To embark on the journey towards your goals and dreams requires bravery. To remain on that path requires courage. The bridge that merges the two is commitment.”
– Steve Maraboli
I did it! Day 30 was probably the hardest day because I was so close to the end I wanted to celebrate. It’s only ONE day, right? ONE DAY.
One day is the difference between doing what you said you would do and NOT DOING what you said you would do. It’s all about learning to trust yourself. It’s all about setting goals that are achievable and reaching them one by one. It is all about learning to live with the discomfort of following through on your commitments even when you don’t feel like it. Throughout the journey I had some highs and lows. The highs were really high and the lows were sometimes really low. But I followed through on my commitment to myself and I feel proud. Now at the end of the journey you would think I would be sublimely happy. And I am. But something I have learned from this experiment and from the past is that reaching the goal is somewhat anti-climactic. The glory came more from getting through the hard times during the experiment then getting to the end. Waking up every morning and saying. I did it. And above all that writing about it every day. For me, that was part of the journey and of the commitment. Did I feel like writing every day? No. Some days I was uninspired and had a lot of stuff I needed to do. But I did it.
Bravery. Courage. Commitment.
Taking action to change your life is one of the bravest most courageous step you can take. It requires commitment and a daily reminder of why it is important to you. If you truly want to live your best life you will need to break through barriers that you have set for yourself. Those barriers you have build and rebuild over the years were a shield that protected you from harm. You build them for a reason. They brought you comfort and safety but they also held you back. To break down those barriers takes a lot of courage. It leads to a very scary uncomfortable place. The place that made you build the barriers in the first place. Change is uncomfortable and sometime downright scary. I know from my experience that when I try to break through to my best life and make real changes my body sometimes goes into fight or flight mode. My heart races, my mind doubts and all I want to do is hide or run away. But when I regroup, look at my goals, think about my future and breathe, I know that the fear isn’t real. It is created in my mind, in my body because it doesn’t want to change. Change is like running into an open field with predators surrounding you. You need to dig deep and find your inner lion. The brave, courageous part of you that will face the fears head on. Because it’s hungry and because it’s what it was born to do.
In times of fear I swap my sheep for the lion. I hope that the more I repeat and push through the barriers and fears towards change I can identify with my lion without going into sheep mode. Sheep mode bring anxiety. Anxiety brings doubt. Doubt brings fear. Fear makes you run. But think of this. Why did you wake up this morning? Was it to “get through the day”? What if I told you tomorrow was your LAST DAY. What would you change about today? What I have learned is that your best life is NOW. Wake up every morning with the excitement that you are here and have the possibility to do anything you want. You can’t change where you are. You can’t change your past. You can change your now.
We all know how it ends. It could end tomorrow or you could be living for 10, 20, 30, 60 more years. No one knows. But what we do know is that you only have one life to live. This is it.
Here are the results of my experiment. It will be ongoing but for the last 30 days I have made some amazing discoveries. Some I already knew, that were reinforced on this journey. Some were new discoveries that will help me in the future on the path to creating my best life.
- Reaching the goal isn’t the best part. Getting through the tough moments is.
- Sometimes it isn’t about a “thing” as it is about a behaviour. For me alcohol was the “thing” but I replaced the behaviour with other “things” to compensate.
- Changing the way to react to “trigger” situations will lead you to freedom. Getting through the discomfort without reaching for your safety net. Whether it be food, alcohol, procrastination, sex or drugs. It’s about feeling the discomfort and letting it pass.
- You are in charge of your life. Your mind will try to take over when you feel discomfort or pain, but you have the power to change that through meditation, affirmations and visualization.
- Willpower is always worse when you are tired, stressed and hungry. And when I mean hungry I mean hungry for healthy food. You can fill yourself with junk but your body will stay hungry until you feed it good whole food.
- Fear is a state of mind that can be controlled.
- Accepting yourself and your story is the first step to freedom and to your best life. The second step is the commitment to change the things you can and to break down the barriers that have been holding you back.
- If you wake up every morning not wishing for more, then you are there. Enjoy it!
- Live your life with purpose and let that purpose drive you. When things get rough, remember your purpose and do what is right, not what is easy.
- It took a lifetime to create the habits you have in your life. If you want to change that it will take courage and commitment and time. It will not happen over night but you can do anything you set your mind to do.
WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?
It’s like after you finish the marathon, or after you have lost 100 lbs, now what? You have reached your goal. Is it time to hang up your runners and return to the sedentary life? Is it time to start eating cake and cookies and chips? Or in my case, tomorrow is St-Patricks day. Should I use that as an excuse to get drunk? The answer is a resounding HELL NO.
You have come this far. Use this momentum to keep growing and changing. You are on the path to change. Maybe take a little breather and enjoy the view from the top, but the bridge isn’t close to being built. You have all the tools, you are already on a roll… keep the momentum going and never stop. Take what you have learned and bring it into the other areas of your life. But if you are to remember one thing from this whole book it would be this. Bite off only what you can chew. In these moments of glory we feel like we can do it all, but we can’t. We need to lean into change. You’ve just run a marathon but you need to keep going up slowly to run the ultra. You just squatted your body weight, but you need to keep training to get to double body weight. Focus on one thing at a time. Prioritize and go for it 100%. Eventually it will all come together. It already has. You are living your best life right now.
And in moments of fear or doubt. Trust yourself. You are the only one in charge. You are the only one that can change your life. Be a lion and remember my mantra:
THERE IS NO FAILURE IN THE LIONS DEN
“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing–that’s why we recommend it daily.” –Zig Ziglar