Staring off to the side of my desk, I can see empty storage containers.
This is where all our Christmas decor will go and hide for the next 11 months until the items are called upon again to add some color and warmth to next year’s holiday season.
January is a fresh start and a clean slate. The corner where the Christmas tree lived and the mantle that was holding stockings will soon be empty and clear.
It’s the sign of the “unofficial” beginning of winter but also of a fresh and clean year ahead.
Goals and possibilities are endless. This is also true in health and fitness.
Even though there is never a bad time to start or restart focusing on your health, there is something special about the beginning of the year and the predefined start date of January.
Whether you are into resolutions or not, this time of year typically finds us at fewer social events and grants us more time and availability to focus on ourselves.
But if there is ever one thing we, at times, may find lacking in the pursuit of better health, it is simply action.
You have probably heard the short story of the two fishermen, but if not, here is my overly simple summary of it:
Two individuals embarked on a journey to become fishermen.
Fisherman A invested in a top-of-the-line boat, fancy equipment and every training resource available. He did all he could to prepare himself to be the ultimate fisherman.
On the other hand, fisherman B opted for a modest fishing pole and immediately started fishing.
Despite initially catching nothing for over a week, B persisted, experimenting with different techniques and constantly refining his approach.
While A finally started fishing after months of meticulous planning and training, he was disappointed as he caught nothing. This was because B had already exhausted all the fish in that lake and moved on.
In essence, B's bias toward action, embracing trial and error, propelled him far ahead of A, who became entangled in excessive planning and training.
You see, far too often, we see many people with the best intentions focus first on everything but action.
In fitness, we often will see someone getting new workout clothes, the coolest shoes or investing in the best meal prep containers and smartphone apps first.
And while that is perfectly fine and can be helpful, we might be overlooking the most important element of all: doing the thing.
Sometimes, like fisherman B, we tell ourselves we have to get in better shape first before joining the gym. Or we need to get to a place in life where we can have a completely open schedule.
What we typically find is that there is no perfect time or situation; the best thing to do is to just start. Just begin.
Imperfect action tops perfect inaction time and time again.
So if you find that you might be a bit more like fisherman B, it’s OK. Ask yourself, what’s the next step you can do now and just do that.
Maybe it’s going for a walk with that friend who holds an open invitation for you.
Maybe it’s picking up the phone to call or email the gym or trainer you’ve been thinking about for some time.
Whatever it may be, just take some action doing it today.
And by the time those holiday decorations come back out next time around, you can be a healthier version of you.
Step one: Take action!
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