My head hurts.

The nature of having young kids is that they do a phenomenal job of collecting germs. Germs to which they seem shockingly resilient, but which none the less lay waste to this poor old man’s immune system.

It’s not that bad. I’m more tired than I otherwise would be, and I have the standard suite of symptoms that accompany a head cold. But miracles of modern science abound, and I have plenty of medicines and chemicals to treat these symptoms and a safe environment in which to recover.

It did give me reason to reflect, as I recovered comfortably and safely, on how important it is to have a framework of goals, actions and principles that you establish in advance of these more difficult moments.

This morning I went to my eldest daughter’s karate belt test, despite the fact that in the moment I had very little desire to do so. But I have a firmly-held principle, written in the high times, that says “Attend as many of your children’s important milestones as you possibly can; only let actual inability prevent you from doing so.” Being tired and sick isn’t actual inability, so I went. The principle carried me when my immediate motivation wasn’t there.

Likewise, today would be a lousy day to start a blog or writing a book or a workout routine or a reading pattern or any of my other daily goals. If I didn’t already have those things in place, I wouldn’t find the motivation to start them today.

That’s why you can’t rely on motivation in the moment. No one is motivated every single day; some days just suck. And those are the days where you need that framework the most, because those are the days that have a tendency to turn into weeks, months, or the rest of your life if you let them.

That’s a headache far worse than this one.

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