I’m supposed to be sleeping so I can get up in a few hours and fly to Puerto Vallarta! I’ve had a lot on my mind the last month and today / tonight has been no exception.
It all started a month or so ago when I either started thinking about habits on my own or else was sparked by a book I was reading called The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson. My thoughts and this book go together, so I guess it doesn’t matter who or what gets the credit. The Slight Edge is about the little things in our life that make up our daily habits that either cause us to be more successful in our lives or less successful. Are we associating with the type of people who can help us progress and get to where we want to be? Are we reading and listening to positive, uplifting and motivational books and CDs? How do we spend our time? I was already kind of on the wavelength of this, however reading the book caused me to take a closer and deeper look at myself. Who was I spending my time communicating with and was it worthwhile? A lot of it was just comfortable, a habit and gave me the “warm fuzzies”. I was watching way too much TV. It was pretty brutal to realize I wasn’t doing much that was going to get me to where I wanted to be in life.
I don’t think you can talk about habits without talking about discipline – they go hand in hand because without discipline you won’t create a habit, a good one, or a bad one. I used to be very disciplined when I was younger. I was the first one out of bed and in the shower. I came straight home and did my homework. I practiced the piano for 30 (or more) minutes every day. I wrote in my journal nightly. I ate my vegetables first (get the worst out of the way, right?) and dessert last. I was on it. I was thinking about this discipline and oddly my mom brought up a situation that I had been wondering about when I last visited. When I was little I bit my nails down to the bone. It was a horrible habit and my mom did everything to try and get me to stop biting them. I remember having to put on the yucky tasting nail polish that was supposed to detour me from putting my fingers in my mouth. Sure, I’d scowl at the first taste, but after that, I didn’t care, I got used to it and kept on a chewing. We were trying to remember what the catalyst was for me stopping because one day I just decided to stop biting them and that was it – I never did it again!! If you want something bad enough, you do Whatever it takes. I know I’m capable – I’ve decided in the past as a little kid and again lately in the more recent past. I was tired of how I felt about my body and annoyed that I had turned into a complainer so I up and decided to start going to the gym regularly and do something about it. So, I did. In September I began going to the gym 3-5 times a week. And I have (minus about two weeks of being sick or low energy). I’ve been keeping track on my “Daily Actions” spreadsheet and it’s been a huge accomplishment for me, mostly because I’m being accountable to myself but also because I am feeling the results of my exercise in more than one area of my life: body (obviously), but also eating, sleeping, attitude and even energy level. I think we all know we need to exercise, but who really likes to? For me, it’s been huge because I see now how I am making a lifestyle choice and I LIKE IT – I like how I feel and I want to keep feeling this way. Case Closed!
I’ve decided to incorporate new habits in my life that matter and that keep me on the path to where I want to go. Ultimately, they are all totally doable. I think I’ve been thinking about it for so long that I’ve turned it into something overwhelming. I keep thinking I need more of a plan of action, that I need to gear up. It’s all just a stall tactic. I was a little girl who said “no more nail biting” for crimes sakes!!! Where does that come from? I know that umph is still inside me. I feel it and then blow it off. I’m flat out scared because what comes next will take me completely out of my comfort zone. It’s unchartered territory. Yet it will be totally worth it because I can’t keep doing and living the way I have been. I’m so much more than this life of mediocrity I have going on right now. ROAR! And so the trip to Mexico is my line in the sand. I’m supposed to be way more excited on the eve of my vacation, but I’m not. Sure, I will have a great time. I will relax, I will live kinda dangerously. I won’t want to leave the sun…but I know that when I return things will be different, I will be different. Change is always good – well, it can be with the right perspective. I think the difference in this case, is that usually, you don’t see change coming, it just kind of happens. I have been thinking about this for awhile, preparing for it in many ways. I don’t think it makes it any easier because at some point you still have to Just Do It. Start creating new habits, new focus. Put energy into what you want to have. See your new life begin to unfold. Just Start. That’s what I’m going to do! Roar!!!