Draw the Line

Where do you draw the line?

My first wakeup call to myself was when I hit 220 lbs. I was up to size 38 waist pants, beer belly forming, and physically in very poor shape.

My current line is at 200 lbs, although I’ve learned that this measure by itself can be misleading.

Everyone has a limit, a number, a point where they scare themselves that their not taking things seriously.

In software development people hit the point where the code gets so nasty they start talking about rewriting it. In our lives we hit points where we know we need to change. The answer in both situations is refactoring. We need to learn how to refactor our code and our lives. Here are some basic rules to get you started on what might seem like a monumental task.  Start slowly in little steps, this is how we learn the best.

1) Paint a picture in your mind of where you want to be. Don’t judge, don’t restrict, be brave. I encourage software teams to do this as a group and write it all down.

2) Record where you are. Really are. Get blood tests. Determine fat percentage. Your weight. You need a snap shot in time.  Don’t get down about this, this is the before picture in your Charles Atlas life moment.

3) Make a small goal that brings you toward that crazy thought you first imagined.  Think of this like a giant stair case.  We may never get to the top.  All we need right now though is to get to the top of step one.

4) When you run into an obstacle, and you will, deal with it as completely as you can.  This means you need to create changes to your life so that this obstacle will not ever happen again.  This may be the hardest part of all. Your commitment to doing this will ensure your success or create a failing pattern. One life rule I had to put into place was never to have thirds.  Yes, that’s a helping after seconds. And, yes, I have slipped on this a few times but having that rule in place helps me stay on target of longer term goals.

5) When you get to that short term goal, that first step, create a the plan for the next step.  In other words, go back to 3).

And remember the benefits or pair programming: If you do this with someone else there will be less mistakes and you will get to your objective sooner.

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