Establishing and maintaining an exercise routine isn’t easy. I would even argue that the maintaining part is more difficult than the establishing part. There is much truth in this saying: “starting is hard, but starting over is harder”. Starting an exercise routine requires planning, prioritizing and being intentional with your time. But maintaining one requires us to be honest with ourselves about our commitment level, the attainability of our goals, our motivations and our level of discipline. This self-analysis is hard to swallow if the planning to exercise phase is more successful than the act of exercise itself, if we realize we are good at controlling the “start”, but not as good as controlling the “continue”.
In my opinion, the activity adherence – the actual follow-through on exercise – is more difficult than the planning and preparing phase because of our big picture thinking, compared to the connection of day-in-and-day-out activities to our end result.
Let me explain.
Sometimes we tend to be concerned with our end goal more than we are concerned with our seemingly insignificant daily decisions. The end result is not as daunting or not as insurmountable of a task if we take it day by day, if we commit to care about our daily decisions more than we care about our end result.
It’s not just about an end result. It’s not even about what you hope to accomplish. It is about caring enough about yourself and your family to make decisions that will positively impact your life and the lives of those around you and that honor God EVERY SINGLE DAY.
Consistently caring about what you put in your body, who you surround yourself with, how you communicate with others, what you’re projecting to others based on how you feel about yourself – these are the things that contribute to your wellness and fitness goals incredibly more than the exercise you do or the portion sizes you eat, or the “bad behavior” you refrain from.
Without daily commitment to care, you are too susceptible to falling back into old habits, too vulnerable to choose the hard things compared to the easier things, and not best equipped to handle situations that might derail your plan of action, or throw you off course. No wonder you feel the need to start all over! But friends, you don’t have to start over, you simply have to commit to care about your everyday decisions.
Next time you feel the need to start over, remind yourself why you started in the first place and connect your immediate next decision to that. Care about your efforts more than you care about your end result and before you know it, you no longer find it difficult to maintain your efforts. You find you aren’t starting over but instead, you’re starting new. Every single day.
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