There is a “Thing” I should be doing daily. From a logical standpoint, I’m committed, onboard, and in total agreement. I have valid reasons (ahem—excuses) for not starting. I’m not a morning person. It’s hot outside, and I might sweat. It’s raining. I went to bed too late, and I’m tired. Instead of kicking my butt, putting my feet on the floor, and moving toward the door, I pull the covers over my head. My “Thing” is not rocket science. It is a simple 2.25-mile walk every morning. A few weeks ago, it was a habit, and for some inexplicable reason, I stopped.
Just do it, they say. It’s easy. Decide to start. But sometimes, starting is the most challenging step of the process. The motivational gurus are full of helpful advice aimed at pushing yourself into beginning your project. One tactic is to set up a reward or a bribe. Somehow, dangling a chocolate chip cookie in front of my nose to encourage me to take a “healthy” walk seems absurd.
Another strategy is to simplify the task, making it so easy to complete you can’t say “no.” I’m wise to that bait and switch scam. A five-minute walk isn’t worth the effort of tying my shoes, and I resent the mental manipulation required to trick myself into completing the entire circuit. If I get five minutes away from home, I’ve locked myself into at least a ten-minute walk. If I’m in for that long, I’m in for the whole 2.25 miles.
I stare at my Habit Tracker and the long line of big black X’s marking the days I didn’t walk. It occurs to me I have been obsessing over my failures this month. I know failure isn’t fatal, and it isn’t a permanent designation. I only need to review my prior month’s Habit Trackers to remind myself of my successes. My mind shifts and I realize what I must do to seize the day.
What is the “Thing” you should be doing?
Keep on writing.
Jo Hawk The Writer