Sole Focus

News, Views, Rantings & Ramblings by Carey Parrish

My Photo
Location: Georgia, United States

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Key To Making Changes

It's not easy to make changes that effect one's life. In fact, when most people decide to take on a task such as this, they fail on the first couple of attempts. Ruts, routines, and simple convenience are the reasons folks tend to slump back into their old ways. Changing your life is definitely not an easy thing to do.

Take the age old practice of making New Years resolutions. Everyone has them. We want to lose weight. We want to stop smoking. We want to save more money. On and on it can go. Everyone knows these are things they ought to do, and deep down they really want to achieve these goals, it's just that habits truly are hard to break and when the job of breaking them becomes more like work than fun it is all too easy to give up. The initial desire fades over time.

Until it comes back. Then people find themselves angry and disappointed that they gave up. They feel like they are at the mercy of the very things they're trying to change. Worse, some people get the notion that because they did give up they must be a failure. This is where multitudes decide that they can't break old habits and they resign themselves to a future that includes whatever it was they wanted to change.

Nobody likes to feel like a failure. We're brought up being taught that we can be anything we want to be, and this is an adage that remains with us throughout our lives. The simple crux of it is that is a true lesson. We can be anything we want to be. Accepting that is the easy part. The hard part comes when people lack the skills to achieve their goals. They never learned how to do or to be whatever it is they've been dreaming about. They set themselves up for failure without even realizing it.

We live in a world where everything is at our fingertips. We have the technology to connect us to anything we want to see, have, do, or be. So why, in this day and age, are people still struggling with breaking habits that are detrimental to their physical and/or emotional well being? This should be easy, shouldn't it? In theory it is. In practice, the story is much different.

I'm a prime example. I had to wait to until I was in my late thirties to start the journey of realizing that I am responsible for my life. Whatever it is or is not, it's my choice. I can find excuses for not doing the things I dream about or I can get off my ass and decide to make things different. It all boils down to how badly I want the things I want.

I struggled with my weight for a long time. Up and down the scales would go. I had three sizes of clothes in my wardrobe: fat, fatter, and fattest. I knew I could control my weight but I found excuses not to do so. I was too busy to exercise or I didn't want to spend the money on healthier food or I was around people who broke down my resolve because I let their behavior influence mine. You see, it was much easier to just rely on these excuses to justify my unrealized dream of losing weight.

Then I woke up one day and it hit me right between the eyes that I would never make this dream of being smaller come true if I didn't get down to the task of doing it. I had some things to learn. I needed to know the nutritional aspects of the job I was undertaking. I had to talk myself into believing that time at the gym on a regular basis was a good thing. I also had to stop spending so much time around friends whose own poor choices I was allowing to intrude on my life. These weren't especially easy things to do when I set out on the journey, but I wanted to succeed more than I wanted to fail again.

That is the gist of what I'm getting at here. People need to realize that just because they didn't succeed in their first couple of attempts at making a life altering change doesn't mean that they can't eventually get there. What they must do is evaluate why they didn't make it. They've got to retrace their steps and find where they stumbled. Then they've got to start over again and make better choices. If they aren't sure what to do, the resources for finding out what they need to know are at their disposal.

Most importantly, you've got to stop believing your own excuses. You've got to realize that the decision is yours to make. If people or circumstances are holding you back, meet new people and get new circumstances. Nobody can do this for you. You've got to do it for yourself.

I have a saying that has become a creed of sorts in my life. "Success doesn't drive up to your house and honk the horn for you; you've got to go out and get it." Whatever it is you're trying to do, it's not going to simply fall into your lap. Anything you get that you didn't work for probably isn't worth very much to you in the grand scheme of things anyway.

To quote Judy Garland: "Always be a first rate version of yourself, instead of a second rate version of somebody else." If you can bring yourself to believe that, you will move mountains if you so choose. It's never too late to start.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home