That’s our inner workings, and it's bloody amazing!
It’s that time of year where we become introspective and begin to set goals and challenges for ourselves (I loathe the term “Resolutions” so avoid using it). Lose weight. Run more. Run farther. Eat better. Look better. Feel better. Quit this. Decrease that. These are great (although in most cases I ask the question “why did you wait until now to start?”)
I was leaving the gym the other day, dressed in my “standard" winter attire of shorts and sneakers (albeit I did have my winter jacket on). As I was brushing a rather generous dumping of snow off my car I got talking to a lady in the parking lot who was rather excited about the snowfall. I explained that I didn’t share this excitement, passing it off as me not being “a winter person” and sharing the excuse that I grew up overseas. As soon as I jumped in my car it hit me and I said to myself, “you f’in dumbass, THAT WAS 18 YEARS AGO!!”
Over the years I’ve talked to a lot of people about change. Where they’ve come from and where they want to go. I’ve talked goal-setting and game plans. I’ve monitored and followed up on their progress. And amidst these interactions I’ve noticed something – the same thing I caught myself doing the other day - we spend a lot of time and energy focusing on who we were and what we used to do.
“I used to be this”. “I used to do that”. “I used to eat this”. That’s great! My question... who are you RIGHT NOW? What are you doing RIGHT NOW and is this in sync’ with who you want to be and what you want to achieve?
You are not defined by your past!
Yeah, you’ve probably learned some valuable lessons along the way – hold onto these and use them as you forge ahead!
You might not wanna go back to where you were – so don’t! Set your sights on the road in front of you and follow your plan to get there (if you don’t have a plan – make one)
You might be in a better position than you were (“better shape”, skinnier, happier) – be proud of this dammit! But don’t get caught using this as an excuse or justification for straying from your current plan to achieve the goals you’ve set (if you don’t have a plan – see above).
The past guides our choices – it doesn’t make our choices for us. Fixating on the past is like traveling with baggage – the lighter you pack, the easier the journey.
Unlike the inner workings of our body, we do not want to achieve a state of equilibrium. We want change. We strive to become better, healthier, happier people (I hope).
Newton's First Law of Motion states “a body at rest will remain at rest unless an outside force acts on it, and a body in motion at a constant velocity will remain in motion in a straight line unless acted upon by an outside force” (argh... physics).
Einstein defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.
In order for us to experience the change that we are looking for we have to do SOMETHING, and we have to do something DIFFERENT than we’ve done before. We need to create an environment of change. We need to put our bodies under some form of “stress” in order to create this change, much like a diamond is formed from a lump of coal under very high pressure (barf).
Take ownership. Reset your scales to today’s values. Today is your starting point. Take the lessons you’ve learned from your progress to date and past journeys and use these to plan for your future and stop looking over your shoulder (and as you proceed down your Road of Achievement, don’t forget to reset the scales again – you’re not gonna be the person you are today!)