BRENT STOLLER

Writer. Advice giver. Peanut butter and chocolate enthusiast.

How Easily We Break

Lazy man sleeping on building steps

The saying goes that you should dance like no one’s watching.

As someone who cares too much about what others think, I’ve always loved this saying, because it paints the aspirational picture of the type of person I’d like to be.

Of course, given how things have played out the last few days, it’s probably better I live with someone who is watching.

For the past week, my wife has been out of town on business. And I have not behaved.

I’ve stayed up too late. I’ve skipped workouts. I’ve eaten fried food for dinner. I’ve even decided that wearing gym shorts around the house is too restricting.

Doing so has been easy.

Too easy, in fact.

For instance, every weekday morning, I wake up early to exercise.

This morning, however, I woke up, took one look at my alarm clock, said, “Hell no!” and reset it for an hour later.

I almost startled myself with how willingly I could cast aside the regimen I’ve spent years cultivating.

Then I pulled up the covers and went back to sleep.

It’s true that discipline must be built from within.

But few things strengthen and enforce that discipline more than the eyes of another.

If you have a goal you’d like to achieve or a change you’d like to make, one of the best things you can do is tell someone what you’re doing.

This creates accountability.

It doesn’t matter if that person has no power over you, like a boss or drill sergeant would, or if they could be affected by your follow-through.

You still won’t want to let them down.

Or, at the very least, you won’t want to have that uncomfortable conversation about falling off the wagon.

Like, say, how you blew off your workout despite having had Chick-fil-a for dinner the night before.

Thankfully, my wife gets back in town today.

*****

This originally appeared on 100 Naked Words.

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