I took my Mom to Virginia to look at an Assisted Living Facility not long ago. The appointment was set for 11:30 am, so to ensure being on time (given the potential for crazy traffic around Washington DC at any moment of a day or night)I picked her up at 9:30 in the morning to make sure we would be on time.
It is a busy season for me at the moment in all aspects of working on my mission to inspire and equip as many people as I possibly can, and it is also important to me to take care of myself. So I set my alarm for 5am so that I could get up and have my quiet/spiritual time and take care of the dogs, and then get to the gym for a 90 minute workout, and be back home in time to ice, eat, journal, plan, and work for an hour or so on a few projects, before showering and leaving to pick up my Mom.
I normally do not schedule anything “other people” wise before 10am, because my morning disciplines are important for centering me for the day, and also my most creative time is early in the day, so it is much more efficient and productive for me to schedule my time this way.
On this particular morning, getting up was hard. For some reason I did not sleep well the night before, and I was at the tale end of fighting off a virus (I won:-). So the alarm goes off, and maybe I had five hours of sleep and I was tired. I could have rolled over and gone back to sleep, after all, I make my own schedule and I am accountable only to myself for my mission. I had also worked out hard every day in the week already and would have my biggest workout of the week the next day anyway (Saturday).
But I got up and went to the gym. Some people say I am lucky that I don’t struggle with weight, that I have good genetics (which I could seriously argue given my Father and Brother both died in their 40s), that I am naturally slender…maybe they are right. But truthfully I wouldn’t know…because 6-7 days a week I get up and do all the things I said above. And I have been doing this for over 25 years.
So what’s the point here?
I started small
It’s certainly not to brag on myself…all I did was get out of bed and do something. I’m just a regular guy. It’s to give you a simple lesson that you can do that will make a big difference in whatever area you apply it.
I struggled with self-discipline and self-esteem for much of the first half of my life. This led to poor results in basically everything I did. In my late 20’s…after hearing a friend say these exact words to me at the beach “dude, you’re getting fat” I made a commitment to exercise. It wasn’t any sort of freaky over the top commitment. It was simply a commitment to exercise in some way everyday.
I didn’t have a goal to become super fit. I just had a daily goal to do some exercise. I started small. I ran a little each day and started to lift weights a few times a week. And then a funny thing happened….each day I did it, I felt better. Not just physically…I felt better about myself. So I continued. As I started to feel better about myself, I began to work harder. This led to better results. What I didn’t expect, is that I started to have more confidence in general, and I started to be better able to discipline myself to do other things.
Things don’t change in life until WE DO
Things don’t change in life until WE DO. This one, simple little commitment to myself became the genesis to everything else that I applied myself to. I began becoming disciplined in my work life. And that led to improved results, which led to improved confidence, which led to more action, which led to more results, which led to more confidence, and the trend continued.
You can apply this cycle to everything in your life if you are purposeful about it. There will always be excuses not to, but those excuse simply won’t hold any merit if you were to ask yourself 10 years from now, why you didn’t.
So pick a little discipline that can make a difference for you. If it is in your health, make it something small you can start and do daily. If it is in your work, make it a small thing that you know you should do, and that you can do, if you just require yourself to do it daily. And then do that one thing everyday. You will be amazed within just a few weeks how much difference it makes in YOU and it won’t be long before you begin to see substantial fruit in the thing you are doing.