thinking this way is, well, it’s unrealistic. Time really is one  commodity we can’t get more of. No matter how hard we try, or what we do, no one  can get more time. That illusion of someday is very real, though, and it’s not wrong to  have something to look forward to, to plan for in the future, what’s problematic is if  some day never comes. 

What if you work your whole life for a someday that doesn’t happen? I find  that this mindset robs us of the present. It robs us of the joy of what we’re doing in  our everyday life. And we, as humans, we spend so much time reflecting on the past,  and wishing on our future. We say things like, “Oh, if I only …” Or, “Oh, I’ll be happy  when …” “When I lose 10 pounds I’ll be happier.”  

“Once I get the promotion, I’ll spend more time with my family.” “If only I had  more money, I’d be able to do the things I really want to do.” Some days, life is not  meant to be endured. It’s meant to be enjoyed. Enduring the present, while hoping  and waiting for something better, isn’t really living. We convince ourselves it’ll be  easier, or better at some point in the future, so we just put things off. 

Now researchers at USC have found that, if people frame things in the future,  in the form of days rather than weeks or months, we would act on them sooner. The  best way to do that is to connect to your future self. And if you recall, we did a whole  episode on future self a while back, and I’ll make sure to link to that in the show  notes. But I want you to think about how you’ll feel when you achieve your someday.  When you do this, you can reclaim your power. You can stop that cycle of letting the  past steal your joy and letting the future steal your present. 

So the first step is to stop pushing things aside, because when we do this, it  often means we haven’t clearly established our priorities. And it can also mean, we  

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just really haven’t made space for those priorities in our daily life. So I want you to  think of it that way. 

The third roadblock that I talked about is; well, there’s just too much in the  way. The things that you’ll say you’ll do someday, reveal who you really are and what  you really want to do. And it’s not having that list that’s the problem, it’s having a list  that things go on, and then we never prioritize them, or find ways to include them  into our lives. We have to stop living like there are eight days in the week. Sunday,  Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Someday. Because let’s  be honest, if someday did exist, it would be the busiest day of the week. Am I right? 

We’re using someday as this catchall for all the things that we don’t really have  the bandwidth to address in the present. And as a result, someday has become  synonymous with postponing joy. And as we get older, well, we have more  obligations, right? In turn, we get better at using time, attention, and energy, as our  excuses. And that’s what we use to say, “Oh, we can’t do something.” We’ve  accumulated these obligations and expectations; our own, and those of other people,  as well. 

So I want you to give yourself permission to pursue what matters. Here’s the  thing, we’ve been conditioned through our whole lives to seek permission. It starts as  children, we need to ask our parents, or our teachers, or other elders if we can do  things. We may have rebelled against some of the structure, but it did become  ingrained in our psyche. And as we grow older, we still seek that permission and that  validation from maybe even still our parents or our boss. And oftentimes, our peers.  And this translates into being afraid to go after those big goals. 

The permission that you need comes from within. You are in charge of your life.  So give yourself permission to do it, regardless of the outcome. In our society, we’ve  become so focused on success and what that looks like. And as a result, the fear of  failure is what keeps so many of us from even starting. You have the power to give  yourself permission to take a chance, even if the outcome isn’t ideal. But because you  have this power to define success, we can get caught up in the idea of what  everybody else is doing, and what defines success. We think it’s money, we maybe  think it’s title. We don’t realize that success is really defined by our own happiness. 

The truth is, whether you succeed or fail, you did something that mattered to  you. And that’s all that matters here. Let me say that again because I think it’s really  important here. Whether you succeed or fail, you did something that mattered to you.  And here’s the trick, all failures can be springboards. Think about how I talked about  that first business that I had, and I ended up closing it down, right? That could be  considered by some people to be a failure, but it’s not. You know why? Because even  though that wasn’t what ultimately made me happy my whole lifelong, that gave me  so much knowledge to be able to do the job that I do today, which is what makes me  so incredibly happy. It’s a springboard. 

When you make room for what’s important to you, you are really allowing  yourself to value your priorities and yourself. So I want you to think of it that way. I  want you to think about you being in charge of you and you deciding what that  

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success looks like. So I want you to think about the things that you say that you want  to do someday. Let’s call this our Someday List. 

So take a moment right now and list out all the things that you’ve saved for  someday. Feel free to pause the podcast and write out a list. Or, okay. If you’re driving  or working out, maybe you can’t stop and write the list. But take a minute or two to  think through what would be on that list. Don’t worry, I’ll wait. Go ahead and pause,  and then when you’ve thought through that list, hit play again. 

Okay, did you pause and make your list? Or, did you cheat? I’m hoping that you  paused and made your list. Because now, I want to share a hard truth with you. You  haven’t done those things on your Someday List because it’s not a priority. That’s the  thing about priorities, they really are what matters most to you. And if it matters to  you, you need to put a specific timeline in place. And if you’re not doing that, you’re  saying that these are not your priorities. Start giving yourself some action items to  really start moving towards this someday. 

