Wednesday, December 9, 2009

I Want You to Give Me 55% Today

People who are good at math try to tell me that it’s impossible to give 110% like I always make a concerted effort to do. My argument is a simple one. Can you give 100%? Well, then just do that… then do 10% more.

But some folks still insist that giving that much is physically impossible, and I suppose for them it is.

So I’ll tell you what: how about giving 55% today?

That doesn’t sound so intimidating, does it? That doesn’t even sound all that difficult, when you stop and think about it. I mean, that’s just a little more than a completely half-hearted effort. Anybody can do that. Right?

You can do just a little better than what you’ve been doing, even if you haven’t been doing very much. I mean, anyone can do that, and a little’s better than nothing. Right?

Maybe 55% can be your baseline, the foundation–in terms of effort you’re willing to dedicate to achieving your goals–that you can lay down and build on for the future. It may not be much, but it’s certainly a start.

Teddy Roosevelt once said “Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure...than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.” However, if you take that 55% approach, you can just paraphrase it to “It’s okay to dare miniscule things, to win tiny triumphs, to not try too, too hard… because… well, just because.”

Hmmmmm, that doesn’t really stir my heart or make me want to jump out of the airplane into the wild blue yonder. It doesn’t lift my spirits, and it sure doesn’t stoke the fires of my weight-loss engine.

Maybe it’s time for us both to admit that putting in a half-ass effort is only okay if you’re interested in half-ass results, if you’re content thinking that the way things are is the way things have to be.

I started this post thinking that I was going to try to egg you on to give a 55% effort, to at least give half of what I think you ought to be dedicating to this weight-loss journey you’re on, but I just don’t think I can do that today.

I think you’re worth more than that.

I think you’re better than that.

I goof a lot in this space, but this is oh-so serious business. This is really the beginning of a new day, and what you’ll make out of this new day is entirely up to you. Whether you want to squander it, whether you want to put in a lackluster effort or whether you want to strive to really get after it and make the most of it, I don’t have much control over how you approach this journey (after all, I can’t even make my kids do what I want them to do). At the end of the day, it’s all on you.

It’s your day to do with as you will. But I can tell you this: tomorrow’s coming right away, and when it comes, this day will be nothing but a fleeting memory. What you do today is important because you exchanged a precious piece of your life for it, and it’d be nice if you had something positive to show for it.


I don't think so.

Give it your all.


  1. I was doing the 30 day shred video, and noticed last night her statement that she won't demonstrate easier moves or accept a half assed effort because it's just a 20 minute video, and basically if you can't give your all for just 20 minutes, you've got bigger problems to deal with then working out.

    And that made me give 110%. For 20 minutes.

    today? This post will do the same.

  2. What a great post! I love visiting your blog after my morning walk! Today's post has inspired me to go ahead and do the second workout that I was debating about squeezing in a few minutes ago. Half-ass effort will give me half-ass results, right? Thanks for the virtual kick in the butt! :)

  3. Too many good lines in this post to pick just one Jack. Today really is a new day for me because I weigh myself on Wednesdays. Lots of times it's easy for me to melt down because I really do hate the scale right now: if it's good, should I celebrate with food?; if it's bad should I drown my sorrows in food? As we all know, neither. What I have to do is just keep on and on and on and on and on...

  4. Jack, you know how I feel about this.. yesterday I wrote about pushing yourself & getting out of the comfort zone. You are so right that today is the day! I am with you! Why wait till January to start a "diet" & health program. TODAY is the day. We both agree on that & more for sure!

  5. Thanks - the ar$e kicking I need.

  6. Thanks for the kick in the pants! I have "settled" and only given a half hearted attempt the last week or so and I have to say...I feel horrible! Not only in my mental state but in my physical state as well. So today is back to where I KNOW I should be and doing what I KNOW I should be doing!

  7. You're so very right. You only get into this what you put in...if you put in a half assed effort then you'll get nothing....this choice has to be all in...for all the marbles...and nothing less will get you where you want to be!!!

  8. I put in everything I had on the dreadmill last night, i hate that thing, but if you want something bad enough you have to work for it, thanks for the reminder!

