Stop saying ‘sometime’

I’m on a campaign to remove the word ‘sometime’ from my vocabulary. As vague as other glass-half-empty words like “fine” or “nice”, it serves no purpose in my life. In fact, I was so perplexed by what purpose it serves at all that I looked up its definition in the dictionary. The explanation didn’t exactly set my glass overflowing either if you know what I mean.

def: at some unspecified or unknown time.

e.g. “you must come and have supper sometime”

synonyms: someday, one day, one of these (fine) days, at a future date, sooner or later, by and by, in due course, in the fullness of time, in the long run

cf. never

That last note was added by me. Let’s translate that for you young hip(ster) YOLO’ing folk:


“You must come and have supper sometime,” is short for: “look at my lips but read my eyes. What am I really saying to you?… Don’t come for supper. Ever. That roast dinner ain’t gonna cook itself and I’m certainly not gonna cut out my TV time to help it.”

When we say ‘sometime’ we mean ‘never’. It’s as simple as that. The only difference is that when we use the word “never” we are being adamant and honest; when we use the word “sometime” we are being wishy washy and weak. When we tell ourselves we will get around to doing something sometime, we lure ourselves into a false sense of security. We feel chuffed that we will eventually get around to completing this task or achieving this goal. We feel smug that it’s even on the radar. But what happens to goals and tasks tagged with a “sometime” label? They fall to the bottom of the pile as other more urgent priorities get stacked on top.

This makes me think of the saying “always the bridesmaid, never the bride”. Sometime goals are always invited to the party but never take centre stage. They lurk in the back hall of our minds, not forgotten but not focussed on either. They serve as niggling guilty reminders of what we should be achieving in our lives.

So join my campaign. Make the decision right now to stop saying the word “sometime”. Commit yourself fully to everything you say you will do. Commit to your responsibilities with others, but more importantly, commit to yourself. Start being honest with yourself today.

Let me know how your life changes.

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