I have always been a big fan of Nike’s advertising slogan, “Just Do It!” In those 3 little words, they have conveyed an entire concept of just stop the excuses and do the work.
But, can we adopt this motto for use in our everyday lives or does it just apply to top athletes? Clearly, Nike wants all of us to adopt this philosophy, and the idea that we should all stop making excuses and just make it happen can apply to anyone.
The next question that comes to mind is, “How exactly do I do this?” It is very easy to say I should just do it, but usually life gets in the way in the form of a meeting that I need to attend, or a phone call from the kids that needs immediate attention, etc.
With regard to working out, one good way to go about this is to prioritize your workout so that it is the first thing you do. Set your alarm to get up an hour earlier and do your workout before anything else can steal your time. Life tends to get in the way in the afternoon, but if you slice out your time before your day starts, you are most likely to get it in. You will feel better not just from the benefits of working out, but from the mental standpoint of having already done a good thing for your body and without the stress of whether you will be able to get it in later in the day. Also, you will be less fatigued going into the workout, which will allow you to put more effort into it.
But, what about those times when you can’t do it early? Those can be some challenging days! But, I want to submit to you that even if you can’t do a complete workout, just do something! What can that something be? Here are examples:
• Walk outside at lunch for 15 minutes
• Go up and down stairs 5 times
• Do sets of sit-ups and pushups near your desk on 1-minute breaks
• Perform your kata 3 times
• Go to the gym and just do 10 or 15 minutes of something
As we age, sometimes we don’t feel up to the full workout we had planned. Perhaps your knee is bothering you or you pulled a muscle in your arm. I have found many times that even if I just do a little bit of whatever my body will allow, I still derive some benefits for that effort. If it is my mind that doesn’t want to workout, I often find that if I just start working out (even with the intent of only do a partial 10 minute effort), I almost always feel better and can do more than I thought.
The bottom line is that your time training is cumulative. If you are training to be an endurance athlete than yes, you have to be able to put in full training efforts to prepare for the actual event. But, if you are like most people who are looking to stay in shape or lose weight or improve at your sport, then doing what exercise you can when you can, is the way to go. Don’t fall into the trap that it is all or nothing. Convince yourself that anything thing you do towards improvement (even if a very little bit) is another step towards achieving the goal. I often refer to this as a “kaizen amount.” It is that amount that is more than 0, which helps me towards my goal for that thing. Think of it like an empty cup. You can add a spoonful of water to it and get to the goal of filling it quickly, or you can put an eyedropper of water in it. You will not fill it quickly, but eventually you will fill it. It all adds up. So, the next time you are thinking of not exercising because you are tired or don’t feel great or don’t have a lot of time, remember this: Just Do Something!