  9. Love this post, so what I needed to see this week, I keep telling myself I'm worth it and that if I give my all....I'll get it all.

  10. You are truly motivational! I agree that we should all try to give more than what is expected of us. Don't settle for mediocrity!


  11. "What you do today is important because you exchanged a precious piece of your life for it"

    I have never ever thought of it that way, and it's totally perfect. Beautiful. Thanks, Jack :-)

  12. thank you for this. A good kick up the butt for me!

  13. Nothing worth having comes without some kind of fight.

    If you're going to fight half assed you might as well run away.

  14. I love it. I've already made that commitment to myself (in other words) today, but I'll make it again. 100% today it is.

    Also (and no body else read this part) *whispers* ...Jack, alert publishers to this blog. You're one chance away from a huge WL/Inspriational/Humor best seller. Really.

  15. Jack. Casa Hice is reporting for service and commits to 100 percent today. Mathematicians are all about fractions and decimals and the fact that a whole is 100 percent - and a whole cannot be exceeded.

    What about extra credit then? Hmmm....

    Thank you for visiting Casa Hice and always leaving such great comments. You rock, mister!

  16. Good kick in the arse, thanks. It's gonna take 100% of something to get out there and run in the brrrrrr today at lunch but I am committed (dedicated or certifiable, you pick).

  17. Sorry Jack but I find myself uncomfortable with your message.

    I definitely believe in doing one's best, but in the weight loss world I see too many people striving to be perfect, failing (because no one is perfect) and kicking themselves over this failure so hard that they give up totally.

    I know that the last thing you want is for people to give up. We have to learn to do our best, but people tend to confuse "doing 110%" with perfection and as they say in French, "la perfection n'est pas de ce monde"--perfection does not exist in this world. As long as people are constantly striving for perfection, they are in fact setting themselves up for abject failure.

    Just my contrarian two-cents' worth.

    Love ya, Jack!

  18. Great post! I used to think I was giving at least....85% when I worked out. Since I started working with a trainer, I realized I was probably giving a lot less. Now I am giving 100% (and maybe that extra 10% you spoke about-at least that is the way it feels!)

  19. Well said Jack. Get started today!!! It seems you and I are on a similar wave length today.

  20. if I wasn't following your blog already, I would definately start now! I'm actually thinking about a *double-subscription* - is that possible?

  21. I don't think it is really possible to give it 100% everyday because we are human and we make mistakes. As long as we are consistent for the most part, results will come. I like the overall message though :).

  22. Taking the easy way out never will get us where we want to be. Because the easy way is almost never out best. Or at least it's not for me.

    Great post!

  23. "What you do today is important because you exchanged a precious piece of your life for it, and it’d be nice if you had something positive to show for it."


  24. I wasn't gonna exercise today because my legs hurt so bad... but I will. Thanks Jack :)

  25. Thanks for the kick in the pants, Jack. I have had a rough start to the day, but I can give it my all starting this minute. So, I'm there.

  26. My take on your post: you're not talking about "perfection", which refers to the results. You ARE talking about EFFORT. Giving your all. Creating our future with our choices NOW.

    At least I HOPE I got your point! :-D
    Anyway, loved it!

  27. Seriously Jack. You kick ass. Thanks for motivating us to kick it with you.


  28. Another great post! Thanks for the motivation.

  29. you gotta get a good run up to things.
    If you can psyche yourself into thinking perfection, you may hit 90 percent...
    I saw an oer once ( a military review of a person's job performance)
    It said "consistantly sets low standards then fails to meet them'...
    It was something passed around for a while.
    It was funny....but not funny.
    Set the bar high, and if you fail you fail....but you end up a lot higher than if you had shot low.

  30. Wonderful post my friend. Thank you.


  31. I SO couldn't agree more with you! Why do something half way? Why not go for something all the way and give it all you got?! I loved what you said here! Thankyou!!

  32. Okay, yeh wow...I didn't follow your blog before this, but I sure as heck am following it now. I saw that someone had posted about this post in their blog...and man am I glad I tracked it down. Thanks for laying it out. I'm printing off that quote and putting it on the edge of my computer screen.

    Thank you thank you thank you.

    And no 55% for me today!



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