It’s getting to about that time. You know, when New Year’s Resolutions start to lose their appeal. Gym memberships start dropping, life starts getting in the way, and suddenly you’re no better off than where you were last year. I get it. It’s rough. But this is when it needs to start getting real. Let me explain what I mean.
I have a friend in one of my classes this semester that started her own blog. To help her out, I started reading her blog and subscribed to it via email (the way some people have done with me). Well, I would get a few emails saying she posted, and all of a sudden, I have not gotten any. I know it’s hard to keep up with things, but it’s still kind of sad.
Once things become habits, then it is easy to do them. However, the hardest part is not getting started. The hardest part is finding the motivation to continue once you have started. When you start, you are all motivated and stuff. Then, within a few weeks or even a month, you start to want to revert back. If you push through and make it a habit, then it becomes easier again. However, if you revert, then this change that you so desperately wanted will never happen. It’s about taking action. You have to go after what you want.
Here’s a personal example. As many of you know, I stopped drinking soda six years ago this past October. Nowadays, I don’t even really think about it, but the hardest part was that first month. My body was like “Okay, haha, you’ve had your fun. Now let’s go back and drink it. You know it will taste good.” And I was tempted. Man, was I tempted. But I stuck it out and was consistent. I hit my first month, then my second, then my third. Next thing I knew, it had been a year. I had people ask me if I would drink one after a year was up. While they may not have said it directly, it almost sounded as if they thought a year was my goal. Well I type this today going six years strong with the only soda being to settle my stomach, and the only carbonated beverage being whatever non-alcoholic drink is being served for New Year’s. I drink water, tea, lemonade, and juice, but no soda. Sure, it limits my options sometimes, but I’m healthier than I ever was when I was drinking soda.
While I did not waver during that time, there are other things I have been less consistent about. Instead of delving into everything, let me just offer some advice. IT’S OKAY TO HAVE A “CHEAT” DAY, A SETBACK DAY, A “FAILURE” DAY. You are not going to form this habit overnight. It takes a lot of work, and it will suck at times. Just yesterday, I had to work up the motivation to go exercise. I really did not want to, and I knew by the time I finished, it would be almost time to leave for work. However, I did it. Afterwards, I felt proud of what I had done, even if I wasn’t really feeling it at the time. See, later on down the road, you won’t remember the days where it was hard to be consistent. You’ll just see how far you’ve come and what you’ve accomplished.
I can’t say this journey will be easy. In fact, I can almost guarantee it will not be easy. However, I can say this: if you stay committed and work up to doing or living consistently, then you will see a change. Think of it this way: you’re an artist creating a sculpture. When you first start, your hands are probably bloodied and raw simply because of your inexperience. You think it would be easier to quit. Your hands would heal, you could continue your life. But your sculpture would be unfinished. Or you can fight through the pain that way your hands learn to become calloused, and you can keep working. Pretty soon, if you haven’t already, you begin to see progress. Your final idea begins taking shape in your mind and in the sculpture. Things start becoming more refined. You work and take breaks, but always keep chipping away at it. All of a sudden, you have your own David or The Thinker. Your life is your sculpture. Each person’s will look different. But you can either choose to make it what you want it to be and learn to be consistent with it, or you can let it go unfinished.
I encourage you, learn to stick it out. Don’t let things go unfinished, especially things you want. If you want to get in shape, find the best way to do it. Cut out soda, run, do squats, diet, whatever it takes (while still being healthy! I don’t advocate for starving yourself. Your body NEEDS food to produce energy). If you want to learn an instrument, play until your ears bleed. Work through the pain and the roadblocks, and you may find the view is better from the other side.
Let me know if you have any thoughts or comments!