“The journey starts with a single step – not thinking about taking a single step.” ~Jeff Olsen
Have you ever tried to make a change, but failed? Yeah, I can relate…
One of my favorite books that I have ever read is called The Slight Edge by Jeff Olsen. He teaches that small steps over time compound into big results. And, every habit, whether good or bad, determines if you will fail or succeed at something.
“Any time you see what looks like a breakthrough, it is always the end result of a long series of little things, done consistently over time.” (p 86)
Two and a half years ago I donated blood for the first time in my life. A routine part of donating blood is that they check your cholesterol. I have to admit that I was shocked when I got a letter in the mail stating that my cholesterol was high and I should visit my doctor.
So, I did. My doctor told me that the best way to get my cholesterol under control, without medication, was to start working out.
I was NOT a fan of working out. I had always been active in cheerleading throughout high school and college, but the idea of working out always sounded so BORING. Incredibly, BORING.
I had tried the treadmill many times before. I would always put a plan in place, get started with the plan, and then within about a week of implementing my plan, I would be bored to tears and scratch “get in shape” off of my To-Do list. Getting healthy would be pushed off as something I would get around to doing later.
Facing the choice of working out or starting medication, I had to choose the lesser of the two evils. I really did not want to have to start medication, so I decided I would try working out. I was cheap, so I didn’t want to join a gym or buy any fancy equipment.
It just so happened that our cable company was running a special and all on demand workouts were free at the time. So, I bought myself a set of three-pound dumbbells and I told myself that I would workout for 15-30 minutes per day, five days per week.
I was consistent, I fought through some injuries, but I pushed any and all excuses aside. And, to my surprise, I found that some of the workouts were actually kind of fun.
After a few weeks, I started noticing muscle definition. I was sitting up straighter. My clothes fit better. I felt great. And, all of a sudden, I was able to complete workouts that I was unable to complete only a few months prior.
Next thing I knew, I bought a set of five-pound dumbbells. Then, I moved up to eight pounds. Then, ten pounds.
And, only six months later, my follow up blood work showed great improvement in my cholesterol.
Only two years later, my body is completely transformed. I wore a bikini for the first time this past summer since before I had kids almost a decade ago.
All I did was workout for 15-30 minutes per day, for five days per week. That’s it. That’s still what I do. I haven’t changed any of that, but these small actions have compounded into HUGE results. Small actions that are easy to do, but also easy not to do.
The craziest part is that now I am teaching and leading others to do the same. I work at a gym. Me. The person who only a couple of years ago hated working out. Who was out of shape, and unhappy with my body, but wished for things to get better instead of working for things to get better.
So, it turns out I don’t hate working out. I just hate the treadmill. Oh, and no more high cholesterol. And, I am a freaking beast in the gym.
Maybe you are already in shape. Awesome. Is there something else that you want in life? Dedicate 15 minutes per day in that area of your life and I guarantee you will see results.
Take Andy Dufrasne’s advice from one of the greatest movies of all time, Shawshank Redemption, “I guess it comes down to a simple choice, really. You get busy living, or get busy dying.”
Plus – check out this video to hear how I kicked some butt this week.
PS – Your life is waiting. Enroll in the FREE 5-Day Brave & Bold Challenge.
PPS – Read the book.