One of the most inspirational things I’ve seen in the last year or so happened when I saw this lady out running in the snow. This is snow in Georgia, mind you. Everybody freaks out. You scramble to pick your kids up from school. You go to the grocery store. We’re just not prepared for snow, and we all have horror stories about 1982 and 1993 and now, yes, 2014.
But this lady was not freaking out. She was running. We drove by with the kids, headed home from the grocery store, getting ready to batten down the hatches. At first I said “Look kids. Look at that crazy lady running in the snow.” Then I caught myself. “You know what? If you want to do something, that’s how you do it. Every day. Even in the snow. No excuses.”
Exercise, Bible study, waking up earlier. We have all these things that we consider to be “important”. If it’s that important to you, go ahead and commit to it. As in 100%. Take on a “no matter what” mindset.
Instead of it getting harder, it gets infinitely easier. We don’t realize it, but all of those little negotiations we make with ourselves sap us of energy. And the guilt we feel for not doing these things far outweighs the pleasure we derive from doing them.
So I’ve got a novel concept. If it’s important to you, make a commitment. Do it, 100% of the time. Now, don’t worry – it doesn’t have to be an every day thing. But if you plan on exercising 3 days a week, then exercise 3 days a week. Put it on your calendar and go all Nike on everybody’s butt. Just do it.
Things come up. You get sick. You get in a funk. You live in Georgia and it snows. I’m not saying you have to be an idiot and still run 5 miles if you’re sick. But you can put on your running shoes and go out to the mailbox. Or you can do a short blog post at the eleventh hour.
Jack Canfield is the dude who wrote all those Chicken Soup books. (BTW – I swear that if you buy a book and leave it in your basement for a couple of years, it turns into a Chicken Soup book, but I digress.) Canfield has written about this idea that 100% is easier than 99% and it’s so true. If you want something badly enough, you will do it.
Instead of agonizing over the decision to do ‘X’ or not every day, just make a decision once. It’s all downhill from there.
OK I’m going to throw one more thing at you. This will probably not be received well, but I think it’s true. And if you really think about it, it might release you from a lot of guilt.
Maybe the reason you never follow through on those New Years’ Resolutions is that you don’t really want them. Maybe you don’t want to learn to play the guitar. Maybe you don’t really want to weigh the same you did in college. And that’s OK. Let all that stuff go.
But there are things that you really want to do. There are things that make you mad when you see other people doing. There are things that make you feel alive when you do them and dead inside when you don’t.
Do those things. 100%. And let go of the rest.