I just finished my morning exercise and I thought that making sit-ups can teach something about game development. If somebody wants to get fit and is making sit-ups, it’s natural to know that making 20 sit-ups is not going to do much – if you stop there. In fact, you can get fit by doing just one sit-up.
And then you need to repeat that pattern. Over and over. Rest, do more sit-ups, rest, do sit-ups until you are fit. Think about it. If you would spend excercising 5 minutes for 5 days a week for the next 5 years. Would that make a difference? Of course it would. Problem in the beginning is of course that doing 20 or 30 sit-ups feels awful. But you don’t have to start doing 100 sit-ups. You can start doing 3×3 sit-ups or 3 times one sit-up. Or one sit-up. Or if one sit-up is too much, then do half sit-up. The point is not to give up in the beginning, but to do what’s possible for you. After you have done 1 sit-up (or half sit-up) every day for one month, you begin to notice that you can double the amount. Next month you can double the amount again. 1 turns to 2… then 4. 4 becomes 8, 8 becomes 16… then 32 and soon you’ll notice you are doing 3 x 50 sit-ups or 3×100 sit-ups. And when you do 150 sit-ups per day, 5 days a week means 750 sit-ups. That’s about 39 000 sit-ups in one year and almost 200 000 sit-ups in 5 years. What would happen to your stomach muscles in this process? Good things, of course.
And it all starts by doing just one sit-up. That’s all you need to do. Just one sit-up, and then repeat. Reach your limits… and then go beyond them.
I don’t recommend thinking about how many sit-ups you can do in one day, I recommend doing the sit-ups. I found great motivation from thinking “what will happen if I keep doing this for 5 years”. Think what difference it makes to train your body for the 5 next years compared to doing nothing. This lesson goes with other parts of game development and business. When you participate in something, take time to think about the 5-year rule. If you program your games 1 hour every day, you have 1750 hours to spend in 5 years. If you cut your email reading time for 5 minutes per day, you just earned 150 hours in 5 years. If you read one book every month, that’s 60 new books in 5 years. If you make one new game feature every week, you’ll have 52 new features in one year.
P.S. If you decide to do sit-ups, then you should also do something to strengthen your back. Check out some professional training articles or books on how to do the moves properly. Rule of thumb is that it’s much better to do one movement properly than 10 moves badly. Also have small breaks after each series of sit-ups. Like, do 10 sit-ups, then 1 minute break, 10 more sit-ups, 1 minute break, 10 final sit-ups. I’m no professional trainer, consult someone who is. Final tip: Read also the comments from Aikido instructor.