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!