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Monday, October 14, 2013

The Greatest Changes Happen in an Instant

On Tuesday I had a 6am flight out to Arizona.  I wanted to get a workout in which meant I would have to be at the gym by 3:30am.  This meant I needed to get up by 2:45am to get ready.  When my alarm went off I laid there for a moment and thought: "I could so easily go back to sleep right now.  No one is forcing me to wake up.  I can always workout tomorrow."

Suddenly a thought popped into my head:  "the difference between those that succeed at anything in life and those who do not is the actions they take during the moments they do not have to."  Successful people, whether they are successful at business, or relationships, or their fitness; consistently make those moments moments of decision and then they take action that supports that decision and moves them forward towards their goals.  Unsuccessful people, when they experience those same moments, choose not to act and make those moments moments of indecision thus keeping them right where they are - always just out of reach of their goals and dreams.

The workout I had was not a life changing one, but the behavior I practiced, the honoring of the commitment I made to my health and fitness - that is where the true life changing behavior comes into play.

If I would have turned the alarm off instead would that really have been such a bad thing?  No not at all.  After all me skipping one workout is not going to kill me.

The challenge comes from the behavior of skipping the workouts of letting myself off the hook from a commitment I had made earlier to myself - that is where the real challenge arises.

If I let myself off with the excuse of: "I am really tired so it is ok to skip today." How much easier does it make it for me to use that same excuse again the next day?  Or the day after that or the day after that? Pretty soon that one, little, seemingly innocent excuse, picks up so much momentum that it becomes the proverbial snow ball rolling down the hill - getting bigger and bigger and bigger with each rotation.

Think about it... think about all the times in Your life that You have declared that You are going to make a change, "that it is time to change a few things."

Perhaps once upon a time you decided that you were going to wake up an hour early every day to work on your goals.  You did it with regularity for a week and then the day come where you felt "to tired," and you hit the snooze button.  The next day you may have gotten up early again, but something was missing - the momentum and enthusiasm that came from the previous week's consistency.  So you have an uninspired early morning session and resolve that things will be back to normal tomorrow.  Well tomorrow comes and it is time to get up and THE Voice pops into your head and says, "it is ok you did good yesterday, you can sleep for a few more minutes.  After all you have already skipped a day before and nothing bad happened."

That "You already skipped a day before," becomes the new fuel for the fire of justifying why you should be able to get a little extra sleep.  This process repeats itself over the next couple weeks until eventually you throw your hands up and say, "I tried, I am just not a morning person."  And with that you put your ambition and the goals that came with them to bed so that you can get that extra hour sleep in the morning.

Sound familiar?

Anyone ever followed the above formula for an exercise program?  How about a similar program where you have resolved to improve your relationship with your spouse?  What about a healthy eating program?

I can go on and on with examples, but I think you get my point.

Here is the reality that we all share: change happens in an instant for better or worse it is going to happen.  How it happens is decided by you.  You choose in those moments of decision or those moments of indecision how you want your life to play out.  Do you want it to be a life of change or a life of the same?

When you come to those moments, ask yourself "Why am I doing this, what is the real reason?"

Example:  If the reason you are getting up at 5am is to accomplish your goals and pursue your dreams, tell yourself exactly that!  When the alarm goes off, say: "the reason I am getting up now is because I am committed to changing my life and during this hour I am going to accomplish: x,y, and z!"

(Below is a picture of how I have my alarms set up on my phone.  It helps me remember my purpose and the reason why I am waking up in the early morning hours.  Having a purpose beyond myself gives me added accountability to getting up and doing what I need and want to do.)

That is a much more powerful purpose for waking up than saying something like: "Uggh I cannot believe I have to get up at this un-Godly hour to work on these stupid goals."

Which statement is going to be the one to get you out of bed and get you going?

Remember change happens in an instant.  The moments that can and will shape Your life are all around You.  How You choose to act in these moments will largely be determined by the purpose with which You approach these moments.

Going forward, what are You going to do?  Are You going to approach these moments of decision with a purpose, or are you going to hit the snooze and let another precious day of Your life slip by?

I believe You can accomplish and achieve extraordinary things in Your life when You make the decision to do so.

What are You going to do?

Carpe Diem,


1 comment:

  1. I'm gaining that positive momentum to have a breakthrough 2015. Little changes in my day to days are going to make a BIG change this time next year!
    Enjoying reading your blog posts...newest to oldest. :)