Hello, and happy Thursday evening! (Or whenever you happen to read this. I always wish you well) Whether you noticed or not, there wasn’t a new post on Thursday, or at all, actually. Last week I took an unintentional hiatus. Though the lack may have gone unnoticed by you, special reader of mine, letting a week go by without writing and sharing and attempting to empower others was significant to me, and the reasons behind it even more so.
My nature is to analyze situations before, during and after the fact to see what elements were at play, what could have gone differently, and lessons to be learned. As such I have spent some time this week dissecting the last couple of weeks and what exactly happened to throw me off of my well-tuned and specially formulated groove. More important to me at the time was how to get out of that zone and back into the one I was in before the New Year! I learned a few things that I would love to share. If my momentary relapse into my least-optimized self can encourage anyone else, it will be worth the post!
They say write what you know, right? “They” are usually speaking about fiction writers imagining a story, but the same is true for every other area as well. The post I made a few weeks ago about having a death grip on your good habits, and fighting for them like they’re a life raft and the ship is on fire? Yeah, I realized that truth for myself and found it hugely valuable only about a week before sharing it. When I have an idea, I can’t just sit on it! 😉
I managed my death grip on the habit life raft through my travels and Christmas, and then I had snow days and New Years and tried changing some things, and somewhere along the way I decided that I didn’t need all the clutter in my little raft, and started throwing things out. It felt good to spend a few days snuggling on the couch and ignoring my exercise plan (out goes the raft’s signal flare). There were leftover holiday goodies to eat, so my hard-won healthy diet kind of got pushed around for a few weeks (there goes the supply of potable water). Some really monumental things are going to happen this year, and when looking at those grand plans in light of where I see myself now I got intimidated and stopped writing, researching, and planning (I thought about how hard it would be to survive on the raft until rescue and jumped in the water to take a break).
As good as the shortcuts, indulgences and laziness felt at the time, at the end of every day I had nothing to show for it and found myself in another place I talk about frequently. That guilty feeling that you aren’t making progress and don’t deserve to do well. The whole “I hate that I keep eating this junk, ugh, I feel so bad about it I think I’ll have some ice cream” situation. When you know that the best thing for you would be to get up, put on your sweating clothes and MOVE, but the couch is much nicer feeling? This whole thing is a vicious cycle folks, I don’t recommend it.
Thankfully, even though I was choosing to ignore it, I still have all that knowledge and experience inside. All it took to tap back into all that I was suppressing and let go of the harmful things that I was indulging was some time spent in mindful reflection. That and finally admitting that what I was doing was not going to move me forward, make me happy, or be sustainable. Progress = Happiness = Progress. Anyway, I digress.
I finally turned off the Hamilton soundtrack, put down the banana bread, got off the couch and listened to my thoughts. I asked myself what was going on, why, and what had changed. I thought about the things that I used to do to make progress in my life and whether I was still doing them. I checked in about what I had been eating and watching, even how much water I had been drinking. The truths I came back to are these: my holistically healthy habits are what makes me holistically healthy. I need the structure of positive activities in my day to keep me going. When I am not feeling like myself I need to reflect, refocus and recharge. I need to be active to feel my best. I need to eat well to feel healthy. Most importantly, I need to spend time with my mind every day, to get things in line, tell myself what’s what, and stay in my zone.
Essentially, I reminded myself of everything I’ve ever written in a blog…
And that’s why I’m here. Because I have learned some amazing things and I have seen the incredible impact they have had in my life, and because I believe that success is meant to be shared with any willing to listen and learn.
All my best.
For the days of smooth sailing,
And the nights when it’s just you on an empty life raft.