Sunday, January 8, 2012

What You Do Everyday Matters More Than What You Do Once In Awhile

I have a confession to make.  I haven't had any words of wisdom for health on my blog the past few weeks because I've been a terrible example.  And I've been pretty down on myself about it. 

My training had been aimless and haphazard while I was in a lull waiting for a new program in my first scheduled session at a high-performance training facility (more on that in an upcoming post).  My first appointment there was delayed because I had three out-of-state trips planned for the holidays.  While I had a blast in Florida, Maine, and Pennsylvania, the travel made what little physical activity I could sneak in even more inconsistent.  All the restaurant meals and holiday indulgences were further insult to injury.  Sigh.  Then, an untimely bout with low back pain snuck in to squash any hopes of exercise as the final nail in the coffin.  Awesome.

I pride myself on having a "Do it now because there will never be a good time to start" attitude.  As much as it pained me, I allowed myself to temporarily adopt the "I will get back on track January 1st" thought process with the rest of the world.  Except I didn't even make it that far because on December 31st a nasty cold had me down and out for pretty much the rest of the week.  Just freaking perfect.

New Year Resolutions for Hollywood's Bad Movies of 2010

Thanks to my new Kindle Touch from my in-laws for Christmas, I did manage to start one goal immediately.  Read more.  The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun by Gretchen Rubin was the first thing fired up in my new e-reader.  Thank goodness it was because one of her "Secrets of Adulthood" was exactly what I needed:
What you do EVERYDAY matters more than what you do ONCE IN AWHILE.
It was the wake up call I needed.  I couldn't remember the last time I was in a rut that lasted longer than a week.  Maybe back in the early 2000's?  That probably doesn't even count since it was before I adopted the healthy lifestyle I live today.  I realized this spell is a rare occurrence not reflective of my normal habits.  Stuff happens.  Instead of dwelling in it, let it be and move on.  I may be a week late to the let's-be-healthier-in-2012 party, but hey, I'm showing up dressed to the nines.

This rule of thumb works both ways.  Do you really deserve a pat on the back because you had a grilled chicken salad one night this week while conveniently dismissing the other three nights of assorted take-out dinners?  Is using that shiny new gym membership two out of 31 days this month truly worth a gold star?  Being worthy of accolades is only genuine if you've put forward your absolute best effort.

Use this principle as a reality check and do a fair assessment of your life.  Which shows up more frequently in your days - good habits or bad habits?  If there's an imbalance, it's time to put your nose in the dirt and make the good habit days outweigh the bad.  Achieving a goal doesn't happen in one leap.  It takes consistent steps in the right direction everyday.  Be honest with yourself and make sure your actions are truly reflecting what you want to accomplish.

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