Thursday, January 17, 2019

Choices Become Change

It's a pretty normal thing, I think, to want to improve ourselves.

Lose weight.
Be more present to our kids.
Be a better spouse.
Move forward in a career.
Deepen our faith.

And we have lots of ways to achieve those goals. Diet, exercise, go back to school, date nights, go to church, and so on.

I've always focused on making that first choice to get started. But I'm thinking that it's all the other choices that come after that really matter. I've made the first choice many times and then I stop making better choices and I end up failing.

I was exercising yesterday - one of those healthy choices I've been making to achieve my goals to lose weight so that I am stronger and healthier - and it occurred to me that sometimes, that first choice isn't the hardest.

It can feel overwhelming to start. But so many times before, I've wanted to lose weight and be more active and I get my plan together and I start and I do great for about a week. Then I start making different choices and I'm no longer making choices that support my desired goal.

So maybe the harder choice is 6 months after starting when I don't want to get out of bed at 5:15 to get my workout done.

Maybe the harder choice will be in a year when I don't want to keep thinking about and planning vegetables in my daily nutrition because a burger and fries is easier. 

We want so badly to have results - we really want the results first. It isn't even an instant gratification thing for me. I like watching my body change, for example. It's more that I want the choosing to be easy.

But to achieve change... I have to keep making better, healthier choices. Every day. Every meal. Doesn't mean I don't treat myself now and then. But if I choose to start treating myself daily, there is a different kind of change that will happen. Doesn't mean I don't take a day off from exercise. But if I choose a day off every day, a different kind of change will happen. 

Every choice I make has a consequence or a result. That can feel overwhelming and heavy, honestly. But usually it helps me break it down into just making the next right choice. Instead of focusing on the end result that might take 6 more months of work (and thousands of choices), I'm just going to focus on the next choice I need to make.

Right now, I had a workout defeat me. It was intense and it was hard. I got through 15 of 20 minutes. I don't usually quit and I don't usually get angry. But I sure did today. So now I have the next choice to make. I need more exercise than the struggling 15 minutes. Do I do the last 5 minutes of the workout so I can say I completed it? Usually I do another 30-40 minutes of cardio - should I do 50-60 instead? Or should I throw in the towel for today and take it as a sign of needing a day off?

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I'm not sure yet if I will go back and do the last 5 minutes.

I will choose a longer cardio workout.

I won't take today as a rest day.

Every choice I make makes me. So what is it that I want to be? Do these choices still get me there?

Until next time,

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