Ten years ago, I had the crazy idea to run a half marathon. My very first half marathon.
Never mind that I was currently incapable of walking to the kitchen without heavy breathing. Never mind that not once in my entire life had I even come close to running 13.anything miles. Never mind that I was very pregnant with my third child and in no condition to…move. Forget about running, right?
It was absurd, but I decided then and there to start training. Can you picture it? The “Eye of the Tiger” started playing in the background. The resolve settled in my face. I immediately started doing squats, chugging raw eggs and planning my mileage for the week.
Yeah, except it didn’t actually happen like that.
I started my half marathon training by choosing to get up and walk to get my OWN ice cream from the fridge instead of pulling my pregnant wife card and asking my husband.
The next day? I upgraded my training and walked around the block. Once. It was a whopping 400 meters. Only about 20,000 shy of a half marathon.
I had a looooong way to go, but I made simple changes like those day after day. One unimpressive step after another. A year later I ran my first half marathon.
I wake people up early for a living. No, I’m not a drill sergeant or a garbage truck driver or the neighborhood Harley Davidson owner who works the early shift.
I’m a writer.
I write about the power of a morning routine and how waking up even three minutes earlier can be life changing. Yes, just three minutes. It’s hard to believe, I know.
So many people I meet would LOVE to have a meaningful morning routine, but the change just feels too hard.
May I humbly submit that, it’s not? Or at least it doesn’t have to be. After helping thousands of women, I’ve learned that the biggest obstacle to personal growth isn’t how hard it IS but how hard we MAKE it.
If I had done a web search for “half marathon training” I would likely have been overwhelmed and thought it was an impossible goal for me. But instead as Teddy Roosevelt often quoted (and I’m slightly paraphrasing here), “I did what I could with what I had where I was at.”
Instead of focusing on what I couldn’t do – run a half marathon – I focused on what I could do – get my own ice cream.
When I help people transform their mornings we don’t focus on waking up hours earlier or complex prayer times or fitness routines.
We start simple. Three minutes.
It seems that three minutes couldn’t change anything, but neither did walking to the kitchen to get my ice cream.
Never despise small beginnings.
We think that to run the race we need to suffer in the preparation. We think we need to go big or go home. The problem is that if we actually START by “going big or going home” we really do end up “going big” and then “going home” because we burn out.
Change can be so much simpler than we believe it to be. If we are willing to take one small ridiculous simple step after another. If we acknowledge setbacks but keep on with our small ridiculous simple steps.
If we…just, keep, going.
Before we know it we’ll we’ll have run a marathon or gotten that degree or restored that relationship or lost that weight or transformed life long patterns.
This wisdom isn’t new. Aristotle nailed it in the story of the tortoise and the hare. We all want to be the hare. We want to look fast and feel fast as we move toward change, but sure things are usually unimpressive, slow and steady.
What is it you want to see change in your life? What small, ridiculous, simple step can you take today? Seriously. I want you to write down that one step right now. Put a reminder in your phone. Start today.
And Just. Keep. Going.
For more motivation from Kat, check out her book, Hello Mornings: How to Build a Grace-Filled, Life-Giving Morning Routine.