One Pushup, One Sit-up, and One Jumping Jack

I heard a story from colleague at work a few weeks ago about a 80-year-old man who was in great physical condition. Do those two go together?

When asked about his secret, he answered that when he was a young man, he set a goal to do only one pushup, sit-up, and jumping jack every day of his life.

Only one? Yes, one. Couldn’t he do more? Of course he could. But that wasn’t his goal. He was going for, shall we say, a lifetime of continuity. And a streak of success.

“. . . By small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise.” (Alma 37:6.)

His goal was one. He knew he could achieve it under almost any circumstance. What was to keep him from exceeding his goal after he reached it? Nothing.

Let’s estimate he was 20 years old when he first set his goal. By the time he turned 80, he would have done 21,900 pushups, sit-ups, and jumping jacks, at a minimum. I am sure he did far more.

Wow. Here’s to small and simple things!  🎉


Why I Gave Up My Smartphone

My erstwhile iPhone 5S. Adios.

For several important reasons—to me—I sold my smartphone in May.

First off, the organization I work for was paying the monthly bill (though I owned the phone). I didn’t feel like I was using it according to “company” policy. I was mostly listening to books on Audible or YouTube, texting family and friends, and had more personal calls than “company” calls. It didn’t feel right. That’s the first reason I gave it up.

More importantly, I realized that I was letting my phone captivate my attention to the point that I was preoccupied with it, which felt disrespectful to others. (I wrote about this last fall.)

What really got me to let it go was when I realized it was affecting my relationship with my Heavenly Father. I wasn’t doing anything unsavory with my phone—I was just doing less of the good things I should have been doing, such as having more time to think deeply, talk more soulfully, and pray from the heart, undistracted and uninterrupted.

And it’s working. I’ve gained renewed strength. My connection to God is stronger. And how I need that connection now.  He’s talking to a lot more. Or maybe I am just listening more.

I don’t see this as a permanent thing. I am getting by with a flip phone right now, but I plan to get a another smartphone after my little technology fast.

A smartphone is pretty cool thing to have, but really distracting to me. You may be stronger than I am. If so, awesome. I am not judging anyone else’s use of a smartphone. For right now, I’ve traded my smartphone for a better relationship with myself and a healthier relationship with God. It’s worth it.

P.S. I was able to buy a treadmill just a few days ago for the same amount I sold my phone for. A fair trade. And something I really need. But that’s another story.


14 Powerful Quotes about Goals

“If you’re bored with life, if you don’t get up every morning with a burning desire to do things, you don’t have enough goals.” ―Lou Holtz

“I’ve worked too hard and too long to let anything stand in the way of my goals . . . I will not let myself down.” ―Mia Hamm

“Be unstoppable. Refuse to give up, no matter what. It’s the best skill you can ever learn.” ―Charlotte Eriksson

“It’s not hard to decide what you want your life to be about. What’s hard . . . is figuring out what you’re willing to give up in order to do the things you really care about.” ―Shauna Niequist

“An average person with average talent, ambition and education can outstrip the most brilliant genius in our society, if that person has clear, focused goals.” ―Brian Tracy

“You may be the only person left who believes in you, but it’s enough. It takes just one star to pierce a universe of darkness.”  ―Richelle Goodrich

“People do not wander around and then find themselves at the top of Mount Everest.” ―Zig Ziglar

“While intent is the seed of manifestation, action is the water that nourishes the seed. Your actions must reflect your goals in order to achieve true success. . . . Take action! An inch of movement will bring you closer to your goals than a mile of intention.” ―Steve Maraboli

“If you’re not honest about what you want, you’re never going to get anywhere.” ―Sara Winters

“When reaching for the stars, there does not have to be a ‘how’ if there is a big enough ‘why’.” ―Criss Jami

“Don’t judge your creation. Just create it. Banish doubt and fear and step out of your own way if you have to. . . . Do what you were born to do. Only then will you know a remarkable life.”  ―Toni Sorenson

“The hallmark of great dreams is not their possibility but their impossibility, and the fact that it is the very notion of the ‘impossible’ that inspires us to go and accomplish them anyway.” ―Craig D. Lounsbrough

“Although goals are important, having a plan of action is vital to the success of those goals. Having a goal with no plan of action is like wanting to travel to a new destination without having a map.” —Steve Maraboli

“Reach high, for stars lie hidden in you. Dream deep, for every dream precedes the goal.” ―Rabindranath Tagore