Just Do It

I hear it all the time—I should . . .

eat better
exercise
volunteer

I have my own list. I should . . .

clean my closet
dust more often
put my clothes away every night

Shoulds can be dangerous. They can lead us to beat up on ourselves. They can bury us in depression. I’ve been known to tell people not to should on themselves.

On the other hand, if you know you should, then do it. Discipline is born of habits. If you know me at all, you’re probably aware that I exercise regularly and watch carefully what I eat. I get a lot done on a daily basis. I’m certainly not perfect, and there is enough clutter in my house to attest to that fact. However, if it’s something that you know deep down you really want to do, then just do it.

I can’t tell you how surprised I would have been if you’d told me seven or eight years ago that I’d be exercising six days a week. Really. I hate exercise. I knew I should, but I just didn’t want to. At one point I realized that my health depended on consistent, intentional exercise. I started an incentive program. I couldn’t watch a favorite program unless I had exercised or was exercising while I watched. Several months later my schedule changed and I had trouble working in the exercise. By then it was a habit, so I didn’t feel good not exercising. That’s when I started getting up early to exercise.

If there’s something you know that you really want to do but you lack the motivation, just start. Make yourself a promise to do it for a particular length of time. You might be surprised how attached you become to your new habit. People will be amazed at your discipline.

Now, if I could just get really motivated about that closet . . .

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