My Blog

Stop “Better Than Nothing Thinking”

I woke up this morning and so did not feel like working out. A million excuses bounced around in my mind about why I should just skip my workout. But I didn’t.

I climbed up on the elliptical and strode for seven minutes. Well, it’s better than nothing.

I picked up my weights and pumped them ten times. Well, it’s better than nothing.

I did ten squats.  Well, it’s better than nothing.

I did one plank. Well, it’s better than nothing.

I went back upstairs without having produced one bead of sweat.

Yet I felt quite proud of myself for “working out.” Yeah it wasn’t a good one, but it was—you guessed it—better than nothing.

Then I thought, how many times are my work outs just “better than nothing?” The answer—more often than not.

I decided then and there I’d try harder. Push myself to give it my all. Otherwise, what’s the point of waking up early? I was just wasting my time.

And then it hit me, how many times in life am I doing this? Squeaking by doing the bare minimum then patting myself on the back and thinking, “Well, it’s better than nothing.”

How many times have I rushed playing with my nine-year-old so I can get back to the dishes? How often have I just given my husband a quick “hi” for a greeting instead of a kiss? How often have I sent a text instead of called?

It’s easy to get trapped in the “better than nothing” way of thinking. We think that we are doing it just every once in a while, but if we really examine ourselves it may be that we are doing it far more often than we realize. And the truth is if we don’t give our all in life then we won’t be able to make much of a difference in our life or the lives of others.

Our only remedy to “better than nothing” thinking is to recognize it and choose to do better. It won’t be easy. In fact, it’s hard work giving our all. I’m already dreading my work out tomorrow morning. But if we give better than nothing we can’t be surprised when we get better than nothing back. So, dear reader, that’s why I plan on being a sweaty mess after my work out tomorrow.