Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Just Do It

Last Sunday in church our guest preacher passed on a great idea during the sermon that someone had shared with him. A friend had suggested that this year, instead of setting specific new years resolutions, she was just going to pick a single word or phrase to focus on to lead her throughout the year. I guess it's a bit like having a theme, or a mantra that becomes the daily prayer on which you center or life. It's a wonderful idea and faith concept. From a Christian standpoint, there are so many words you could choose like "kindness," or "humility," or "gratitude." Or any number of phrases would be so profound like, "leap of faith," or "Go in peace, serve the Lord," or "Love one another, as God has loved you." It's really a very genious concept, that instead of setting a goal for your new years resolution, to make your focus be an idea. From that idea will spring forth all of your motivations, goals, and execution. It's really very powerful.

I grasped on to this idea immediately and began thinking if there was a word or phrase that would be a good focus for me. I'll be honest that in this exercise, my focus was not so Christocentric but actually leaned toward my struggle with goal setting and motivation in the classic areas of diet and exercise. Plus, I've noticed in the last couple of weeks that the winter is getting the best from me and I am starting to suffer from cabin fever which is has the tendency to spiral into complacency, boredom, and restlessness.

So I was doing some research on line tonight and looking up motivational quotes. I think I found my mantra. It seems right and perfect, and a very good challenge for me. It's a bit classic and overly simple and to the point which is what I need. It's the old Nike slogan: "Just Do It." It speaks to me in so many ways. Not the least of which is the fact that the empire which coined this phrase was born out of my hometown, Eugene, OR. But to me, this is a phrase that could truly transform my life. I'm a classic type A thinker and planner and need to have everything perfectly set up to be successful. I spend more time planning to workout, than I do actually working out. If the kitchen isn't clean, I can't make dinner. If I don't have a meal plan for the week, I can't go grocery shopping. If I've got to be somewhere in 60 minutes, I can't do a quick 30 minute workout because that won't give me enough time to shower and stretch and still get out the door without a rush. I've even noticed, that I'm about 80% more likely to get up before work in the morning to go run on my treadmill, if I have already set my laptop up and headphones out the night before so that all I have to do is jump on the treadmill and go. Seriously, how hard is it to pick up a computer and take it in the other room and plug it in?

I have spent a lot of time in the last year searching for motivation. I struggle to find some major goal which is going to drive me to overcome the numerous obstacles that get in my way. I keep thinking subject to the Biggest Loser mentality that there has to be some major motivation that is truly worth while, that is worth doing all the hard work for or I know I will give in to other simple pleasures like sleeping in and convenience. It's really hard to find that major driving force, when you are already pretty happy with your life and have the most important things well covered. Well I'm tired of searching for that earth shattering ah-ha moment that's going to totally transform me. For the rest of 2011, my mantra will be "Just Do It." It's time to retrain my brain away from all the thinking and the planning, a.k.a. procrastinating and get down to business. Thanks Nike. You may very well have single handedly provided me with that Earth Shattering life change I have been looking for.