The phone alarm goes off each morning at 6:04 AM.
Why? Because I set it to do that. I chose to do that!
(I need to remind myself of that every time it happens- it is because I made the choice to set it for that time. UGH.)
I also remind myself that I’ve decided not to hit snooze. (This is a harsh reminder, and I don’t like it. But there we are.)
In fact, I have made a sign, just to irritate the Morning Self. The sign has a tiny smiley face and the message
‘Don’t hit snooze. Put on your shoes!’
I am irritated with Optimistic Self, and suspect that she knew this would grate on my nerves, but did it anyway. It works- I don’t hit snooze. After a brief sojourn in the bathroom I climb into my walking gear- casting a longing glance towards the coffee maker- and head out the door for a morning brisk walk in the early still dark morning..
Time to Eat That Frog!
Brian Tracy’s book, Eat That Frog!, was written for snooze-hitters, next-dayers, maybe-tomorrowers, and some-dayers; it was written for procrastinators like me.
People that dread doing something so they put it off for that ever-nebulous ‘later’. The thing they put off is, according to Tracy, their Frog.
And the longer you put off eating a Frog the harder it will be to make yourself do it.
The title came from a quote attributed to Mark Twain:
“Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.”
My Frog is exercise. The idea of morning exercise has long made my flesh crawl, convinced me to burrow deeper under the covers, and wonder at the sanity of those that manage to do it.
I figured that there’s time enough to do it ‘later’, maybe after work? Just before bed? OK- maybe the third Tuesday of next month? Maybe never?
That way of stinking-thinking isn’t doing me any favors. I need to stop putting off eating the daily Frog. So now it’s what I do first thing in the morning.
EVEN BEFORE MY CUP OF COFFEE!
This is What I Discovered
- Mark Twain was correct. Doing that ugly hard thing at the start of the day makes everything else look much easier!
- I hit my goals every day, most often well BEFORE that mythical after work ‘later’ timeframe! Usually I take a second walk in the evening and end up doubling my daily results.
- I actually eat less. No- I don’t have a ‘frog stuck in my throat’, but I’m not quite as hungry after that morning coffee. And since I’ve put energy into achieving better health first thing every day I am less inclined to stray from my eating plan for the rest of the day.
I encourage you to identify your Frog; what is that thing that you know you need to do but you have become a wizard at avoiding?
- Maybe you won’t do it right after your feet hit the ground.
- Maybe it’s something at work? You’ll do it once you get there.
- Maybe you need to talk to someone in a different time zone? You’ll do it once they awake.
Whatever your Frog is, trust me: it doesn’t taste any better when you put off eating it!
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You can also find me on Medium, where a version of this story was first posted.