Let’s say, you’ve always wanted to go to Italy. Then, maybe start doing some  research. What region of Italy do you want to go to? You’ll need a passport. You got  to figure out what to do to get that. And start making the steps to get a passport.  Then, maybe you’ll set up a special savings account, where you put money that’s  earmarked for your Italy trip. You can research flights and accommodations. It’s a  process, but by taking small steps over time, you’re doing what it takes to make your  someday a reality, and you’re setting it up as a priority. 

Now if you don’t have the space to even think about your someday right now,  your life is too crowded. How can you consciously make time every day to carve out  for your someday? Think about this. The somedays in our lives don’t become a reality  without intention and planning. And that’s really all it takes, is some intention and  some planning. 

Take a look at your list. I want to encourage you to make someday today. Let’s  say, you’ve always wanted to learn how to make pottery. Guess what? You can. Find  the list course for your local community college. That’s a great place to find some  continuing education classes. Sign-up for that class. It’s the first step. Or, for bigger  items, make a plan and a list of the things that you’ll do to move towards that goal.  Write them down into those bite-sized pieces we’ve talked about in the past. Maybe  your someday is that you want to live at the beach. 

Well, start by listing out your top three choices. You can compare them based  on some key factors, like location, and cost, and so on. This will probably take some  research and some information gathering. Then when you have a better  understanding of what it will take to make this someday yours, you can really  continue moving forward. You’ve gotten the momentum started. 

So let’s start with the cost because money is so often a roadblock for all of us.  Unfortunately, most of us are on a budget, right? And that can be a really big  roadblock when we’re pursuing our someday. So maybe you find that there are some  immediate costs, but there’s also some upkeep. Taking care of a beach home, well,  

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that’s important. And that includes things like maintenance because of the saltwater,  and impending threats of hurricanes, and things like that. 

So you can ask yourself, “Is this something you really want to put your time  and energy into?” This is a very real question to ask yourself. And these questions will  come up in the pursuit of our somedays. Well, then let’s see. There’s also insurance.  Maybe after all this research, you decide, “You know what? I don’t really know if I  want to own a beach home. Maybe I’d rather just spend a week there every summer.”  That’s okay. Sometimes we find that our somedays sound a lot better than they really  are. And that’s all right. It’s okay if that changes. It’s okay if it adjusts. 

Maybe you could take those top three beach destinations that you found and  start looking into rental properties. Or, you could plan a weekend getaway. I want you  to pick something that’s feasible now. And if that means, you just check out a book  from the library that has a beach setting, hey, that’s the first step. 

And that’s all that matters, is we take that first step. Because once you take  that first step, the second step will follow, and then the third, and the fourth. And  then, we start moving ourselves closer to that someday. It’s not this undefined,  unrealistic thing that’s in our future. It becomes something that becomes so much  more real to us. 

This season, we’re focusing on planning for success, but you also have to plan  for this someday, for your someday. The system’s not about making time for your  somedays, it’s also about taking the time to reflect on them. When you take the time  to evaluate your somedays, or to reevaluate them, and that happens, you are mindful  of how your somedays fit you. 

I think that’s really important here. You need to recognize that just because it  was once a goal or a dream, doesn’t mean it has to be your dream forever. We  change and we grow as individuals, right? As time passes, we learn new things about  ourselves. And that dream may change, that someday may change, and that’s okay.  Part of that growth is acknowledging things that no longer serve us. 

So even if we’re already started on our journey towards a goal, we can always  chart a new path. Give yourself permission to do that. Remember, the permission is  within you. You have the ability to give yourself that permission to change, to start, to  do the things you need to do, to move towards the life you really want. And when you  think about your ideal life, what does that look like? How do you move closer to the  life you want every day, rather than someday? Because someday is now. And that’s  what I want you to remember. Start moving towards those somedays. 

All right. I hope that this episode has really helped you think about the life that  you really want, the someday you have in your future, and to get you started making  those steps. Now for those of us in America, this is a holiday week for us. So this is a  great time to catch up on some of those Tanya TV episodes. And you can watch  those at inkWELL.com/youtube. I’m also going to be sending out an email this week,  with a list of some of my favorite podcast episodes. So I’ll be sending out a special  email about that this week. 


For those of you who are going to be traveling in the car, it’s a great time to  catch up or to binge some of my favorite episodes while driving in the car. And next  week, we’re continuing talking about planning for success by talking about deciding  your destination, starting with the end in mind. So I hope to see you next week. And  until then, have a beautiful and productive week.  

Thanks for listening to Productivity Paradox. To get free access to Tanya’s  valuable checklist, Five Minutes To Peak Productivity, simply go to  inkWELLpress.com/podcast.