One of the problems with doing things that are good for us is that it can often be hard to summon the energy or willpower to start.
Take exercise for example. When the alarm goes off at six o’clock in the morning, the last thing you may feel like is getting up and lacing on the joggers. Smacking the alarm clock, rolling over and attempting to grab another hour of sleep may be your natural reaction.
Similarly for those who write, sitting in front of the keyboard and a blank screen can be quite a daunting prospect. At times like this, checking email, Facebook, twitter or the news may seem like a much more attractive proposition.
However, giving in to immediate temptation (whether it be sleep or email) will not help you get to where you want to go.
Someone once told me that you never feel worse after exercising. I have always found this to be true*. Similarly, there are few first drafts so bad they cannot be revised and edited into something presentable at a later date. However you can do nothing with a blank sheet of paper.
If you are shooting for a long-term goal, do keep making the right decisions to support that goal on a day by day basis, because these decisions will be habit forming. I have read that it can take a month of daily repetition for something to become a habit. The first month may be hard (particularly the second and third weeks), but if you push through it gets easier after that point. When you are struggling through these hard weeks, think about how far ahead you’ll be after three months of regular exercise or daily writing** compared to daily procrastination. After a few months, the difference between nothing and a daily something could be five or ten kilos off your weight or twenty thousand words down on paper, to say nothing of your improved sense of well-being.
The final thing I should say is that I often fall short in my attempts to maintain my daily habits so if you’ve got any tips which help you maintain your enthusiasm, I’d be interested in hearing them.
* If you were to get run over by a car whilst completing your morning jog, you probably would feel worse, so do make sure you look both ways before crossing the street.
** Insert your own benefits here, depending on what your goal and desired regular routine is.