If you have been following me for a while, you will know that a few years ago my husband and I spent some time getting out of debt. For those that do not know, it is possible to live a life without debt. In this culture, we get sold a bill of goods that you must have debt to survive and thrive but it’s simply not true.
I digress, the reason I bring up the baby steps as a way to success is because while I was swimming my 12 laps in the pool this morning, I watched the Olympic level (to my untrained eye) swimmers in the 7 lanes next to me swim efficiently, kick, turn and come back to the other side and I marveled at their ability to do it so effortlessly, and found myself comparing my efforts to theirs.
Considering I am engaged in a true effort to stamp out unhealthy comparison (yep, there is such a thing as healthy comparison-long story short? It’s comparing yourself to your best possible self!) wherever I find it, this is frustrating but I stopped myself midstream (yes in the pool) and said, “hey, you have been swimming for exactly 3 months, of course you aren’t an expert, don’t be so hard on yourself.”
I then moved on with my workout but the thought lingered about how long I had been working out and “forming the habit” if you will. The truth is, I said I wanted to go to the gym once a week for almost 6 months before I actually did it, then I was having trouble coming up with motivation to actually go so there was a period of time there where I wasn’t going AT ALL, but I kept listing it as a goal. Then I got tired of it sitting there, taunting me.. “Yeah, you give all this advice, but do you take it? You talk about how taking care of your body is a key to having all around success, but you aren’t doing anything about it” Till finally, I said to myself, “ENOUGH”…. and two weeks ago, just got up early and started to do it. My reward? A Pepsi and a pop tart. It may seem like a contradiction in terms to work out and then eat fairly unhealthy food but stick with me. Right now, it’s a baby step to work out, eventually, I will move to fruit for breakfast.
The same concept applies to anything BIG you want to do. We paid off 40,000 in consumer debt (Lane Bryant, Target, VISA, My car, Student Loan, his car) and it took us three years and working 5 jobs between us to do it. It did NOT happen in a day. It took us THREE years, we also had to learn how to handle our money responsibly which took time as well. We didn’t start off by paying off debt, we learned how to budget first, we took stock of where our money was going and why we were spending 300.00 a month on restaurants.
Here is our debt free scream for the curious-
Now, many years later, it’s almost rote, we don’t even think about it. Let me amend that, we do THINK about it, but we don’t worry about it, we have a plan for our money, so why not for our fitness?
So, it stands to reason, baby steps worked there (astoundingly well, I should say) so with patience and time, and some pop tarts, we will likely see some pretty great strides on our health as well.
The picture above is a great image to think about it, it was my first night 5K and it sucked.. rocks everywhere and it turned out to be a 3K UGH, but the picture is of me accomplishing a goal (I kept going to make it a 5K) . I encourage you to do the same, take a picture when you are in the thick of things, so you can look back and say, look how far I have come.
Think About It.