Anything Is Better Than Nothing

Anything Is Better Than Nothing

man reading on porch

Time and time again I have conversations with people who tell me, “I don’t have time…” when they’re referring to why they rarely workout, or why they can’t make their own food instead of always eating out, why they don’t read books, or a myriad of other things they’ll ask me about during a casual conversation.

As the conversations continue, I have consistently found these are the same people who have no problem spending two or three hours a night scrolling aimlessly on their phone or binging some new show on Netflix. Every night. Seven days a week.

If that sounds like you, you’re probably saying:

But James I like doing those things, you asshole! How dare you challenge me to look inside myself to see where the problem lies!”

I do promise you I’m not an asshole (mostly not anyways, I am from the northeast after all).

The issue I have with these conversations is they always end with the person saying things like,

“I don’t have the time like you do”


“I should  do those things more, but I’m tired at the end of the day…”.

You see, I have no problem with people scrolling aimlessly on their phone for two hours or binging Netflix every night. Be my guest, enjoy yourself.

But don’t pretend in your head that some people are given a different 24-hours than you. Especially when so much time of your day is dedicated (wasted) scrolling or binging.

I choose to prioritize those things and therefore they get accomplished. I like to

watch a movie or TV show like anybody else, but I also feel the need to get the work in first and foremost. Why? You already know why, but for clarity’s sake, because my health matters to me. Your health should matter to you (your body,  brain, and soul).

Work isn’t just for your boss, work doesn’t end when you clock out. Dare I say the real “work” that truly matters begins when you’re off the clock because YOU matter most, and YOU owe it to yourself to prioritize health in all areas from physical to mental and even spiritual.

Afterall, if your health goes to shit how will you get work done for that boss of yours?

Fortunately, the road to prioritizing and building these habits is a lot simpler, straight forward, and obtainable than you realize.

It’s honestly bizarre that you never hear people talk about this.

Are you ready? Because here is the God’s honest truth people need to remember:

Anything is always better than nothing.

I’ll say it again to be dramatic for all the Netflix’ers out there, anything is always better than nothing.

Way too often people look for some bullshit short cut or some easy path to their goal, so they don’t have to actually put in the work and instead continue their “Netflix and chill” mentality (nonsense).

This mindset is trash.

So, here’s how you can fix it.

Those who say “I don’t have the time…” will want to listen up.

It doesn’t take much, because again, anything…is better…than nothing.

Don’t believe me? Cool, let’s do an experiment…

Stand up right now wherever you’re reading this, set a timer for three minutes, and just start jumping up and down as high as you can in place for the next three minutes and then tell me how hard your heart is beating at the end.

How simple was jumping up and down?

Be brutally honest with yourself and ask yourself, “Do I REALLY not have enough time for even a quick 5-minute workout when I get home from work?”

Your iPhone’s daily phone usage log says you do.

If you’re honest with yourself, you typically have much more than five minutes (your health should be prioritized above everything else anyways, fellow parents included). But if you literally only have 5-minutes how about you set a timer and do as many jumping jacks/push ups/air squats/burpees/etc as you can in five full minutes?

You’ll break a quick sweat and let your heart and lungs know “I’m still here, and I care about you!”

Now imagine over a year’s time…

Would 5-minutes a day of air squats or jumping jacks or push-ups be BETTER than NOTHING? You know the answer. And if you dedicated that simple 5-minutes a day every day in a year’s time that’s 1,825 minutes of working out.

Is that better than 0 minutes?

Imagine if you put your damn phone away and read 5-pages of a real book every day, you would finish a 300-page book every other month! That’s six 300-page books a year!

Is that better than 0 or 1 or 2 books a year?

Talk about a small daily time commitment to prioritize your personal health (physically and mentally).

Consistency is always king and all it takes is a choice to take it day by day to do the things you know you should be doing. I am confident that over time it will expand to even more amazing things for your life.

Oh, I almost forgot, eating out versus making your own food.

Just a friendly reminder that nobody forces any food into your mouth and that YOU are in control of everything you eat. That is good news when you start to realize the power is in your hands.

Need to order out? You could order “chicken with broccoli, no sauce, white rice” instead of “sesame chicken and lo mein”, right?  The choice is there, it’s not always “exciting” but it’s in your control and is an option.

Boring? Maybe. A cleaner option, definitely. Just don’t be mad at me for showing you a great choice under the circumstances. Sorry if it doesn’t fit the “do nothing but still pretend there aren’t options” mentality.

But that will be for another blog.

My point is prioritizing productive habits that will lead to a healthier lifestyle isn’t rocket science and anything is always better than nothing.

Even small commitments like 5-minutes of purposeful physical activity a day, or reading 5-pages of a book a day, in the name of self-improvement, done consistently and compounded over time, will lead to huge wins. I also know it will not take long for that number 5 to grow.

My 5-minutes is up. Now put down your phone, go read 5-pages of a book, and let’s make it happen. I’m happy to help you any way I can.



Photo of Absolute Aid owner James Appleton

About the Author:

James Appleton is a founder and co-owner of Absolute Aid. When he's not running a company or writing content, he is usually somewhere in the great outdoors, climbing mountains, deadlifting, or spending time with his wife and daughters. James is passionate about helping others to become the only source of motivation and inspiration they need to accomplish the goals they seek. He fully embodies the essence of Seek To Do More day in and day out.

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