Doing What You Should Be Doing

It’s rare that I have two videos on one article, but today’s the day to be different. Actually, every day is a day to be different, but today I’m being even more different than usual. Sounds convoluted, doesn’t it? That explains me to a T (I don’t know where that phrase came from, and neither does anyone else apparently). Anyway, that’s the best I’ve got. 🙂

In this first video, I question why we don’t do the things we should be doing. Let’s lead with that, and then come back:

I hope you’ve watched that video, otherwise some of the rest of this article might not make sense. Based on that video, I’m going to make 4 recommendations for figuring out how to take positive action, no matter what it is.

1. Look at your main goal and figure out how to break it into small incremental, achievable actions.

Things often seem daunting when you’re looking at the ultimate goal and start thinking “wow, that’s going to take a lot of work”. Goals take work; that’s life! However, very few real, long term goals, can be done in a day. They take planning, and then step by step actions.

Think of building a house. In most areas of the country (probably all over the world), it starts with clearing the land. Then a big hole is dug and fashioned into a basement (I’ve learned that not all homes in the south have basements; just go with it), which also allows for configuring the plumbing. Then you cement the basement. Then you build the frame of the house, which includes a roof. Next come the outer walls. Once that’s done, for most everyone else you see a house. However, a lot more work has to be done inside; bedrooms, living room, bathrooms, etc. But now it’s easier to get to because the workers are protected from the elements and it’s only about style, not the necessities as much (yes, even considering bathrooms).

All of these things are done in increments, and I left a lot of stuff out. Still, if it’s your house, you start to swell with excitement with each new addition; think of any goals that way.

2. Find the positives in everything you want to do and only concentrate on those.

If you visit this blog or any of my other blogs often enough, you know that I always espouse the belief of positive thoughts over negative thoughts. So, if you want to learn something, instead of thinking about how hard it is you should be thinking about how good you’ll feel when you achieve it. If you need to lose weight, you should be thinking about your health and, once again, how you’ll feel the closer you get to better health rather than the work it’s going to take to get there.

I know a lot of people who say they thrive off negative energy, such as wanting to show someone who didn’t believe in them how wrong they were. I’m not going to deny that can work, but it’s not as sustaining as doing things for yourself rather than against someone else’s beliefs. Also, sometimes you reach a goal that way, only to discover that the other person might not ever know that sparked you to make changes, and probably doesn’t care one way or another; you know I’m telling the truth.

me and a baby

me & baby Shanice

3. Think of your own interest rather than someone else’s interest.

This one is somewhat controversial but stick with me for a moment.

I know some people who say “I want to do ‘blank’ to show my kid/spouse/parent that I could do it”, or “I want to do ‘blank’ for my kid/spouse/parent”. In essence, they see themselves as doing it for someone else; that’s not true when you think about it.

Doing what needs to be done is always in one’s own best interest. When you think you’re doing it for someone else, you’re actually doing it for yourself, because “you” want something for a specific reason, even if someone else is indirectly involved. You need to keep that in mind because, strangely enough, it turns out that when you really believe you’re doing it for someone else you’re more likely to fail.

I’m not the only one saying something like this by the way. There’s an article by Gretchen Rubin (she’s kind of well known lol) titled Why I Try Not To Do Things For Others, But Instead, Do Them For Myself, where she talks about finding happiness once she learned this as a concept. Also, a book I read called Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do by Amy Morin, someone who went through personal trauma, where she talks about the concept of taking control of your own actions because they’re really the only thing one can control, and then things will come together for you even if in some way they’ll involve other people.

It might seem selfish, but remember the recommendation on every flight you take: “put on your own mask before helping someone else put theirs on”.

4. There’s always a way to do something you might not believe can be done

Finally we get to the point where the second video comes into play. Some years ago I was having major problems keeping my glucose levels under control; I’m diabetic, in case you’re new here. I knew I had to do something to get it under control because it was damaging my eyes and my feet and probably other things I didn’t know about (luckily my eyes healed, but the neuropathy in my feet is never going away).

I decided that walking was going to be the way I addressed this problem. Lo and behold, it worked. However, when I started I was out of town on a consulting gig down south. When that ended and I came home… it was cold! Even if we have a few days of warmth here and there in November, it started to get really chilly at that point, and of course December through May… it’s cold and snowy around here normally.

I could have gotten out and walked by bundling myself up, but not only is it somewhat problematic but dangerous, especially once the snowbanks start building up. Less room to walk, cars sliding all over the place… not the best of circumstances, and I couldn’t go to the lake to walk either. So… see the video below, which is fairly brief:

Before I made this video, I had friends wondering how I was putting in the number of steps I was getting every day. That began as only trying to reach 5 miles a day, which was a little more than 10,500 steps. Now, my goal is to get between 8 and 12 miles a day, and I do most of that by walking in the house, sticking to the same process that the video shows. Yes, it can be done, even in a smaller space, which I’ve done on occasion by just walking in a “kind of” circle in the living room. As a friend of mine once said, if you really want to do something, the universe will help you figure it out. 🙂

That’s what I’ve got for you; so, get going and do what you need to do, and I’ll do the same!

7 thoughts on “Doing What You Should Be Doing”

  1. Hi Mitch, I love breaking things down into pieces to help me get things done. I also have to keep to-do lists for me to really stay productive. Otherwise, I go off the chart and do what I want and not what I really need to do.
    I’d love to drop some pounds, it’s hard to change diet for sure! I love walking but dieting is really hard for me.
    I wonder if I’m not interested in dieting as I am in walking and being out in nature. Somehow, I have to try to figure out how to enjoy dieting, LOL, right?

    1. LOL! I don’t diet Lisa, I track calories. I put in my weight, the goal weight, and how much I’d like to “try” to lose every week. It tells me how many calories that is and I work to stay below that. My problem is I refuse to try figuring out condiments and things like how much peanut butter I’m putting on… whatever. That’s me using Fitbit, which also tracks my steps.

      As for everything else… it seems you’re doing well living in Maine and enjoying nature. I keep telling myself I’m going to visit Maine again one of these days; the last time I was there was in 2004 for a speaking engagement. Overall, I hope all of us realize that without trying to be happy and healthy ourselves, we can’t do anything for anyone else. 🙂

  2. Oh my, tracking calories sounds even worse to me! LOL. I have a friend who lost weight and says she just drinks more water and doesn’t eat carbs or sugar. She was pre-diabetic and was able to get rid of her meds with weight loss. Will power of steel! That is so true, we can’t help others if we can’t help ourselves 🙂 I hear it’s changed a bit but still is nice up here.

    1. It was too late for me; by the time I started walking more and tracking calories, I’d been diabetic 17 years. Actually, tracking calories is pretty easy; I look up what I’m eating and choices come up to capture. If it’s a known name brand you get exactly what you’re looking for; if not, you pick something close. It’s not a precise science every time, but it works pretty well. However, at my age I’m not giving up carbs or sugar; I eat less of it unless I give myself a cheat day, and that’s all I’m promising myself. 🙂

  3. Mitch, I’m a bum, I usually leave everything for later!

    After watching your video and reading the article, I remembered that I always wanted to have a blog dedicated to CSGO skins, a game that I love and usually play when I have time to spare.

    I created an organization to start my blog and approximately 6 days later it was almost ready.

    Thanks for sharing! S2

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