Just Do It

Just Do It. By Mary Jo Hudson
In my home, a new year brings a new annual planner for me. I’m very particular about the lay
out of the planner and finding one that fits every requirement isn’t easy. I have used all the
name brands: Franklin Covey; self-made ones; I Heart Organizing; off the shelf from the big box
stores. This year, I ordered one from a homesteader who gardens and has livestock.
I knew right away I wouldn’t need all the sections of the book. I don’t need to keep track of
breeding or birthing records nor feed expenses. However, those pages might be used to keep
track of the books I’ve read: I can fill the lines in with any information regardless of the title at
the top of the page.

One new feature which appealed to me was the page at the beginning of each month she calls
‘habit tracker’. This looks a little like an accounting spreadsheet: Days of the month vertically
on the left side of the page with multiple columns available across the top. I looked at the
many columns and had to decide what ‘habits’ I wanted to track for the year.

Not only that, I had to determine in which order I would list the selected items: alphabetical or
easiest to hardest, or vice versa. I decided I would put the hardest item in the first column. It
would remind me to follow the adage I repeat to myself many times: “JUST DO IT”. I’ll reveal
what it is in a paragraph or two.

‘Just doing it’ frees up mental and emotional space for me. It’s complete when I do it. I have to
face it over and over if I walk by it a dozen times. I may feel as if I’m a failure if I let things linger
out of place because the clutter stresses me out.

As I tackle the items on one of my famous lists, I have a secret weapon: I try to do the hardest
thing first. Because once the hardest thing is complete, everything else looks easy. It doesn’t
always happen that way. Sometimes, I do several little things just to recognize I’m making
progress. But, my mantra is ‘get the hardest thing out of the way first.’

That’s why I put exercise in the first column. In the winter, exercise isn’t as integrated into my
day because I’m not in the garden. During this season of the year, I have to find time to exercise
and force myself to do it. Athletic pursuits aren’t part of my younger days and these days,
going to the gym could be a germy health hazard I’m unwilling to risk.

A few years ago, I requested an exercise DVD series. My daughter gave it to me. A surprising
realization hit me. Just owning the DVD doesn’t do any good. I have to put it in my computer
and exercise with it for any benefit. So, this year, I’ve plugged exercise into the first column of
my habit planner. I’ve rearranged my schedule so there is a prime time for it to be
accomplished, early in the day.

The second column heading is ‘Bible study’. It reminds me to be accountable. I need the
accountability to myself to be diligent in study. So as soon as I have accomplished the hardest
task of the day for me (exercise), I want my next priority to be the Word. By the time I’m done
exercising, I am and ready to sit down without being groggy, so it is a logical second step. And,
once I have those two things done, everything else on my to-do list will be easy to accomplish
because I will feel better physically and spiritually. I will have fortified myself in body and spirit
enough to tackle everything else the day brings to me. Further down the list is a reward. For
each of us that reward will be different. Had I put my reward column first, I most likely would
assume it should be the first thing I did. That would leave the important things till later in the
day, easier to procrastinate.

Maybe the discipline of being in the Word creates a challenge for you: early mornings don’t
work in your schedule and you fall asleep reading at night. Find a way to make it work: listen
to the Word as an audible book while you are driving to work. Maybe you have to read while
you walk on the treadmill. Maybe you have to read in a closet. I don’t know your situation but
I know how easy it is to think I’ll ‘do it later’ and never get to it. That’s why my theme for the
year is ‘just do it (now)’.

I encourage you to find what works for you. Establish habits you want for your own well being.
Create accountability to discipline yourself to accomplish what you want. Be conscientious
about establishing habits. In a month or two of creating a schedule and following it, you will be
well on your way and feeling successful.


Dawn - January 5th, 2023 at 1:37pm

Love this follow up to Sunday's sermon. Thank you for the practical advice and insight to how your day starts!! You're such a person of wisdom and example!

Darlys - January 5th, 2023 at 5:58pm

I wholeheartedly agree with your logic!!