Commitment and follow through >>>
One of the ways I have created a life I enjoy is through the liberal use of benchmarks and bare minimums. There are things that I do daily or weekly as means of self care, and I do them because I do them and not because I like to. Not even because I like the results. (Though I do like the results of my commitments.)
I never feel like exercising. Ok. That is not entirely true. About twice a year, I really look forward to it. That leaves another approximately 258 days a year in which I know I should work out, for my physical health, my mental state and my spiritual life, but still really really REALLY don’t want to. (Ok, that last REALLY is probably a little bit overboard, but just a little.)
This past week I had a hard time getting myself to exercise. I did it, but I started later than usual because I was unmotivated. My ass was draggin’, if you will. And it took days to realize that it’s because I’m a little sick. (I swear! I have been sick more in the past year than I have in the past 20.) Nothing crazy. Not covid. And not bad at all. The kind of sick that pre-2020, I would have easily gone into work with. The kind that barely phases a person.
But it made me deflate at the idea of working out. And then *that* made me feel bad. It made me feel like I was wasting my time. That two weeks ago I was done before 9:30 in the morning and here it was, after 10 and I was still not moving.
So I started to remind myself this week, that it is a matter of my priorities. And that I don’t have to do things perfectly.
My acts of self care are a priority. But I can be hard on myself for the way I feel about it. Or I can get caught up in the “right way” to do those things. Or I can be upset about not doing them as early or as quickly or as enthusiastically as I can, or did yesterday, or feel like I should.
These kinds of feelings used to take me out. Exercise was an hour later than yesterday? Might as well not do it at all. I didn’t drink all my water before noon? Do I really care about drinking water? I didn’t do my writing meditation yet? Is it really doing anything for me anyway?
My life is made better by my “practices.” The things I do because I do them. Not because I’m looking for results. The irony, of course, is that doing things as a practice rather than with an eye towards results is the best way for me to get actual results.
I am remembering today to be kind to myself. That I do the things I do because the act doing makes my life better. Because the commitment and the follow through are creating results, whether or not the workout itself is.