Quit or Make It Work

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Quit or Make It Work

I’ve been thinking a lot about the importance of showing up, even if it feels like you’re just barely moving the needle. It’s something I’m actively focusing on this month as part of my Lara Casey’s Cultivate What Matters PowerSheets. I’m not going to lie, I’m pretty bad at finishing things I start.

The basement clean out project I’ve had on my list for….oh….four years? Still on my list. The printers I want to take to an electronics recycling center? Still in my garage.

It’s especially hard if I don’t get instant gratification. I’m a real-life embodiment of a meme that’s like, “Goes to the gym once, doesn’t see abs, doesn’t go back.”

Now, I’m not trying to dissuade you from working with me, thinking I can’t do my work. It’s more of a problem of putting too much on my list. I’m always biting off more in my day than I can chew. (And yes, I see the irony of doing content marketing and always preaching to my clients that just because you’re on Facebook, it doesn’t mean you’ll get thousands of dollars in sales overnight.)

Well, I got a burst of inspiration for finishing what I start from an unlikely-for-me place: a spin class.

Last week, I got up early on Saturday and took my happy ass to the gym. I’m noticing if I have a class to attend, I’m more likely to do it than just showing up and running on the treadmill for 45 minutes.

Anyway, the spin instructor said to us, “You have two options: you can either take off resistance or find a way to make it work for you.”

The choose-your-adventure style of the statement she posed totally speaks to me.You can either give up or you can work to find a solution. Sure, in the moment, the easy thing is to take resistance off the bike. And that won’t get you anywhere in the long run. The better, albeit more challenging, route is to focus on making the ride work for you.

She was shouting out the cues and we had the answer we needed to succeed: push down and pull up. Use the back of your leg. Every time your leg straightens, your glutes should engage and contract.

She was empowering us to find a way to work through the challenge instead of giving up. Sure, we could have given up (and she did give us that out by saying, “You can take resistance off.”) What she really did was empower us to make the choice that would be most beneficial to us.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t wake up at 7am on Saturday morning and drive to the gym only to half-ass my workout. If I’m there, if I made the effort to show up, then I’m going to show up.

We like to make things easy on ourselves. No one wants to do 100 more steps to get to the same spot it took someone five steps to get to.

And, sadly, there is no such thing as overnight success.

We’ve all heard the saying attributed to Aristotle: “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.” Little habits add up over time to big results.

As Jeff Olson, the author of The Slight Edge*, says, “The difference between successful people and failures are the little things. The things that are easy to, but that are just as easy not to do.”

So what’s the point of this post: it’s to show you there are always two options. You can give up and lower the gear to make it easy on yourself. Or you can show up, do the work, and, little by little, make a change.

Lara Casey, the spin instructor, and Jeff Olson all have one philosophy in mind: little by little, progress adds up.

That’s what I’ll be working on this month. Small things that compound into big success.

What are you working towards this month?

*This is an affiliate link from Amazon. If you should you purchase via this link, I will receive a small commission at no cost to you. Coffee isn’t cheap and this helps keep me caffeinated and sane! Thanks!

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