Screw Motivation, Just Show Up

I’ve been writing a lot lately on healthy living through exercise, reducing stress, better sleep and nutrition. Today I sat down to write more deeply on the subject of nutrition, but I just couldn’t get it done. I’m tired, my wife is away and the boys need my attention. To be the father I want to be, that they deserve, I needed to close the computer and go to them.

But I’ve made this commitment to write every day. I did this in the full knowledge that it wouldn’t always be easy. I knew I’d run into problems like, “What do I write about today?” and, “I’m short on time, I’ve got nothing ready,” and even, “Soooo tired, so busy, motivation lacking, I’m not inspired. I can skip today, right?”

No. No, I can’t skip today. Skip today, and it gets a little easier to skip tomorrow, and a little easier the next day. Then, out the window goes the commitment.

Does this sound familiar? It’s how the average New Year’s Resolution goes down in flames. You start out inspired. You’re good for a week or two, but then some little thing gets in the way, and you skip, “Just this once.” But that once becomes twice, then thrice, and then it’s  and your New Year’s Resolution is down the drain.

As an agent of change, inspiration sucks. When we wait for inspiration, we’re waiting to capture lighting in a bottle. Don’t wait to be inspired, just SHOW UP. You want to lead a healthy life? Show up. Don’t wait to make a New Year’s Resolution. Make a schedule and just show up.

Too tired? Don’t care, show up. Too busy? Don’t care, show up. Schedule it, stick to the schedule, and show up. If you’re truly forced to miss, reschedule and show up. Get a workout partner and show up. Write it down, tell people, make yourself accountable and SHOW UP.

You’re not going to have your best workout every time. In fact, some of your workouts are going to suck. I once slept through half a Bikram Yoga class. Didn’t get much out of the class, but I showed up.

Having a lousy workout doesn’t matter, showing up matters. In fact, showing up when you really don’t want to is one of the best things you can do. You develop discipline. You reinforce your commitment. You tell your body, your mind and your very soul that you are committed. You might even find, as I have, that the days you don’t want to go are some of your best workouts.

And in living that commitment, to eat right, to sleep right, to exercise regularly, you will reshape your body, invigorate your health and improve your life. Make your commitment, make your schedule, and Just. Show. Up.