I have three children, and my girls, age 5 and 7, share a bedroom. One day in the middle of the summer, they were supposed to clean their room. I could hear them chatting and goofing around in their room. I could tell they weren’t working very hard, if at all. After a while, my 7-year-old came out and sat on the living room couch. I asked if the room was clean, knowing that it wasn’t, and was surprised when she said it “might” be clean. “Well,” she added, “Paige (her sister) was going to use magic.”
It’s a funny little story, but I’m afraid it’s also how we want life to be sometimes. Maybe I’m the only one, but I wouldn’t mind a magic cleaning fairy or a magic weight loss pill.
That’s not what we’re about here at The Journey. I’m reminding you today because lately I’ve been inundated with ads, articles and even a job description claiming easy, quick, but expensive, weight loss plans. I get a couple email newsletters from doctors who share very good advice about proper nutrition and healthy exercise. I agree with what they write, but they turn around and promote their expensive supplements or a detox that would cost me several hundred dollars. An email about one particular detox program actually makes sense, but do I really need to spend so much money to get healthy?
No! I don’t. I haven’t. Jessica didn’t. And you don’t have to either! You do have to put in some work. You do have to make changes in your life. But, start small and add things gradually. Over time, you will see results! You won’t lose 20 lbs. in two days, but you might lose that much in one year. Aim for progress, not perfection!
My three kiddos are all off to school all day for the first time in nine years, so I’m looking around for some employment opportunities. I like to write, so I’ve been checking out some writing options. I saw an ad for a website that wants articles about “exercises to lose weight fast.” I felt like applying just to tell the owner of the site there are none. 😉 Why did he want those articles? To drive traffic to his site that sells exercise programs and meal replacement shakes.
We’re not here to bash anyone’s business or people who buy their products. We’re just have a different goal. We want you to make small changes you can maintain for the rest of your life to improve your health. We don’t want you to lose weight too quickly and then gain it all back. We don’t want you to make dramatic changes that aren’t sustainable, leaving you feeling defeated and discouraged and ready to quit. We DO want to encourage you and support you as you figure out what works for you! We want to challenge you to try something new while lifting you back up when you fall into bad habits.
I was reading a book about writing last night, and I came across a passage about how hard work and diligence in the author’s life led to habits that were really starting to click.
I looked back on the day and was shocked by all I had accomplished. Getting up early, running five miles, writing over a thousand words — where did all this discipline come from?
It came subtly, as all things well practiced to. It didn’t happen by thinking about it. Not through wasting time with meaningless goals or silly, fruitless plans. No, it happened from doing the work — creating habits and building momentum. This is the secret to mastering any discipline: As you conquer one, you’ll find it easier to tackle another.
If you do anything long enough, it becomes habitual. This is the goal for any passions in life: to wake up and do it without thinking. This can happen for writing, running, and anything else you want to do in life. It won’t be easy, but it can become effortless.
— Jeff Goins, You Are a Writer
It’s the snowball effect I’ve written about before. One small change does not seem like a lot right now, but over time, as you add more changes, the progress starts to build and you see the results. Yes, it is hard to make even small changes, but you have to start somewhere. But there isn’t some magic spell to be cast over your life.
What is one thing you can work on for the next week?
Cori is a wife, mom of three and writer who is learning how to take small steps towards big goals. She tends to be an all-or-nothing kind of person, but a journey to learn how to run (something she always hated) has taught her a lot about gradual, slow change.