I learned something cool today.

OK. Really didn’t learn anything new. I just saw and experienced something

that I already knew. (We often do that)

My wife has become a runner. She was bitten by the running bug 18 months ago.

Like Forrest Gump, “From that day on, I was runnin’”

Back to the story. Sunday morning, we planned to run. We do a 4.5 mile loop through

our neighborhood, up a hill, over a river, and back. Very beautiful area.

Neither of us really wanted to go for that run. We found ways to procrastinate (or at least I did). Pick up clothes, put away dishes, check the weather, email….

Like I said, neither of us really wanted to go run. But we both wanted the results of the run. So we geared up and got out the door. It was a chilly 23 degrees. We were dressed for it. But I forgot gloves. I said, “You go ahead and I will catch you.”

That is when the learning began. I dashed inside to grab gloves. Found them and put them on. Raced back out to catch up. This took about 1 or 2 minutes. Usually we begin with a slow pace to warm up, and today was no different. Yet that 1 minute head start put Denise about 3 blocks ahead.

I took off. Double her pace, to catch up. So how long did it take to catch up? More than 1 – 2 minutes. I ran hard to get to her. But all the while, she was steadily moving forward. By the time I caught up, I was beat. Winded. Chest burning and ready to walk.

She was fine. It was easy. On her pace, she wasn’t even warmed up.

So here is what I  learned:

Steady sustained effort produces results. Just start. Then keep moving.

I ran much harder than her, to get the same results. And had a harder time. The only difference was 2 minutes.

The same can be applied to anything we do. A fitness program, our business, learning a language or even a hobby project. The key to progress, or success, has 2 parts:

  1. Start. Now. Just do it.
  2. Don’t stop. Keep moving. Steady sustained effort.

I don’t know about you, but I have a tendency to put things off, then try to make up time with a big burst of effort and energy. I get by with this approach. But it does not produce my best results.

Remember the story of the “Tortoise and the Hare?”

The slow steady effort of the turtle won because he just kept at it.

The fast and much more capable rabbit lost because he did not keep at it.

Lazy naps, coupled with burst of “catch up” (not ketchup) could not match the power of simply starting and not stopping.

Here is the point:

If you want to do something, learn something, build something, just start. And the sooner the better. Stop putting it off, waiting until you have all the info. Waiting until the first of the year, or until all the traffic lights turn green or the stars align. Just start. You don’t need all the answers. Just begin. Then keep going. Don’t think for a moment that you can know all about “it” before you begin. Regardless of how much you prepare, you will still learn and have to adjust along the way.

So get moving and make those corrections and adjustments as you go. Get started now.

Just do it.