Earlier this year, I read Matthew Kelly’s book “Resisting Happiness”, and from the very first sentence I felt like this book was written specifically for me. The book dealt with faith, but reflected into my life in so many other ways. The book’s central idea is about becoming the best version of yourself.
I absolutely love this idea. This plays into my life in so many ways – relationships, spirituality, fitness, health, teaching, learning, productivity, mindfulness – you name it, I’m sure we can think of a way that every aspect of life relates to this idea.
This theme seems to resonate especially with health and fitness. The beginning of the book discusses the first bout of resistance we face each day (hitting snooze on our alarms), and how we often choose to let resistance win.
This past weekend I set a goal to workout in the morning before work. This has been something I’ve always wanted to do (or at least try out to make sure I wasn’t missing something really good), but have never been able to successfully complete for any length of time.
How do we overcome the resistance that plagues us, making every day tasks into such a burden that sometimes we don’t even complete them?
How is it that a task that takes less than five minutes can manifest itself into three days of dread?
How do we motivate ourselves to get out from under the blankets on the couch when it is cold outside and step into the snow for a run?
People have been telling me throughout my life that sometimes you have to “just do it” (thanks Nike;). I tell myself this over and over, sometimes complying with the idea, while other times I just ignore it.
It seems to me that the first step in overcoming my “resistance” is to acknowledge the fact that I am indeed experiencing resistance. Once I have acknowledged this and am being honest with myself, I can determine the extent of my resistance. In most cases, my resistance seems to come from pure laziness or wanting immediate reward.
Oftentimes it is easy to forget that what might seem worth it in the current moment won’t actually make us better in the future. Sometimes it is as simple as just making yourself do it because the end result will be worth it – it will help you become the best version of yourself.
In the beginning of my journey to become a morning runner, I have discovered that I need to just do it. It is as simple as that. I’ve learned that waking up before the sun is going to feel awful for me no matter what time it is – whether that’s 4:30 am or 7:00 am, they both are a struggle. I might as well make something of the morning, acknowledge my resistance to waking up, and just do it knowing that it will all be worth it in an hour.
I have successfully woken up and worked out all three days this week (I realize that 3 days is really not that much, as a lot of people have been doing this all their lives, but I’m pretty excited that I still got up and did it again after the first day;). If it takes 21 days to make a habit then I still have quite a while to go.
Sometimes you have to grab on to the little victories in life and let them pull you through the tough moments. When I wake up tomorrow morning and think to myself how much I would rather continue sleeping, I will remind myself that I have 3 days down, and am that much closer to becoming the best version of myself.
While waking up in the morning will not be even close to the biggest obstacle in life, it will challenge me to become a stronger and better person. When the moment comes that tests all my strength and character, I will be ready to overcome it.