Sit-ups in Your Mind

Posted by Rita Lorraine

Do you ever do sit-ups in your mind? You see clear and repeated evidence in the mirror that you need to do sit-ups – but quick – so you formulate an aggressive plan to do something about it. Only, you never actually execute the plan, you just fantasize about the idea of executing it. In other words, the only sit-ups you do are the ones in your mind. If this sounds like you, read on.

Sit-ups in my mind. I did those for years. Each time I passed a mirror, I marveled at my ever-expanding waistline, and immediately formulated a plan to do something about it.

I’ll do some sit-ups, I promised myself. Only not right now. But when I do, I’ll do them like this. And I imagined myself shoving my feet under my sofa for leverage, bending my knees and then heaving my body into a hundred sit-ups.

Then I’ll do them like that, I went on, imagining lying on my brand-new work-out bench (which had never been used, but was conveniently doubling as a place to stack my books) to do a hundred more at an angle.

Problem is, I never moved my body, only my mind. So while it was no surprise to see my waistline steadily expanding, it sure was a bitter disappointment. Until the day I finally did it…an actual sit-up! See, I got so tired of testing to see if I could “pinch an inch” and finding out I could actually pinch “just under a foot,” I finally decided enough was enough. I plopped myself down on my exercise mat (which had been folded in the closet so long it was disintegrating from stagnant erosion!) and I started doing sit-ups like nobody’s business.

And you know what? My stomach muscles pulled and hurt like h*ll, but I still felt good knowing I was doing them, not just flapping my gums (or my imagination, in this case). I did several that night, and the next day, I pulled out an old CD called Abs Only, and started on the first of a six-day routine. Now, weeks later, I’m seeing some results. Oh, not a six-pack or anything like that; I’m mounds (and I do mean mounds) away from that. But because I’m sticking with it, I’m making progress.

And so we get to writing. Are you writing in your mind? What I mean is, do you imagine yourself writing that story that’s been on your brain forever, but the only thing you actually manage to write is this month’s budget, or a to-do list for your kids? Do you daydream about sitting at your computer until your brilliant novel is done, only you never sit anywhere except on your fluffy sofa in front of your flat-screen tv? Do you role-play about the warm and fuzzy moment you finally upload your precious manuscript to an agent’s email (after permission, of course), but in reality, the only thing you do on the internet is play card games until your retinas burn, or fwd-fwd-fwd yet another un-funny joke?

If this is you, if you’re writing in your mind instead of actually doing it, you’re wasting your energy. You’ve got to go for it; you’ve got to pick up your pencil and write. Be like me, stop doing sit-ups in your mind. Go ahead and bend at the waist, it won’t kill you. You’ll feel better, you’ll look better, and you’ll be pleased as punch to be making progress.

I hope this has inspired you. Believe me, once you actually start doing it (writing or sit-ups…whichever applies) you’ll see progress, and you won’t want to stop. Everyday you’ll see yourself getting closer to your goal, and that, my friend, is a happy way to be.

Best wishes and happy writing,

Rita Lorraine

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  • Hi Rita,
    Read sit ups………and I love it. I wonder how you got into my mind and my life with that little article. Now I will begin writing again.

    • Rita Lorraine

      Dear Willena,
      Hello! So glad you enjoyed the article. Congrats on beginning your writing again. I’m sure you’ll turn out some wonderful pieces.

      Best wishes,

      Rita Lorraine

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