Next Exercise Challenge: Start Something You've Been Putting Off

We've all been putting off something. You might be putting off exercising altogether, or you might be putting off something that would take your routine to the next level. Whatever it is, procrastinate no longer. Start today. 

My challenge this week is to start my stair training program. I'm a few weeks past the start date of the program I planned to use, but I'm going to use this week to get caught up. I really want to climb the stairs at Master the Met, so I'm going to train even if I'm starting late. 

In an ideal world, we would always start our plans on time. We'd never get tired or sick, life would never get in the way, and we'd never make new plans that interfered with our original plans. But this is not an ideal world.

In the real world, we get off track. We put things off for just a day and suddenly weeks have passed.

It's at this point I'm often tempted to give up. My mind has no problem coming up with reasons to quit. I'm  late, it'll be harder now, I probably don't really want to work that hard, the money I've already committed to the event goes to a good cause, so it's not really wasted. There are any number of reasons to not follow through. 

I've given up in the past, on this exact event, a few years ago. At that point, when I could have started to train a little late, I chose not to. I've done this on everything from 5Ks to marathons (my mistake there was thinking I could train for a marathon while in graduate school and working 30 hours a week - but I couldn't). 

Giving up, while sometimes necessary, never feels good. I remember those times I gave up more than the times I followed through. This time, I don't have to give up, so I'm going to push ahead. It won't kill me and I'll feel better for following through. 

Also, the event itself is a lot of fun! For maybe 10 minutes of tough stair climbing, I get to hang out with other climbers, drink some well-earned beer and strut around in my event t-shirt, which I'll get when I reach the top of the building. It'll be worth it!

No matter what you're thinking about starting today instead of putting off another day, you might like this quote from Julia Cameron's book, The Artist's Way. The book is for artists, late-blooming or otherwise, but the advice applies to anything you might want to do with your life. 

"But do you know how old I will be by the time I learn really learn to play the piano/act/paint/write a decent play? Yes, the same age you will be if you don't." - Julia Cameron, The Artist's Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity

So I can start training today or not, but either way the event is taking place on March 28, 2015. I'll be all of six weeks older. I may as well train. 

I would be lying if I said commitment is easy. The truth is, it's often very difficult. In some ways, everything we do is a challenge. We commit to be healthier, to do a better job at work, to be a better partner in our relationships, a better friend, daughter, etc. And we often have a difficult time following through. 

But I believe the decisions we make at points like this, when we are late and behind or haven't even started at all and all we want to do is give up - if at moments like this, we can decide to push through and go on with our plans, we come out stronger in the end. I don't think I've ever regretted following through with a plan like this. But I do regret many of the times I quit. 

Let's make this week one with no regrets.