I’ve said it a few times on the blog before: every day is a new opportunity for you to change your life. Each day is a clean slate that you get to decide what to write on it. Every change starts with a moment when thought becomes action.
Starting ANYTHING takes more effort than slacking. I have to run this afternoon, and even though I am looking forward to it, there’s always a moment where I think, “Are we really doing this?” “Do we need to do this?” “Is there any good reason I can use to not run today?” Even though I know I need to run, and even if I want to run, there’s that small voice in the back of my mind trying to find a way out.
You may be asking yourself, “Why is that?” It’s because we are programmed to find the path of least resistance. It’s also why we are impatient. We want to do the least amount of work for the most amount of effort. It’s what has allowed humans to thrive since the beginning of time. We work hard, but we do the best to minimize our energy output to be as efficient as possible based on resource scarcity. The problem in 2020 is that resources are not scarce in the first world and we are obese. The inverse problem is that we are also programmed to eat, eat, and eat to store energy for the lean times when resources aren’t readily available. The problem with that is that we don’t go through lean times, and we can get cheap and carb-rich food anytime.
I have put in a lot of work to be where I am today, both in my health and fitness. Yet every day is the first day of the rest of my journey. Every day, I make a decision to keep going. To keep eating right. To keep exercising. Every day, I can make a different decision and derail myself, but I choose not to. I choose not to because I feel so much better doing the work. I am healthier, both in body and in mind. It’s worth the effort.
When I was a Sergeant in the Marines, I remember some of my Lance Corporals complaining that they couldn’t wait to be civilians again so that they would be able to have choices again. I told them that they had choices every day as a Marine. They were adamant that they had no choice but to follow orders, to be at work on time, to follow procedures and policies, etc. One the the Lance Corporals said, “If I feel like staying in bed today, I can’t just call in and say I don’t feel like working. I’m sick. See you tomorrow.” I laughed. “That’s where you’re wrong,” I said. “You do have a choice. You can call in and say you don’t feel like working and that you’ll see me tomorrow. The only difference as a Marine from a civilian is that you have consequences for that action. The consequence would likely be a charge sheet (offense report to the command of a violation of the UCMJ), but you do have a choice. You just choose not to violate orders, rules, and regulations.”
You could almost see the light bulbs going off in their heads. I told them they always have a choice, but they have always chosen to do the right thing. It made them feel better about themselves and their service in the Marines.
Being on a health and fitness journey is the same. We have choices to make all day, every day, day after day. Those choices will impact us thereafter. I choose to make decisions that will benefit me, lift me up, and make me a healthier and more fit person. Today is the first day of the rest of my journey, and I won’t do anything to sabotage that.