What would they do?

You registered for a marathon, but now you don’t feel like getting your long run in.

You said this was the year you were finally going to eat healthy and get in a gym routine, but now you just want to order a pizza (and eat the entire thing in one sitting).

You promised you’d pay off your debt and watch your spending so you wouldn’t have to worry about paying rent, but now your friends are going shopping and you could really use a new pair of boots.

You’ve put aside time every day to work on that side business you’ve been dreaming about, but you just spent the last 10 hours at your full-time job and now you just want to veg out in front of the tv.

What do you do? What do you do when you really don’t feel like doing what you should do and your motivation is sapped and temptation is calling?

Whenever I feel like blowing off a commitment, I borrow a lesson I learned back in Bible school: WWJD.

That’s right. What would Jesus do. Remember the little rubber bracelets that had “WWJD?” imprinted on them? They were to serve as a reminder to think of how Jesus would think, act and behave, so we could model our behavior after him.

Unfortunately, I don’t think there are any stories in the Bible about Jesus choosing to hit up the gym when he really wanted to stay home and play video games.

So I adapted it. Whenever I don’t feel like doing something, I think of someone who has achieved the goal I want to achieve and I ask, “What would they do?”

One of my long-term goals is to qualify for Boston. When I don’t feel like running, or I’m in the middle of my workout and I’m tempted to cut it short, I ask myself, “What would a Boston qualifier do?” The answer is obvious: a Boston qualifier would get their ass outside and commit to their workout. And if I want to be one of them, I better start acting like it.

I’ve also had the superficial goal of flattening my tummy down to abs worthy of a Women’s Health magazine cover. So last year I invested in a nutrition plan designed by two personal trainers who could walk down the runway of the Victoria Secret fashion show. When I feel like giving into that cookie craving or swapping out my salad for some greasy Chinese food, I ask, what would they do? Answer: They’d keep it lean, clean and green and know that the little, daily choices are what lead to long-term rewards.

When I don’t feel like getting up early in the morning to do my personal writing and blogging— a passion I’ve neglected over the years — I think of my writing idol Alexandra Franzen and what she would do. (Fortunately it’s not hard to imagine since she’s written blog posts about it — like this one and that one.)

It may seem silly, but for me it works. Because how can I ever expect myself to become great at something, to turn into the people who inspire me, if I don’t stick to my promises and commit to my goals 100%?

So ask yourself: Who are you striving to become? What would they do?

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