What is your fire alarm?

My 30 minute a day commitment to myself was looking tenuous today… It was a pretty busy day. Work was hectic and I had some webinars for my learning I needed to dial into in the evening. I arrived home in time to go for a walk before my webinar, but I really wanted to get some extra work done, so I thought I get stuck into that, do the webinar, then exercise later. Hmmm…  I realised I had not eaten lunch as I had worked through due to meetings so I thought a piece of toast would be just the thing to tide me over. I then got distracted by a mixture of the report I need to read before tomorrow’s workshop and a YouTube ad with a fireman and a kitten. Next thing I knew, the living room was full of smoke and the smoke alarm was sounding. An effective smoke clearance plan was required, so doors were opened and the fan turned on full. The kittens ran for cover. No firemen came.

The whole living room smelled terrible, and it was still 40 minutes to my webinar. I made a quick choice. I put some sneakers on and raced out the door for a power walk listening to an educational audio. This satisfied a number of needs: I felt like I was learning, so not wasting time, I was achieving my 30 minute commitment to myself AND escaping the smell of burning smoke.

It’s funny, I’m not sure I would have made my 30 minutes today unless I had been literally smoked out of my house. Suddenly, the need to exercise was urgent, as opposed to something that could be put off. It got me thinking. How many things do we put off until they become urgent? And often does that urgency come from external sources? What sort of internal sources could we tap into to create our own ‘fire alarm’? Smoke out our own house so to speak and do the things we need to do before we absolutely have to?

Take massive action. And take it now. Don’t wait for the smoke alarm to go off.