It’s so much easier to make an excuse, an exception, a break, than to follow through on what you said you’d do.
It’s easier to find a reason not to, than to pull it up at the end of the day and do it, regardless of how bad – because you said you would, and nothing else.
It’s more comfortable to be sooooooo tired, and crawl into bed; say “I needed a day off”, find something to trade instead of the thing you set out to do. Pretend it doesn’t matter, “just this once”, or make a new rule so that it fits.
But if you’re doing that once, it becomes a habit; when it becomes a habit, the entire structure of what you’re trying to do starts to weaken, and then it fails.
Every night I leave writing, guitar and my physical therapy until 10 PM. We’ve watched a show, cleaned up dinner dishes, had dessert and an extra cup of tea, and now we’re bone tired. Like, exhausted. Baby still takes 2 hrs to get her right to sleep. By that time, we’re done. And then, three hours of ‘downtime’, followed by the things I have promised myself I would do. Problem is — I haven’t given it a timeline. I’m just trying to keep the lines on each day of the calendar, where I mark off having done those three things – just trying to keep those lines going. And instead of getting easier, it’s getting harder; my motivation is external – I want to see those lines going all the way through the calendar days, but haven’t really gotten down to why and what that means. So here it is:
I want to re-learn follow-through. I want to have something every day where I have to do something a little bit hard, a little uncomfortable. I’ve gone easy on myself. I worked hard to get somewhere, and then stopped; but I’ve always known (and said) if you do the hard thing first, the rest gets easier. And then I stopped doing the hard thing, because I so often felt surrounded by people that seemed to be doing the easier thing: watching a movie every night instead of working on what they wanted, or instead of connecting with their people. Eating the same way and complaining about their weight and bad health and low energy instead of eating differently.
I want to have the stuff inside that makes a steady drip-drip progress possible; to know that even when it itches like a hair shirt, I can do it anyway. Because there are an awful lot more things I want to do that entail getting an awful lot less comfortable than I am right now, and I need to get myself real familiar with that old feeling again: of squirming and doing it anyway. Of trying to find an excuse, a reason, a justification, and then telling the truth anyway: I forgot to set my alarm. I’m sorry I’m late and kept you waiting. Or I didn’t plan it well, and then started too late. I’m sorry the project isn’t finished yet. Or whatever. So many excuses. So little time to practice honesty, integrity, being upfront and humble about our foibles.
But see: all it took was sitting down, and I did it. Done. On to the next thing. (That would be guitar).