I think “wake-up call” may be one of most misused phrases in our language. It is typically used to describe a surprise, something that suddenly popped up and really got our attention. Then it follows that we actually “woke up” and started taking action, like metaphorically getting out of bed and getting on with our day.
For example, “Wow, that cholesterol report from my doctor was a real wake-up call. I need to start eating right and exercising right away.”
If you’ve ever stayed in a hotel, you know the wake-up call is not a surprise at all. It is something you think about ahead of time and schedule by calling the front desk. For me, it’s a back-up system in case the Radio Shack alarm clock malfunctions. I’m betting there’s some human being down at the front desk diligently checking a clipboard and calling guests to gently encourage them out of their beds. (Most hotels have lost this customer service charm with automated recordings now, but I digress.)
The point about the wake-up call is this… you know it’s coming. It’s not some serendipitous alarm that shocks you into action like a phone ringing in a dark hotel room. It’s a premeditated failsafe mechanism that YOU have control over.
Two years ago I stepped on a scale and reached an uncomfortable, “holy crap” milestone in my weight. I have claimed before that this was my wake-up call, the moment I was shocked into action by a number on the scale between my feet. But was it really a surprise? No. I knew it was coming. And it was coming because of the choices I had made in my eating and exercise habits.
I had just pushed all those bad habits down into a subconscious bed and piled on several creative excuses to keep them under the blankets. I was successfully hitting the infinite snooze button over and over again to stay in that comfortable bed. The truth is… the wake-up call was ringing off the hook for a long time and it finally got loud enough for me to answer.
So here’s my challenge for you. I know it’s not easy to get out of your status quo bed, but there’s a big bright wonderful day waiting for you outside. If there is something you are putting off because it’s difficult or painful, schedule your wake-up call for NOW. Change your pattern by changing your pattern. You can use your friends as desk clerks to check-in on you, but they’re not going to physically push you out of bed.
Sit up, put your two feet on the floor and stand. Life is too short to lie around.