Pack Your Sneakers

Don’t you love it when you have the opportunity to disprove an assumption that you have made about yourself?  I sure do.

As you may know already, the only reason I do vigorous exercise twice a week is because I’ve hired a personal trainer to come to my home.  Without someone showing up at my door and staring at me until I start moving, it’s just not going to happen.  (If you need similar motivation and live in NYC, I cannot recommend highly enough my trainer extraordinaire, Stephen Flam.)

Whenever Stephen and I have to miss a few sessions due to holidays or travel schedules, he always urges me to do some exercise without him.  I hasten to remind him that without his watchful eye, it’s not going to happen.  That’s just who I am.  I don’t exercise unless someone makes me.

Or so I thought.

Late last month, while preparing for the NAPO conference in Phoenix, I decided to pack my sneakers.  And as long as I was bringing my sneakers, I decided to pack some workout clothes.  I had no idea if I was really going to use them.  I just knew that I was going to be at a very nice hotel and spa, and that there would no doubt be fitness equipment.

Thanks to the wonders of jet lag, I was up way too early each morning of the trip.  And two mornings out of three, I made good use of that time by going to the gym.

During the previous five NAPO conferences I have attended, I’ve taken a nap between the end of the day’s activities and the beginning of the evening activities.  However, on this trip, I never napped once, even though I was waking up way too early.   Thanks to my early morning exercise, I felt healthy and energized.

So what does this have to do with organizing?  As Louis Pasteur said, “Chance favors the prepared mind.”  It’s easy enough to come up with excuses for why you can’t get something done.  But unless you create an environment in which things can happen, they just won’t.

If I hadn’t packed my sneakers, I never would have exercised.  It could have turned out that even with my sneakers in my bag, I still wouldn’t have exercised.  But they were there, and I did.  Twice!

What have you been putting off?  What is something that you want to change?  What assumption have you made about yourself that may not be true?  Take the first step to setting up a favorable environment, and watch what happens.





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