When ambitious intentions collide with competing commitments, everything falls through, and you revert to the status quo.
You revert to doing things the way they’ve always been done. To getting what you’ve always gotten.
Perhaps this is why most fitness programs, including some we’ve offered, are 21 to 30 days. This approaches the maximum timeline to artificially prop up motivation with a reward system.
If you want to change your habits, you’ll face the difficulty of prioritization. The balance between:
Most people think of these as a Venn diagram, except with no area of crossover. This means you can have one or two, but not all three.
If I know most parents and good people like you, that thing deleted from your schedule is usually you. You give your time and energy to your kids, your spouse, your community, a passion project, a service opportunity, or your Church.
Every “Yes” must be guarded by 1000 “No’s.”
When the time comes to stick to your wants and plans, it’s easy to dismiss them out of guilt, procrastination, avoidance, or desire for something immediately rewarding (this could be helping someone or an ice cream Sundae).
I invite you to explore this question with a sense of lightheartedness, “If today was your last day, what would you focus on?”
Of course, we’d call into work, eat a bunch of crap, and get into shenanigans. Examine your time like a financial budget. Ask if you are investing time in things that have the highest ROI for you now AND in the future.
Eating a cheeseburger or skipping the treadmill today doesn’t have consequences until many tomorrows from now. Even smoking a cigarette today doesn’t affect you. When you compound these things over time you’ll find out–hopefully not too late–that you are limping through each day, unable to give your best to those around you.
Fitness also serves you now. I love feeling, looking, and performing my best. I have five (yes, 5…V…cinco) kids–I need it. But I’m scared to crawl across the finish line and not be of a sound body (and mind) to help others when parenting is no longer my #1 priority.
Fitness may NOT be a priority for you. That’s okay. My intent isn’t to convince you of its value. The data is there. Even if you don’t lose weight, exercise has immense health and youth-preserving benefits (currently not helping me with my gently receding hairline though).
This post is about YOU deciding what’s important to YOU and saying, “No” to the things that don’t align. Things that create a sense of urgency, but aren’t that important.
Before you go, be clear about your intentions.
Set the table. Let the people you spend time with know what to expect. Tell them what your needs are and why this (whatever it is) is important. It’s easy to internalize your intentions and plow forward without warning or notice to anyone else.
Success is a team sport. Even though the actions rest on your shoulders, you’ll need the aide of others. Even if it means you give them a courtesy, “Fore!”.