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“Failure – A few errors in judgement repeated every day.”—Jim Rohn

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This little quote and friendly reminder applies to all areas of our lives, but we will discuss it as it relates to health and fitness.  This is simply a discipline of practice, or more specifically, a lack thereof.  Jim Rohn gave this simple reason why some people have not been successful.  It is well known that in order to achieve a goal, it has to be clearly defined.  A commitment must be made to work towards that goal on a daily basis.  Therein, lies the problem.  Most people have no problem identifying what they want.  The challenge seems to be the commitment to working on it every day. 

Pretty Easy To Do And Easy Not To Do

Most of the time, reaching a goal is pretty simple.  Lao Tzu said, “A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step.”   You just need to identify these single steps and take one every day.  These small steps can be pretty easy to take.  The problem is that they are also easy not to take.  The things that are easy to do are also easy not to do if a person is not disciplined and committed to their goal.  Here are a few things people say to themselves that keep them from doing these little things each day:

  • “I don’t have time today.  I will just do it tomorrow.”
  • “I am too tired today.  One missed day won’t hurt.”
  • “Oh, I forgot about that because I have been so busy.”
 

“I Ate A Doughnut And Nothing Bad Happened.”

These all add up to small errors in judgement.  And small errors in judgement repeated every day result in failure.  For example, eating an apple a day is a very healthy choice.  But what if the person decided to eat a doughnut a day.  You could say, “Hey 5and2Guy, I ate a doughnut today and nothing bad happened.”  Well, one day of eating a doughnut is not a bad thing and will most likely not cause you any problems.  But eating a doughnut every day for a year could be disastrous.  Not only because doughnuts can be very fattening but because of the mindset created with this choice. 

Excitement And Willpower Fade

We all know that if we want to lose some weight, we need to eat healthy foods and exercise regularly. So, people start out “gung ho.” They start going to the gym three to fives times a week. They also aggressively change their diets. For the first week or two, it is pretty easy to keep with it as the person is excited and eager to “Show the world.” The problem is that once the excitement wears off and willpower begins to fade, going to the gym and eating healthy is not a priority any more. Instead of working on their health everyday, they stop daily efforts. Miss one or two days, not a big deal. But repeatedly missing exercise and eating poorly will most likely result in an out of shape, unhealthier you. Each day, the person fails to make the good decision.  The cumulative effect of this is what you would expect it to be…failure!!!   

“Who Has Time?  Who Has Time?”

It is pretty easy to make time to go on the treadmill and walk for 30 minutes a day. Anyone can find 30 minutes if they really want to. Like the Merovingian said in The Matrix, “Who has time? Who has time? But then if we do not ever take time, how can we ever have time?” Let’s say you take the time to go on the treadmill five days a week for a year.  You are very likely to see a significant improvement in health and fitness. But, if you chose each day not to go on the treadmill, all the cumulative effects of not going on the treadmill add up too. Instead of losing weight and being more fit, they have put on 15 lbs and have cholesterol problems. 

If It’s Easy To Skip Today, It’s Even Easier To Skip Tomorrow

Repeatedly failing to do something that we should be doing everyday will result in failure. Why is it that all we have to do are small things every day to be successful, but most people don’t do them? These small errors in judgment, repeated every day, have as powerful of an effect towards the bad as making good decisions daily has towards the good. It takes daily discipline and a commitment to not skip that day at the gym. It takes a commitment to not cheat on the diet that day, and not give in to laziness. I believe that if I easily decide not to work out today, it is a slippery slope. If it is so easy to skip today, it will be even easier to skip tomorrow.  

There Are Exceptions

Now you may be saying, “You can’t tell me that you never miss a day or that exceptions don’t come up.”   Well, I do miss days at the gym, and exceptions do come up.  But when exceptions happen, I immediately think about skipping the day and its impact.  Here’s an example.  It may be the end of the day and it’s time to work out, but my son has a soccer game, or my wife really needs me for something.  Well, I say to myself, it is more important to go to that game or  be with my wife than it is to workout.  I conclude that my family needs me and they are a better investment of my time.  Or another scenario occurs when my wife and I are unexpectedly invited out to dinner and drinks with friends at the very last minute.  I clearly do not have time for a workout and a night out.  I say to myself that time with my wife and friends is more important, and this is an exception, so it is ok to miss the gym.  Notice that it is an exception and not the rule.  The rule isn’t dinner out with my wife and friends every night. The rule is that I exercise, unless a pretty important exception comes up.  An important distinction. 

Final Thoughts

You have to make a commitment to reach your goals by working towards them daily and making small judgements each day to do the right thing.  Making good and positive choices daily, over a long period of time, is how you make good things happen.  But make poor choices daily, over a long period of time, and you will reap the negative effects.  

“We reap what we sow.” 

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