Today is day 144 since I began my journey to self-improvement. Though life has still been a challenge, the habits I built through out this time have definitely made a huge difference in how I deal with those challenges. I am still not where I wan to be, in terms of end goals. However, I feel that in the past 144 days I’ve been laying a foundation upon which I can continue building. I want to share my journey with you in hopes that perhaps something you read here can help you in your own journey.
- Cold Showers Every Morning: I attribute all the success I’ve had in staying persistent to this one habit. It is the habit that allowed me to realize that I do have the power to do something willingly every day. It is such a simple yet effective way to start your day on the right foot. It serves as a reminder every morning that I am stronger than I think, and if I can make myself shower in cold water I can take on whatever challenges my day has to offer. Also, it lead me to wonder, if I’m able to stay consistent with this habit, what else can I make a habit?
- Exercise: Making exercise a habit was easier because of the cold shower habit. I knew already the feeling of internal resistance and the feeling of success after winning that internal battle. Though I don’t exercise every single day I do on average 3-4 days a week, and I don’t allow more than three days to pass without working out. The forth day without working out I start feeling depressed, unmotivated, and even begin to doubt my work. That’s when I know its time to hit the gym and get my mental strength back. Thus far I’ve managed to stay consistent for about 9 weeks. What I’ve noticed is that I am getting way more disciplined than I used to be, and though I’m not quite as disciplined as I want to be, I’m definitely more disciplined than when I started this journey. Though some days I don’t feel like working out, at this point the craving to work out is stronger than the feeling of being lazy. I actually enjoy going to the gym and look forward to the feeling after a successful workout. I think it’s important to mention this because I did not feel like this when I first began, nor did I think I would ever feel this way. So, for any of you reading this who are starting out and are thinking you’re going to feel miserable going to the gym forever. Let me tell you that’s not true, and you will enjoy it and you will like yourself more too. It takes time, just be patient.
- Healthy Diet: This habit has been the most difficult habit I’ve tried to make thus far. It has taken me a few weeks just to get a little control over what and how I eat. I am a person who loves food with a passion, it’s the one thing I’ve always felt makes me truly happy. However, it took me some time to realize that it’s not real happiness. It’s happiness I feel only while I’m indulging in the food, but as soon as the meal is over, the happiness is replaced by guilt, self loathing, and wishing I wasn’t so fat. I will admit it’s very hard to see pastries, cakes, brownies, and other temptations, but the happiness I feel saying no is a happiness that lasts all day. Lastly, the benefits of eating healthy; more energy, less carbs crashes and feeling of mental and physical strength is something that feels better than the high of indulging in unhealthy foods.
Every day is a new challenge to stay disciplined. Every day there are new temptations, and every day there are reason to give in. Many people think discipline is a punishment, I was one of those people. The reason it feels that way at fist is because you’re brain does not like making new habits, so it tries to literally fight you. It wants to stay in the same old routine because it’s what it knows best, and it feels safe and comfortable. Once you breakthrough, you begin to see that discipline is actually freedom. Discipline allows you to make your goals a reality. You begin to realize that the feelings you had before were based in laziness, inexperience and fear. You also begin to realize how much more you could do. The world opens up to you and you begin to believe that you can accomplish anything you set out to do. Set backs, difficulties and internal resistance become trivial, and do not effect you as much anymore. You realize that maybe it will take a little longer, or you have to find a new way of doing something, but over all you know you will keep plowing through till you make it through to the other side.
I’ll leave you with this: As I said before, I’m sharing my journey with you in hopes that it can help you in yours. Life will always be a struggle, and once you make it, you will still have to work hard staying there. Therefore, having the discipline to do what is best for you when it comes to work, health and relationships is the only way to live and experience life to the fullest.