[Note: I just realized that this phrase, the Failure of the Last Mile, was first <a href="http://www.iwillteachyoutoberich.com/blog/the-failure-of-the-last-mile/">coined by my brother</a>. We use it in conversation so often, I didn't realize it wasn't a common phrase. Sorry Ramit!]
On Friday, I woke up with an intense urge to run.
As soon as my eyes opened, all I could think about was how much I wanted to feel the open air, the liberation that I only experience when I run through hills in the early morning.
Yet, by 4pm, I hadn’t even gone outside. What the hell happened?
The answer was clear: I had created small barriers that made it difficult to run. I was staying in a hostel room, and wasn’t sure where my exercise clothes were. I didn’t want to make a lot of noise looking for my running clothes.
Even though I had good intentions, I didn’t succeed. I had succeeded in developing the habit, but I still failed. I call this “the failure of the last mile.”
But today, I woke up and immediately got to exercising. I drank a liter of water, began exercising, and cooked a great breakfast, all before 7am.
What was the difference? One simple change
<strong>I went to sleep in my exercise clothes. I planned out the night before that I would exercise in the morning, so I removed every barrier to making that happen.</strong>
By removing all barriers, and simply getting up and going, I was able to get all my exercise in before anyone else in the hostel even woke up.
When building new habits, it’s extremely important to make them as easy as possible. You don’t start a new diet while leaving cake out on the counter. You load your house with only healthy food, to make it <i>difficult to fail</i>.
So, what are you trying to achieve? Tell me in the comments: what goal/habit do you want to achieve? What obstacles prevent you from doing it—and how can you remove that obstacle by preparation?
I’m currently in Medellin, Colombia, after a long weekend of horseback riding and wine-sipping in the coffee region of Colombia. <a href=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mrqdRT9CdgE&list=UUOyAOAJyIsvXOlL5rwSXI-Q&index=1&feature=plcp”>Here is a video of my film editor and me</a> standing up on the back of a jeep while riding at 40mph through winding roads in the middle of a thunderstorm.
Photo by <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/350org/6183454874/”>350.org</a>