Days when you do are better than days when you don’t

You know that thing?  That thing that you decided to do because you want to but you keep not doing because it feels like a “should“?  That thing?

Days when you do it are better than days when you don’t.

It doesn’t matter what the thing is.  You might have decided to work certain hours and no more; stop yelling at your kids; eat more fruit.  Whatever it is, there are likely to be times – many times if you’re like me – when you slip up, or when you simply can’t be bothered to try.

I have two ‘things’ at the moment: running in the mornings and regular writing.  Both get dropped fairly often, if I’m honest, but this is the mantra I’ve taken to repeating:

Days when you do are better than days when you don’t.

(It works better for me than my Grandad’s version: “If a job’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well.”  It’s true, and a worthy sentiment, but somehow a bit too worthy for me.  Sorry, Grandad!)

On the days when I do the thing I’ve committed myself to, there’s a warm glow of satisfaction.  On those other days, when I don’t, there’s a bit of a damp sigh of disappointment.  I like the warm glow at least as much as the other, more long term benefits – and it’s instant!  It also seems to set me up for a good day, hence the mantra.

Getting up and running in these dark winter mornings is hard, but here’s how my logic goes:

  • If I decide the night before that I’m going to do it, and put out my running gear ready, I’m already committed.  Plus, that little pile of lycra is going to look very disapprovingly at me later if I don’t use it.
  • Once the alarm’s gone off, I’m already awake, so I might as well get up.
  • Once I’m up, I have to go out because otherwise I’ll have wasted that superhuman effort it took to get out of bed.

Plus, I know that days when you do are better than days when you don’t!

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4 thoughts on “Days when you do are better than days when you don’t

  1. Why am I so delighted by this? It’s so absurdly obvious … and yet it slapped me right THERE.

    You know I told you about all the yellow (digital) sticky notes of to do lists I have on my desktop? Well, they weren’t helping. Every evening I update my to do list for the next day, and the next day I just glump around not doing a whole lot of anything. Partly this is diet-related – a blog on the subject will come soon – but mainly I just couldn’t find my get-up-and-give-a-shit.

    So I have just added a new sticky not – pink this time – smack dab in the middle of all those lists, with your mantra on it. It’s the first thing I’ll see when I log on each morning. I’m sure in time it will become invisible, but for now … maybe that little reminder will help me NOT play Sudoku, or browse mindlessly through the web, or do the various other pointless things that keep me from doing what really want to do.

    As for your grandad … ja, people in my life have said the same thing. I think it’s nonsense. If thing is worth doing, it’s worth doing. There’s no need for the added burden of perfectionism.

    • I’m glad you’re as excited about this as me – can’t believe it took me so long to see the obvious!

      Let me know if the pink sticky helps.

  2. This is very true. I like that warm glow. I should bask in it more often. Several times yesterday I told myself to just sit down and write. Instead, I spent the day cleaning house and hanging out with my sons (both worthy, of course, well maybe the house could have waited) and at the end of the day I was disappointed. This morning I have been reading and commenting on others’ blogs instead of writing on my own… guess I better knock that off 🙂 I’m adopting your mantra!

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