Today, I wanted to share an embarrassing and frustrating true story that happened to me this month. It’s also sort of hilarious, but it taught me some important things about reaching goals.
As an attempt to do something healthy for myself, and to have some fun and meet some new people, I decided to join a yoga class. I first went to the class before New Years, excited, yoga mat in hand. The enthusiastic lady behind the front desk sadly informed me that yoga was cancelled for the day because of the holidays. I pouted for a minute, then decided that I might as well get a workout in since I was literally at the gym in gym clothes with plenty of time before work. So I did. And it felt good.
In perkier spirits, I showed up for yoga class again after the New Year.
When I asked the enthusiastic lady behind the front desk if yoga was in the first group room, she sadly informed me that it was cancelled for that day as well, for the holidays again.
But, I was in gym clothes. I was at the gym. I had plenty of time before work. So I worked out. And it felt nice.
I also grabbed a calendar of the classes so that I wouldn’t make myself look like an idiot again, for a third time. The next Tuesday, I woke up excitedly and ventured to yoga class ready to put the past behind me and probably never tell anyone about my past attempts to get there.
I showed up and laughingly said to enthusiastic lady behind the front desk, “Man, I’m so happy that I have FINALLY made it to an actual yoga class!”
Her face kind of went blank, and I thought oh no.
She proceeded to explain that there weren’t enough people in the class so it had been cancelled.
Me: “Like, forever?”
Enthusiastic lady behind the front desk: “Well, yes…. Would you like to use a yoga DVD?”
Of course, I didn’t want a yoga DVD. Yet again, though, I was at the gym. In gym clothes. And I had plenty of time before work. So I went ahead and worked out. And it felt good.
Yep. I literally showed up for a cancelled yoga class THREE TIMES. Seriously. Was God playing some kind of joke? I was trying to reach my goals! I was trying to do something positive. WHY???
But then I realized something. I worked out every time yoga class was cancelled on me. This sparked my interest. What was it about that situation that caused me to work out at the gym? How could I replicate that on my own?
And, behold, I give you, the newly named YOGA EFFECT. It’s completely made up, but it goes something like this:
When a good habit is so unbelievably easy to do, you’ll do it.
It was absolutely super convenient for me to work out on those days because all the excuses I might have (I have to find my gym clothes, I don’t have time right now, I’ll have to drive there) had already been taken care of. I had no excuse not to follow through with working out.
So how can we replicate that in other areas of our lives?
We just need to make our good habits super easy on ourselves. Put healthy snacks at eye-level in the fridge. Transfer money to savings the day you get it. Schedule date night with your spouse so you have no excuse not to spend that alone time together. Put your Bible or some positive reading material next to the coffee pot so it’s super convenient to read in the morning. Lay your gym clothes out the night before.
Basically, what I learned from my disastrous yoga class experience is this:
For me to conquer those daily disciplines that move me towards my goals, I need to make it way easier to succeed than it is to fail.
Oh, and enthusiastic lady behind the front desk, if you’re reading this, I appreciate that early morning smile. You made my painfully embarrassing situation a little more bearable. And maybe, just maybe, I’ll be back to see you again, even if it isn’t for my imaginary yoga class.