Do you ever find yourself wondering why you should keep trying? Are you considering giving up because your progress is slow or nonexistent? I'm specifically talking about continuing to get and stay healthy, but the thoughts I am sharing could also be used in other areas of your life.
Getting out of a rut can be hard work. You get tired of fighting to change yourself or the ''thing'' in your life that needs changing, and you just want to lay down in the rut and give up. Accepting "what is" becomes easier than struggling to get to "what could be." The vision or dream becomes lost in the midst of everyday life.
I’ve seen hundreds of posts during my time on SparkPeople where people ask variations of the same question: "Why should I keep trying?" Hope has faded and they’ve lost their way momentarily. We all go through that. How do you gather the energy to suit up and get back in the game? Why should you? One of the things that has kept me pushing forward is the opportunity to experience more in life. When I was heavier, it took all of my energy to get through the general tasks of each day. There wasn’t anything left for finding the "what could be" in my life.
I bought a book a few years back at a Starbucks called Where Will You be Five Years From Today? You can find the book online here. It’s a very thought-provoking little read, and one that I think I will read every few years. At the time I bought it, I was a few months away from beginning my healthy life transition. I am amazed at how much life has changed in almost four years.
So, how do you get from where you are right now to that inspired life? Major achievements in life start with a dream, get formatted into goals and then require routine work, effort and review. I didn’t magically lose over 90 pounds, start racing on a routine basis and transition from morbidly obese to healthy just because I dreamed or hoped it could be. It all happened as a result of hard work, and I continue to work hard to maintain what I've achieved.
Get out a piece of paper right now and write down what your dream is. Describe it in as many ways as possible. No dream is too big. How do you get there from where you are now? That is the toughest part. Have you heard the old question, ''How do you eat an elephant?'' The answer is, ''One bite at a time.'' Tackling a big endeavor can be done in tiny steps that you take every day.
So here is your first one-bite step: If you’ve never completed your Getting Started Guide on SparkPeople, then today is that day. Set some SMART goals that will get you one step closer to achieving your dream. B.J. Marshall said, ''If you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it every time.'' It’s not enough to just sit and hope and dream. You have to aim, focus, and then take the steps necessary to get to the goal. In a football game, a team plays with the big goal of winning the game. In order to do that, the team must develop plays to help advance the ball on the field. The team fights with every ounce of strength to get to the end zone. If someone takes the ball away, the team focuses its energy on getting that ball back. When the game is over, the team goes back and reviews what worked and what didn’t work. Then, new goals are developed to help reach the goal in the next game.
The same is true for you and me today. We need to know what the goal is, and then take the steps necessary to win the game. Do you really want to quit and become one of the spectators in the stadium, watching everyone else have fun playing the game? Why let the hard work stop you? No one has proven that you can accomplish great transformative goals without hard work. If you read anything at all about people who have achieved accomplishments, you will find that they had a dream, focused, and did a lot of hard work to make that dream come true.
You have two four-letter word choices that can help you decide your destiny. Ask yourself each day if you want to WORK or be LAZY. It usually boils down to that for me. I don’t want to leave a legacy of lazy. I don’t want to get to the end of my life and have people say, ''Man, she was one lazy woman!'' I want to hear people say, ''I couldn’t keep up with her.'' I remember back about 15 years ago, someone asked me why I didn’t act my age because I was learning to rollerblade and she thought I was too old for that. My thought was, why would I want to act my age? I still feel that way now. Live life and chase your dreams. You will be so glad you did.
Draw your line in the proverbial sand today. Will you define your dream, set your goals and do the work? Will you just settle for what is or will you get up and chase what can be? What one-bite step can you take today to inch closer to your goal?
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