Monday, October 6, 2014

How I Killed the "Excuses Voice" in 14 Days! 10/6/14 1922:2 to 1931 Miles

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Virtual Hike

The route follows Route 12 and the Clearwater River. It continues to follow the Clearwater River through the rest of Idaho. Those that like to fish should pick up a license at the border in Clarkston.

The virtual hike is giving me metaphors for life, and after almost 2,000 miles they are erupting  out of my mind.
What changed during the last two weeks?

About 2 1/2 weeks ago I looked at my walking consistency. It was in shambles. Yes, I walked the miles, but the number of miles each day was erratic. Some days my "excuses voice" would beat me and my distance would drop. Then I would have to walk more miles another day to make it up. 

There is a Jewish saying I'll repurpose into a fortune cookie. "Walker who misses day two miles behind walker who walks a mile."

It took me a long time to realize the meaning. Although I was only a mile behind, I had to walk two miles to catch up. So, what was the solution?

First I made a plan I called "The Lunar Training Cycle." Then I issued myself a 28 Day Challenge to follow the plan. This is standard goal setting. You know, the type that looks good on paper and often doesn't work well in practice.

My 5.1 mile foundation stone walk is the most important walk of the day. The only time I have for this walk is between 4:50 am and 6:40 am. Now the entire walk is before sunrise. There are perfect opportunities for the "excuse voice" to keep me home.

A few years ago, I was translating an obscure old text by Rebbe Nachman from Hebrew and Aramaic. I'll paraphrase the text.

When a Jewish person is transitioning from sleep to waking, they say a prayer thanking God for returning life to them in the morning. As they say the prayer, they leap out of bed as quickly as a crouched young lion and go to the first hole. After they sink that putt, they give thanks that their pipes are working properly. Afterwards, they wash their hands and go to the second hole.

I decided to start using an alarm clock to wake at 4:00 am. I leap out of bed, start the coffee, visit the first hole, and write the first and last section of this blog. Another alarm goes off at 4:47. I lace on my boots and go out the door.

After about a week of this, I realized the plan was part of the solution. The alarm clock was the other part, and now I feel it is the most important part

How I killed the excuses voice
There is a political party in the United States I'm not fond of. Everytime someone mentions them to me I say, "They are irrelevant." They have become irrelevant in my mind and now their fox is on the run. So, when I hear an excuse I say "It's irrelevant." I don't even allow that negative seed to be planted in my brain!

I set alarms for the important activities during the day. They are my calls to action and if the excuse voice tries to stop me I say, "That's irrelevant" and get going.

At 21 days a human's heart starts beating.

At 21 days a habit comes to life.

I found it takes 14 days, an alarm clock  and "That's irrelevant" to kill the "Excuse voice."

How well did it work?

Green - easy        Yellow - medium    Red - difficult

Perfectly! Sometimes the "Excuses voice" tries to intrude. "That's irrelevant" sends it away. 

Now I set an alarm for all the important activities during the day.

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