Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Hard Routine 2011 - Winners and Quitters

So The Hard Routine 2011 comes to a close today. If you are expecting me to write about everyone is winner, then you have a surprise ahead...

The Hard Routine had all sorts of participants, each with his or her own goals or "rules." That's what I appreciate most about the campaign - everyone sets out on their own path!  Some wanted to eat better. Some changed things up with a new exercise routine. Some needed some tweaking, while others  required nothing less than a complete transformation. The Hard Routine for some translated into very small changes, as they may have already been living relatively clean lives. For others, it may have been better to call it The Impossible Routine.

I'm so proud of those of you who have contacted me with your success stories. You have all motivated me in unique ways. Please keep up the great progress. Some of you are with me through December on an extension of the campaign. Let's hit the New Year with some serious fitness, health, and wellness!!

There are a couple groups I'd like to separate everyone into: Winners and Quitters.

Here's to the Winners: The winners are those who set out with a challenging set of rules. They put some serious thought into what lifestyle changes would help them in their journey toward fitness, health, and wellness. They printed out and signed their Personal Commitment Contracts, and posted them at their desk at work or on the fridge at home. The winners dragged friends and family into The Hard Routine for support and encouragement. Winners posted photos of themselves, sent out email updates, and used their "support groups" to talk about successes, temptations, and stumbles. Some of the winners even changed course midway through The Hard Routine, re-navigating towards something new and adjusted.  Winners pushed away those all-too-easy poor food choices and made tough but deliberate decisions to exercise. Winners have been looking forward to December 1st for two months now. They've thought about some huge pasta dinner, or can of soda pop, or gargantuan slice of chocolate cake - and you deserve it for all your HARD work this campaign. Winners saw The Hard Routine through to the end and will make lasting changes to their lives.

Here's to the Quitters: There are many types of quitters in this campaign. The first type are those who had no real interest in The Hard Routine to begin with. They may have responded to a Facebook event invitation with "Attending" or replied to my emails simply to humor me or to feel included. Maybe I should have been more blunt in the beginning: I don't care if you participate or not. I'm not the one who looks in YOUR mirror each morning. But I do know that there are those of you who responded as participants who did absolutely nothing. Then again, maybe you're not a quitter - that just makes you a liar seeking the approval of others. Moving on.... Then there are those quitters who signed Personal Commitment Contracts with the best of intentions. But somewhere along the way, the only times these folks thought about The Hard Routine was when they found a nagging email update from me in their inbox.  Quitters grabbed that guilty beer with friends, ordered the french fries, and slept in rather than exercise. The quitters didn't let me down; they let themselves down. (And sadly, most of them won't even read this message when it gets delivered to their email accounts.)

So, are you a winner or a quitter? I don't think you'll really need to spend much time on the answer. If this post pissed you off -- you're a quitter. Only an angry quitter would find themselves being described in the above rant.

Quitting is alright. You see, you make life for the rest of us careers, in sports, in social settings, in school, in hobbies, in interests, in EVERYTHING. While I'd prefer competing for promotions, athletic victories, and good grades against the best competition available, I'll happily accept going against those who quit. It actually makes success for me easier. On days when I stumble or fail, even my marginal and lack-luster performances are better than those of quitters. Simply put, your quitting makes me look better. And I thank you for that. It reminds me that hard work wins out. Always.

Some last words for you quitters: Next time you are passed up for a promotion at work, or fail to get a job offer, or lose a sports game, or keep smoking cigarettes, or don't finish a book you started, or can't fit into that pair of jeans, or need to loosen up that belt - just remember that this most recent expression of loss isn't your first experience at losing. You are a quitter which means you've become somewhat of an expert at failing.  And somewhere, someone is appreciative that their competition wasn't challenging enough.  The good news is that you can always get back into it and finish up. You can start over. You can commit to a new attitude of winning. It's up to you. No one else.

Go ahead. Look into my past to see when I have quit at something. At anything. At any time. Ever.  I may not have always been the first to the finish line, but I did cross it everytime.....

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