Please note that this is an Archived article and may contain content that is out of date. The use of she/her/hers pronouns in some articles is not intended to be exclusionary. Eating disorders can affect people of all genders, ages, races, religions, ethnicities, sexual orientations, body shapes, and weights.

By Quinn Nystrom, MS

I recently saw a meme on social media that struck a chord with me. It said something along the lines of, “If you want this year to be your year, don’t sit on the couch and wait for it. Go out and do it.”

I think all of us have fallen into this quagmire on occasion: the trap of sitting back and waiting for life to happen instead of making life happens. I’m here to tell you from experience that there is no Prince on a White Horse waiting to ride in and *rescue* us. If you have a dream or goal, it all comes down to these nine words.

If it’s Meant to Be, It’s Up to ME.

In other words, we need to be a “human doing.”

So what is a Human Doing? It’s the act of putting on our Big Kid Pants and handling what life throws at us instead of crumpling up on the couch and hoping the icky stuff just goes away. This does not mean we forgo being a human being, but it does mean we need to own our mistakes and take the steps to mend the damage. It does mean we need to empower ourselves that we DO have the smarts, energy, and initiative to make life better for ourselves and others. It does mean that progress on a dream or goal, even if it feels like millimeters, is forward movement.

It means taking action.

Four Tips for Being a Human Doing

Live the moment: The present is a gift, that’s why it’s called “the present.” We are all guilty of wishing time away. “I wish my daughter would get past this stage,” or “I wish next month would come faster so I can go on vacation.” If you’ve caught yourself wishing life away, we have news for you; once today is gone…there’s no “reset” switch. Live in the moment as often as possible, and yes, we know this is sometimes easier-said-than-done.

Write down your dreams and then Implement: The act of actually writing down and verbalizing your dreams is an important step that should not be ignored. I promise that, once your dreams are on paper, they get more real. Once they feel more real, you will be able to attach projects or tasks to them. Once you have tasks to execute, they will propel you forward. If you don’t do these steps, your dreams will continue to rattle around in your brain and never see the light of day.

Take the First Step: The world is filled with people who are wistfully reciting their “some-days.” “Someday, I’ll write a book.” Or “Someday I’ll travel to Paris.” But unless the “someday” is transformed into a “today is the day,” these dream will remain dreams forever. I know that taking first step is scary, so do what I do– use baby steps. Acknowledge your goal, form a plan, and then take the first step.

Be “That” Person: Instead of waiting for someone else to right a wrong, implement change, form the group, or lead the charge…be that person yourself. That applies to your own life as well. When things aren’t going as well in a certain facet of life, whether it’s professionally, health wise, or malfunctions in relationships, we feel powerless to make changes. The truth is, we do have the power to fix things.

Again, acknowledge, form a plan, and then take the first step. Be the human being who is leading by example as a human doing.

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”-Mark Twain