Although I’ll be somewhere in the Australian outback by the time you read this, it’s 8PM at the time of this writing on Tuesday night, the night before I head out.
I’m going to be 100% honest with you: I wasn’t sure what I was going to write tonight and when I finally started typing I didn’t think I’d be able to get through the whole thing – the past few weeks of less than optimal sleep, a book launch, and a hectic travel schedule have finally caught up to me and it’s been a struggle to come up with an idea.
After spending the morning and afternoon getting caught up on emails and Rebel Strength Guide stuff, I went and exercised in the park, worrying the whole time about the article I was going to write for today. I didn’t have the time or the mental capacity to put together a post that would be up to my normal standards (2000+ words, full of references and nerdy analogies), and because of that I started getting down on myself. After sitting down at my computer with no good thoughts in my mind, I put off starting a new draft for as long as humanly possible (though you could call watching the first 15 minutes of “A Game of Thrones” research).
I asked myself: if you can’t do something 100%, what’s the point of doing it at all?
And then I decided: Just get started and see how far you get.
Do Something. Do Anything. Just Get Started.
When it comes to leveling up your life, doing SOMETHING is almost always better than nothing…Unless the “something” happens to be “eat paint chips” or “drink motor oil.” The hardest part of getting healthy is making the first move:
- taking the first step out the door for a run
- chopping up the first ingredient for a healthy meal
- saying no to the first doughnut at work
- waking up earlier than normal on that first morning
Or in my case tonight, the hardest part about writing an article is putting down the first few words on the screen. However, if you can get past that first step, your body knows what its supposed to do and momentum can carry you through the rest of the steps.
This first step is even more crucial if you’re JUST getting started for the first time. If you’re overweight, out of shape, and having a rough time with life…the thought of exercising on a daily basis probably scares the crap out of you. If you’ve never run a mile, a marathon seems like some fantasy distance that only imaginary people run. If you’re trying to get out of thousands of dollars of credit card debt, saving a few dollars here and there seems like a complete waste of time.
Don’t freak out! Keep your composure! After all, something is better than nothing.
- If you don’t have time for your full workout – do half of it.
- If you can’t do a full push up, do half of one!
- If you can’t run a full mile, walk it.
- If you’re headed on a vacation where there’s only bad food, do the best you can to eat healthy for at least one meal.
- If you can’t pay off $100 bucks of this month, do $50. Or $25. Or $10.
Why Something Is Better than Nothing
I know what you’re thinking: “this just seems like a lot of half-assing, Steve…I thought Yoda said ‘do or do not, there is no try’?”
I’m not one to go against Yoda, so I’ll clarify my position – you’re not half-assing it if you can’t do something all the way for a legitimate reason: weather, unexpected work project, your kid gets sick, flight delay, whatever. Sh** happens and life doesn’t always go according to plan.
In these instances, I will always advocate something over nothing for a multitude of reasons:
We are creatures of habit. Every day, we make decisions that either take us one step closer or one step further away from our goals. When trying to get in shape, establishing good habits and positive reinforcement is instrumental in having long-term success. If you tell yourself that it’s okay to “skip just this one workout,” the next time you have a conflict it’ll be a little bit easier to “I’ll skip just this one too.” However, if you can drag yourself out the door for a workout even when you don’t want to, it’ll be easier to convince yourself “hey I did it last time, I can do it this time too.”
WHO CARES if you don’t have time for the whole workout? Half of it is so much better for you than none of it. Not only are you burning more calories than you would have had you skipped it, but you’re also planting a “I’m getting healthy” thought at the front of your mind for the rest of the day, which will positively influence every other decision you make.
Optimus Prime has taught us that small changes add up to big transformations. Tony (a.k.a. Endorphin Dude) thought he was having a heart attack a few years ago so he decided to just go for a walk. Nothing crazy, just a simple walk. Each day after that, he walked a little bit further and further, and then started jogging….and now Tony runs marathons on a weekly basis all over the country. It’s easy for nerds like us to get overwhelmed by looking too far ahead into the future and freaking out. Take things one small change at a time, one day at a time, and focus on puting one foot in front of the other. You can figure the rest out as you go.
How to do Something
This is the easiest part to explain and the hardest part to implement: shut up, stop complaining, stop making excuses, suck it up, and do something. Do anything. My friend Tyler put a quote on his twitter account the other day that really made me think:
“No one believes your excuses except for you.”
We all have crappy situations and circumstances that we’re dealing with in our lives: not enough time, too tired, bad day at work, girlfriend cheated on me, lost my job, I can’t beat level 4-2 of Angry Birds, whatever…these things will only be your downfall if you let them. If you really want to start living better, you need to stop using these excuses as crutches to make yourself feel better about shirking your responsibilities.
Remember Rule #1 of the Rebellion: “we don’t make excuses, we offer solutions.”
So go do something.
Go do anything.
If you haven’t exercised in a month, go for a walk on your lunch break. If you’ve eaten 20 unhealthy meals in a row, make tonight the first healthy meal. If you usually chain smoke 30 cigarettes a day, aim for 29. Aim to be better, no matter how miniscule the difference is.
Every little bit counts, every little bit helps.
Now get started.
Woot of the Week: From rebel 1Fever, a US Army Lieutenant currently stationed in Iraq:
I made the Captains list! For those of you that don’t know the system, Lieutenants are reviewed in their 3rd year for eligibility for promotion to Captain.
Once the board determines eligibility they give the LT a sequence number and the LT waits for that number to come up. Usually between 1-6 months.
The big thing is getting on the list because once you are on it you will get promoted as long as you don’t do something illegal, immoral, or are out of shape. So I’m super jacked.
Congrats 1Fever, and thank you for your service! Have an awesome success story or just a moment full of win? Share it in the Woot Room!