Years ago I had a friend that was a personal trainer. At the time he was 49 and had a body of a 23 year old. When I would work out with him I was in perpetual motion. After I was done I could barely walk to the car let alone lift my arms to operate the steering wheel. He never yelled, never coerced, but his insistence came with force that one didn’t question while contemplating your third set of bicep curls at 5:30 in the morning.
In any training regimen, weeks pass and your motivation stalls, you get a little sidetracked from your appointed rounds, and your commitment wanes. This happened, too, with my diet. Sticking to 1800 calories a day was tough. On a bad day half of those calories were consumed before 9 am, and the words “well, you can always start over tomorrow” were a mantra that began somewhere around 6 that night, and the next night, and that night after that.
When I told him that I’d had trouble adhering to the diet he said, very abruptly, that he could no longer train me. He said that he only trained people that “had integrity” and it was evident that I had very little.
I was thunderstruck and I assume the expression on my face reflected this disbelief. Upon seeing my state of utter shock he said “Look, it’s nothing personal, but integrity means one thing to me: Doing what I say I’m going to do. You said you were going to stick to the diet. You didn’t. You went back on your word. Therefore, you have questionable integrity and I will no longer train you.” And with that he shook my hand. I have never seen or heard from him since.
I left that meeting absolutely stunned but with the knowledge that he was absolutely right. Integrity means you do what you say you’re going to do. You keep your promises, appointments, resolutions and, above all, your word. If you say you’re going to do something, then carry through with what you said you’ll do. Living a life of integrity is that simple.
Life happens in our follow through, in the effect of our actions. It’s what we do that makes us who we are.
This morning I told a friend of mine that he and I are going to run the Rock and Roll Marathon. I haven’t run that long in eleven years and I get winded on my way to the bathroom. I’ve told myself that I’m going to drop weight, like 30 pounds, by April 1st. And I promised myself to be more positive.
This is your year to live in integrity. All those things you’ve said you’d do as part of your resolution need to be followed through with. When you achieve your goals, you’ll feel a sense of strength you’ve never experienced before.
In this New Year, make your greatest resolution a life with integrity, and watch how the person you are becomes the person you’ve always wanted to be.
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