I really admire runners. It blows my mind when someone can run a mile faster than 8 minutes. I gawk when I see people be able to bust out mile after mile and hit double digits. I sometimes find myself thinking, wow, how lucky they are to be such a naturally talented runner!
…and then I stop myself.
I’m sure if I sat down to lunch with a marathoner and described them as lucky, they might laugh at best or at worst, be offended. I’m sure if I took a closer look that I’d see their dedication to running in the rain, after dark, in the cold and on Saturday mornings. Maybe I’d be enlightened after learning about the injuries they’ve nursed and overcome, the coach they’ve met with or the commitment to proper fueling they’ve had to focus on. Maybe after seeing how much work they’ve put into that ‘natural’ talent, I wouldn’t be so quick to label them as lucky.
Do you ever find that to be true? It’s so easy to look at someone’s result and forget to consider the work that went into it. By labeling them lucky, I not only undermine their efforts, but I set myself up to never be able to accomplish the same things. After all, if they are a ‘natural’ runner and I am not, then I’ll never even have a shot at running a half marathon, right?
But that’s not true. I know if I took the time, focus and energy, that I could be a runner too. What really separates the runner and me is their routine, their habits. Running is grooved deeply into their day to day.
I’m using running as a big ‘ol analogy for any goal of course. To be a runner. To weigh 20 pounds less. To have X amount in savings. To get promoted. To start that business. To go on that vacation. To live in that neighborhood. Sometimes we get so focused on the goal, the outcome, the result of what we want that we bypass focusing on the steps to get us there and simply throw the label ‘lucky’ on those that have accomplished it. There is so much strength in consistency and we can use that to help accomplish our goals, whether physical, emotional or financial.
As a mom, my day can be rather monotonous. Actually, it can be incredibly monotonous. It really helps me when I can look at our daily routine on a deeper level with a stronger purpose. Meal plan, food prep, nature walk, work out, kiss boo boos, sing songs, discipline, read books, bath and the same bedtime routine… but you know what? Practice makes permanence. If we, as a family, are practicing the same things everyday (patience, kindness, healthy eating, exercising, mental challenge, creative expression) then these are the things that will be deep-seated in our kids are they grow.
This is a philosophy that David and I discuss on the regular, especially when we feel a little beat down by our routines. Sometimes the day to day steps of showing up, putting in the effort, doing our best can feel a bit like a turtle stampeding through mud. It’s tempting to throw our hands up and say screw it! But we encourage each other to stay the course, remembering that each small step is working towards yielding a greater result.
These are the small thoughts that I repeat in my head to help keep me motivated and inspired day to day. David and I have big dreams and goals set up for 5, 10, 15, 30 years down the road. I know that we are laying the foundation for those goals now through our everyday choices. Though the motions may feel monotonous today, having the discipline to stick with them and turn them into habits will certainly serve us well in the future… at least that is what I keep telling myself!
How have your daily habits helped or hindered your success of your goals?
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I know this is a world away from mango salsa, so thanks for bearing with me as I sometimes gets all introspective 😉 If this is a topic that interests you, and you’d like to hear someone speak more eloquently about it than my jibber jabber, I highly suggest checking out the book The Power of Habit or the Elevation series The Power of Same. Not sponsored, just some sources that have given me some great food for thought lately.