Sloth is Also Persistent

Last time I wrote that the changes persist. Since what I’m doing here is begging, imploring, pleading, telling you to make a change, to make an improvement, I wanted to show you that the benefits of doing so last. My regular Thursday posts are stories about how the changes multiply; changing one facet of your life ripples outward to effect change in other areas of your life.

In my specific case, the changes I set out to make was to improve my posture and yes, I certainly have much better posture than I used to have, but I also found that the exercises and changes to my movement patterns rippled outward. In addition to improved posture, the side benefits have included:

  • a dramatic reduction in the frequency and severity of my migraines
  • better sleep
  • reduced stress
  • the elimination of pulled groin muscles while playing hockey
  • a stronger, more resilient back and core, meaning household chores such as gardening, or shoveling the snow no longer cause my problematic back to act up

So, the changes persist, and the changes multiply. The longer you stick to your routine, the longer you just show up, the greater the benefits you will accrue, and the longer they will last. When I was discussing this with my wife, she pointed out that the reverse is also true.

If you are living an unhealthy lifestyle, the longer you live it, the greater the price you’ll have to pay to change. Change is hard. Inspiration is cheap. Goals are for suckers, systems win.

I lost six weeks due to illness, work, bad sleep, etc., but coming back was pretty easy. Six weeks is pretty small when measured against the years I have put into my routines. But what if I were just starting out?

Suppose it’s January, and I’ve made a New Year’s Revolution to get fit. Most New Year’s Revolutions don’t make it to February, but suppose I’m the exception, and I tough it out through the first weekend, the first month, even the first three months. Is it so much a part of my life that losing six weeks will have no effect?

Probably not.

The change made is very small compared to the enormous momentum of a lifetime of poor fitness, poor food, poor sleep.

My kung fu teacher talked about a wrestling coach who had a sign in his office:

Practice does not make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect. Practice makes permanent.

Damon told me this almost 20 years ago, so obviously it has stuck with me for a long time, and it is absolutely, completely 100% true. This being the case, then the question for you is, “What do I want to be permanent?”

Do you want health and vitality to be permanent?

Do you want sickness and dis-ease to be permanent?

The choice really is yours.

And the changes? They persist.