Starting Something New and Making It Last

Navigating Life with Casey – January 2020
Starting Something New and Making It Last

It’s a new year, but that has little to do with this topic from my perspective.  Creating lasting changes in our lives is tough all year long.  We all know thousands of people have already signed up at the gym and that most will not follow through.  What’s that about?  We have the best of intentions, we really do.  So why doesn’t it work?


What I’ve learned is that for me, “good intentions” are a great start but creating changes that last requires much more than good intentions.  Creating change requires ACTION first for some of us.  We must do it, whatever “it” is, whether we feel like it or not.  If my goal is to eat a healthier diet, I must stop eating fast food and actively create meals that support that goal.  Then as I eat healthier my mind changes about my diet and eating healthy becomes easier and more enjoyable than fast food.  That synergy creates motivation and momentum toward my goal.  I can want to be healthier with all my heart, if I don’t take any action that will never happen.  Some of us must do whatever it takes to exercise regularly, even when it’s cold, rainy, or we stayed up too late, to create a lasting routine.  There’s no magic involved in the process.  It takes some guts and hard work AND we can do it!


Having said that, another key factor is forcing ourselves to NOT overdo “it” along the way.  I can tell you that if you have never been a runner and your intention is to become a runner, running too far, too fast, or too often will devastate your intention and your progress.  We’re humans, well most of us are.  We must learn to walk well before running is possible.  We’ve all heard that but sometimes we buy fancy shoes and take off on a 13-mile trail run only to find injuries and pain.  Put on your old sneakers and take a walk.  When you need fancy running shoes, you’ll know it.  We must take realistic steps toward our goals, not giant leaps. 


My running career started with a walk to the end of the street and back.  When that wasn’t vigorous enough, I went all the way around the block.  Fast forward a couple of years and I completed a half marathon… and lived!  But don’t believe for a second that it was always easy.  I was definitely “the guy on the side of the road getting sick and wondering if he’d die” during training runs leading up to the half marathon. 


Finally, you don’t need to be a superhero.  Remember, most of us are humans.  There are lots of other humans to help us along the way.  Ask for help.  Ask the people who made it to where you want to go, how they did it.  Don’t let pride, shame, or fear be your boss.  Take a stand for you.  Get the help and support you need along the way! 


So, let’s recap.  We need to choose a target.  What do we want to change?  What can we do today to move in the direction of the change we want or need to see?  Then a little planning may be in order.  After we have a plan to do “it”, we need to do “it” regularly, no matter how we feel.  Once we take some action, our minds adjust, and our actions become routines.  We’re sure to have questions and hurdles along the way.  That’s what the other humans are here for and that’s the perfect time to ask for help and guidance.  We can do this.  We can achieve our goals little by little, step by step, and day by day.  What will you DO today to create the change you want to see?


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