You Have to Walk Before You Run

fitness planA few weeks ago, my kids were in a deep conversation about starting a fitness plan. They were excited, sharing ideas and working together (angels may have been singing). They wrote their plan down, pictured at right. They were going to use their “fittnes” plan every day after school, with P.E. days being optional. I was quite impressed with their plan, which was completely and totally their idea. (I’m not sure what prompted it.) And I was super impressed with their cooperation and enthusiasm.

Do you know how many times they have followed through with their plan? Zero.

To their credit, the plan requires weather for doing laps around the house, and we’ve had some rainy days lately. One of the kids was sick for a while. I occasionally watch some other kids after school, so the plan doesn’t work as well on those days. There are plenty of reasons their plan hasn’t happened.

The top reason, though, is this: they are human.

Aren’t we all like my kids? We make spectacular plans for doing amazing things, but we rarely follow through with them. Last week, I was going to do some fall cleaning and get my whole house clean from top to bottom. Ha! I did get some major cleaning done, but my goal was completely unrealistic.

I am reading a book right now about getting organized at home called Sink Reflections by Marla Cilley, aka The FlyLady. I was following her “system” a few years ago, but I’ve gotten off track, so I’m revisiting it. Her main encouragement is to take baby steps. We like to start with the biggest, most troublesome mess in our house and try to organize it. She says, no way! Start small with and build good habits and routines slowly over time.

In the past when you have purchased a new book on home organization, you have jumped out of the starting gate at a full sprint, only to crash and burn two days into the system.

You cannot run before you walk! Think about infants building strength in their arms and legs by scooting around on the floor. Then before you know it, they begin to crawl, and soon they are pulling up and attempting their first BabyStep. They have their parent close buy, but they really can’t teach them how to walk. It is a process of getting up and falling down. Each time they stand they are exercising the muscles that will eventually have them toddling around the house.                         — Sink Reflections, page 17

Whether you are trying to get organized or trying to get healthy, the same rules apply: you must learn to walk before you can run. All that crawling around on your belly or falling down flat on your face appears like failure, but really those things are the small steps that are strengthening you for your next bigger steps.

We might sound like a broken record here at The Journey, always talking about small steps. There is a reason, though … IT WORKS! It’s not flashy. It’s not sexy. There are no promises of losing 20 pounds in 20 days. There is no magic formula, pill or button that will “fix” you.

But, there are small steps you can take to make a difference in your life. Pick the easiest thing and start there. Before babies crawl, they first have to hold up their heads. Pick the thing that seems so small you are barely holding up your head. Then do it. With time and consistency, it will be come a habit. Then pick the next easiest thing that feels a bit like a baby learning to roll over one way. Keep doing those small things, and soon you’ll be that little toddler, running away from your mama with a huge grin.

Jessica posted a picture on our Facebook page yesterday that has good advice:


So, what is your one small thing that you are going to do today? Join Jessica with her small changes challenge going on right now and let us know what small changes are working for you!



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