So, you’ve set out to transform yourself by killing your addictions, completely changing your eating habits, adding fresh pressed juices and smoothies into your everyday eating and are now exercising at least a few times a week. In fact, you are so into this that you can do it with your eyes closed, right? You have your regimen and your patterns that you follow each day; that’s great…but now you need to shake it up. One of the biggest reasons most of us fail at making permanent changes in our lives is comfort and convenience. If we have to “think too much”, “exert too much energy”, convince ourselves that something “will take too long” or that “there is not enough hours in the day”; we are dooming ourselves to succeed. These are all negative things that we (our brains) tell ourselves on a daily basis to help make excuses as to why we can or cannot do something. We, in a sense, are creating our own reality by the things we say and agree with. “I’m so tired”…”I’m so sick”…”I’m so fat”…”I’m in pain”. Sure, we can have these ideas about ourselves; and occasionally, there may be truth to these statements. But at what point are we saying these things, so very often, that we are now convinced of such a finite reality for ourselves? It becomes our truth; keeping us running on the same treadmill over and over again. You’re probably saying “well, I have gotten past that…I’m doing really good now”. And yes, I’m sure you have made great strides forward but it is constant work to go even further. Pushing limits and boundaries only makes us stronger in our resolve. Once we get too comfortable in a pattern, we need to do something slightly different to push ourselves forward.
I pondered these thoughts and ideas earlier today when I came upon my own personal “fork in the road” decision. I woke up this morning with a lot of things on my mental “to-do” list. I knew I had a big project going on for my job which would have me anchored to my desk most of the day; I also had a list of produce and other items I needed at the health food store (in order to make my juices and smoothies) and I needed to find some time to exercise as well. Laying in bed, I went over all these things over and over, getting overwhelmed and worried that I was not going to find the time for all of it. Of course, my first thought was that I would just jump in my car, go stop at the health food store…then go back to work. I just simply wouldn’t exercise today. Then, I recognized that familiar “friend” swooping in to help me out…”ohhh, you don’t need to exercise today…give yourself a break!”. At that moment, I realized I was boxing myself into this little world where I would be doing all the things everyone else wants me to do but none of the things I NEED to do. At what point would “I’m too busy”…”I don’t have time” turn into the start of a reversal of all the good things I have been doing for myself? I was witnessing this push and pull in my mind as it was happening. I was becoming aware of what my clever mind was trying to do. I took a deep breath in and then slowly out…I concentrated only on my breathing. All the drama and bullshit just began to fall away; it was at that moment that I knew what I would do. I went downstairs, made my lemon water, scrapped together some items for a smoothie and then went into my office and began doing my work. At around noon, I decided it was lunch time and put my computer to sleep. But instead of eating lunch or jumping in my car to run errands, I was going to test my resolve. So, I jumped into my bike clothes, grabbed a backpack and decided to ride to the health store and get the things I needed for my juice. I basically did my normal ride (15 miles) but then stopped over at the store and bought like 10 pounds worth of stuff, shoved it all into my backpack and rode home with the extra weight on my back. I could have done it the easy way…the lazy way…the fast way; but I chose the more difficult path to take in the middle of a somewhat hectic day. This made my normal bike ride more challenging as well. Was I better off for doing so? Without a doubt.