Our bodies really are our house. We are in them 24/7. We carry them around with us and they carry us around, day in, and day out. When we want to build our bodies, we have to start somewhere. We have to build the foundations of the future for living our lives full of Joy & Health!
Taking new steps towards any goal can be a daunting, scary endeavor. When we are not sure of the outcome, 100%, we can even begin to second guess ourselves. Begin to slowly, unintentionally quit. As soon as we begin letting ourselves down, little-by-little, the self-doubt begins to creep up. This can have a lasting effect on our psychological state of being, and wreck not only what we are trying to create, but ultimately, what we have already accomplished. Knowing that the fear is real, and preparing for it in advance, is the best way to combat this enemy that stems, truthfully, from within ourselves.
Taking one step at a time is crucial. Yes, sometimes the steps can be excruciatingly slow, and excruciatingly hard, but taking each one in turn is essential to success. To use a baking analogy; let’s say you are going to bake a loaf of bread, and so you follow the 7 steps of the recipe.
- In a small bowl mix a 1/2 cup of warm water, 1 & ½ tablespoons of baking yeast, and 1 tablespoon of sugar. Let it sit for 5 minutes.
“Okay, that’s easy enough. I can do this!”
- In a mixer or in another bowl mix 1 cup of boiling water, 1/3 cup of oil, 1/6 cup of sugar, and 2 teaspoons of salt. Stir until it dissolves.
“Now this step is difficult, but I think I still got it.”
- Add in 1 & ¼ cups of cold water and mix and then add in the yeast mixture. (You want the mixture temp to be lukewarm before you add the yeast and that’s why do you do this mixing step. Do not burn the yeast!)
“Wow! I’m kind of worried I will burn the yeast! Maybe if I just skip this step….”
- Add in 3 cups of flour and stir. Let this mixture rise for 30 minutes.
“Nice! Back to the easy stuff again! Let’s make some bread!”
- Add in 3-4 cups of flour. It should form a nice, not sticky, dough. Let this rest for about 30 minutes.
“Yeah, this is waaaaay to easy, I think I’ll just skip this step. I got this, no problem!”
- Form into loaves and stick in a loaf pan. This will make 2 loaves. Let these rise for about an hour in a warm covered place. Or at least until doubled in size. Then bake them at 350F for 35-40 minutes.
“Hmmm…. Interesting. For some reason, when I divide the dough into two, they seem to be very very small…. Oh well! I can do this!”
- Remove the loaves from the oven and brush the tops with butter. Butter will help to keep the loaves soft and not crispy and crumbly. Store extra bread in the fridge or in the freezer. You can keep this bread on the counter but it will only last a few days.
“Okay, this didn’t turn out at all like I wanted, and it doesn’t really taste right either!!!! AAARRRGGG! I’ve failed!”
Skipping a step because it is too hard, or too easy are common mistakes that all of us make. Now let’s say, instead, we replace the ‘skips’ with persistence?
“This is hard, but I know I want to bake bread, so I’m going to do it.”
“This seems very easy for me. That’s awesome! But each step counts, and I want to bake bread.”
Maintaining focus can be all it takes to succeed in our goals. Here are some ways we can maintain that focus and drive:
- WRITE DOWN AND REVIEW OFTEN clear goals for ourselves. Even the simple act of writing our goals we want to achieve down on a piece of paper commits our minds into accountability. Looking at them often sets it into ‘stone’ in our thoughts. Remember the old memorizing trick? “Repeat it to yourself three times and you got it.” Like a mantra.
- CELEBRATE THE VICTORIES. Too often we feel guilty for patting ourselves on the back, but remember, every single step towards a goal is also a milestone towards living a life of Joy & Health. Isn’t that something to celebrate about? Do a little happy dance! You are one step closer!
- TELL SOMEONE YOU TRUST. By telling someone else your goals and speaking clearly your mindset, we then have a ‘partner in crime’ to help with our accountability. Who knows? Maybe they will start to see the difference in you and want to join you too!
- CREATE AN ALTERNATIVE. Sometimes, things seem like they are too hard. Can’t afford the gym anymore? Hurt your ankle and can’t take your daily walk for three days while it heals? You worked especially hard today and are just too sore and too tired to do your workout routine? Hey, I get it! We all know life happens. Not everything is possible all the time. Creating a “what if/just in case” alternative to your goals is always a safe bet. Kind of like a detour around a construction site. Yes, it may take a little longer, or just be a little annoying, but, in the end, you will still get to where you are going! Can’t afford the gym? Work out at home. Can’t walk? Do shoulder stretches or arm rotations. Tired and sore today? Do extra tomorrow and the next day to make it up.
Ultimately, the goals are yours to set. Even just adding one of the above mentioned tips can help you achieve those goals. Adding them all? Powerful stuff! It’s not about how fast or how good we complete the steps. It’s about doing the steps. Taking the journey. Feeling all the feels.
YOU CAN DO IT!!!
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