Little Whispers: Making Yourself Do It

Most mornings, I go on an hour-long walk/jog for exercise purposes. The goal is to get me breathing heavy for an extended period of time, which I can usually achieve with periods of jogging/running mixed with periods of walking.

The biggest challenge for me isn’t the hour spent outside running around. The biggest challenge is convincing myself to actually go do it.

Whenever I consider doing it, the little whispers of doubt begin to set in…

You have too much stuff to do. Yeah, I do have a pretty long to-do list for today…

This chair is comfortable. Yeah, I do feel pretty comfortable…

It’s a bit chilly out this morning. It is only in the 40s…

If I listen to those little whispers of doubt, I won’t actually get out there and go for my jog. Instead, I’ll stay inside, work on my tasks at hand, and not make any progress at all toward one of my long-term goals.

The key for my long-term success of getting in better shape is to just get out there and do it. It might be harder than just sitting here, but without going out there and just doing it each day, I’ll never make it to where I want to be.

Eventually, though, my life will adjust to such a jog being the norm. I know this from experience. I once reached a point where the whispers would encourage me to go out there and run or do something similar, even if I was injured.

The same phenomenon really applies to almost every big goal one sets in life.

For the first year or two of my financial turnaround, the whispers of doubt were constantly in my ear.

There’s this great book that you want to read, and you could easily have it!

Wouldn’t it be great to go out with the gang this evening?

You’d have a lot of fun with that new video game, plus you could talk to the other guys that have that game about it…

You can pay that debt off later. Your job is secure. Just pay it next month.

I heard all of those whispers many, many times.

The challenge for me was that those whispers were so easy to believe in. I could easily buy into the narrative they were spelling out, which almost always ended in me spending more money.

The problem was that every time I spent more money, I ended up pushing away my long-term goal of debt freedom.

It took a ton of consistent willpower and work to establish new routines in my life, ones that didn’t revolve around spending more money. It took years, and even now I’ll sometimes still hear the whispers encouraging me to spend when I shouldn’t.

However, most of the time, those little whispers sound like this:

Just get that book at the library… it’s free there.

Invite the gang over for dinner. It’ll be fun and then they’ll probably invite you over in a few weeks.

If you want to play a game, pull out a boardgame with Sarah or play one of the billion or so great free computer games that are out there.

The norm for me is not spending money and the little whispers guide me in that direction the vast majority of the time.

Getting there was the hard part, though. I had to constantly ignore those little whispers and instead substitute what I knew to be better choices. I had to do it over and over and over again until those better choices were the norm.

The reward? Financial freedom.

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  1. Joan says:

    I really enjoyed this post. Thank you.

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