My productivity has been abysmal for the past three days. I haven't stuck to my crossfit schedule. A couple meals weren't vegan and Ty-approved. I fell off the wagon.
Sure I was on a plane for most of one of those days and jetlagged for the others, but those are excuses and I don't want to excuse myself. Excuses don't put food on the table.
At the same time, I'm not going to dwell on on the past. I had stuff to do, I didn't get it done, and now I'm where I am. It is what it is, and all that matters now is the present.
The reason I bring this up at all is because I see people get in this situation ALL the time. Nine out of ten times (or more?) they use it as an excuse to give up.
Think of the smoker who "quits" and then has one cigarette and then says, "Well, I guess THAT didn't work" and is totally back to normal. Or the dieter who falls off the wagon and then isn't on the diet anymore.
"I couldn't stick with it."
Here's the thing - it doesn't really matter how you deal with success. Success is relatively easy to deal with so it's no test of character. Failure, on the other hand, requires that you take the best part of you and put it to work.
So today we did our crossfit. We did a tough one (deck of cards). We went to the supermarket and bought our vegan food and tried to go to a vegan place (but had to settle for vegetarian when our place was closed). I'm sleepy now but I'm banging out the blog entries that will get me caught up for the week.
Tomorrow it will be like we never fell off. More crossfit, more work, 100% vegan, etc. No big deal.
The only thing that matters to me are habits. My habit is to eat 100% vegan. If I find myself in a tough situation (like being stuck on a plane with nothing but a gross ham sandwich), I might not eat vegan. Those occasional lapses won't make me unhealthy, just like eating a salad once a month won't make someone healthy.
My other habit is to bounce back as fast as possible. When I make a mistake I acknowledge it, try to decide what I should have done, and then I move on and continue to do what's best.
Awesome and inspirational post. It reminded me of one at ZenHabits: http://zenhabits.net/2008/02/7-steps-to-turn-your-self-improvement-desires-into-reality/
Leo talks in it about how making personal changes is really just about gaining momentum in the fields you are trying to develop.
Currently I've been traveling (partly thanks to your blog, and partly due to the 4 hour workweek) and I can already see this momentum continuing.
I love your concept of how people are comprised mainly of their habits, and I've been using it to change myself... and others, incidentally. Someone asked me "Do you think people can really change?" I responded by talking about how the essence of someone might remain the same, but their habits and customs really make them up on a day to day basis.
Keep being awesome, as my personal mantra: "Never Stop".
Yea, it's all about developing a regular habit that will stick with you. I feel like a lot of people, when they get into a new diet or new exercise plan, they only look at it as a temporary thing when in reality they need to look at it as a change in lifestyle.
That's a great attitude. Wish I could say that about myself, but I'm still pretty weak in that field.
Deck of Cards is a bastard. I usually do mine with Sit-ups, Push-ups, Burpees and Squats. At the end, the push-ups really hurt and I have to pause for every burpee. Sit-ups are very relaxing in comparison, so I bought a small cushion to put under my back while doing them. This improves the ROM and makes them a lot harder. It's great when you don't have that get-up machine handy they use in the CF vids.
I'm doing my new years post a few days early this year. I have a post coming out on the first and I want to give this one a few days at the top.
So first, let's get to last year's goals.
#1... Failed completely. I gained a lot of insight, though. A few things here...
Right now, nothing matters. The battery on my phone is running out. My coffee is growing cold. People might want to talk to me. Everything isn't perfect.
But none of that matters. Not for this 60 minutes.
For this 60 minutes, I am a writer. Do I have something to say? Maybe. But it doesn't matter. What matters is that I will write. For 60 minutes.
Why am I doing this?
Because I have failed myself so often that I can no longer trust myself not to fail. Because I no longer believe my own resolutions to myself.