There are so many clichés that come to mind when I think about how easily we are lulled into complacency, where we are slowly led to believe a lie. The frog in the pot of water comes to mind immediately. For the couple of people that dont know, it goes like this, Throw a frog into a pot of boiling water and he will immediately jump out, but put a frog in a pot of tepid water and slowly bring it to a boil and the frog will cook to death. You see, the frogs mind never hits the action mode in response to danger because the danger is not obvious until its too late. So it is with us. We respond to imminent and obvious threats and actions easily and without thought. We respond to a car rushing toward us. We respond to someone screaming at us. We respond to a misbehaving child. What we dont respond well to, what we cant seem to recognize, are the quiet enemies in our lives. Laziness. Apathy. Gluttony. Lust. Selfishness. Greed. Comfort. Work. The list is endless. These are the little things. The things on the margins. The corners we cut. The excuses we make. The things we dont do instead of the things we should do. The things we do that we shouldnt do. Its a battle fought minute by minute and day-by-day. Its a battle we are losing every day and the world is telling us its ok. Except its not. Look, we should never major in the minors, but its the little things in life, the little battles won, that make the war easier to win. The battle we fight is one of attrition and we are our own worst enemy. It shows up in what we chose to eat. It shows up in what we choose to do, or not do. It shows up in how we treat those around us. Our laziness, greed, apathy, etc. is apparent in everything we do, if we just take the time to look for it. But we dont. So it is with training. Losing in a violent encounter doesnt happen during the encounter. The battle is lost way before the fight. The battle is lost when we eat one more doughnut or when we decide to sit on the couch instead of getting up to train. We lose it in our prayer life where we refuse to acknowledge God in our motivations and actions. We lose it bit-by-bit and day-by-day and we think its no big deal. We lose in our marriages, we lose in our work, we lose in our life because we dont get up and do the hard work of being deliberate about what we are doing. So, what are you going to do about it? What am I going to do about it? Start being more deliberate today. Look at your calendar for next year. Start to schedule your training year. What are you going to do weekly, monthly and quarterly? What refresher classes do you need to take? Where do you need to get initial skills training? Companies all over the world right now are working on their vision, strategy and budgets for their business for next year. We should do the same. Heres my plan for next year: Weekly: Martial arts training 2 nights per week. CrossFit 2 times a week. Running 2 times a week. Monthly: Teach a class either in martial arts or other combatives to hone my teaching skills and my own proficiency in certain topics. Half day solo training in shooting skills (movement, pistol, rifle, shotgun). Quarterly: One seminar or training class per quarter. Its an aggressive plan, as it should be. I wont hit it every time, but, like a budget, this is what I will use to measure my success next year. When was the last time you slowed down long enough to actually think about what youre doing, much less reflect on what youve done? I bet its been a while, if ever. Our constant busy-ness and pursuit of our own comfort keeps us from taking a minute to explore the small things in our lives that are literally killing us, or at the very least, making our lives miserable. Dont let this year end the way it started and dont let next year start the way this one did.