Nobody Makes Movies about Normal
If we say we’re going to do something and constantly disappoint ourselves, we come to think of ourselves as a loser. "I wanted to, but I didn’t." If we say we’re going to do something and we constantly deliver, we come to think of ourselves as a winner. "I wanted to, AND I DID."...The accomplishment of our health and fitness goals is quite literally the training ground for the accomplishment of our life goals.
The above quote is from an article I recently read on Greatist about the value of entering into a contract with oneself and keeping our promises, primarily in the realm of healthy living. I love the last line of that paragraph because I truly believe that discipline in one area of your life does not make you a disciplined individual. I'm not talking about perfection; we will all break promises to ourselves and have days where we don't complete our to-do lists. However, if you find that your life mantra falls in line with one of these below, it might be time to reconsider your motives.
I need to make time for myself. Self-care is not a joke. You can't expect to go 100 mph and not crash and burn along the way. I am a big believer in taking time to decompress, refocus, and refresh (lessons I learned the hard way). However, if your "rest days" are prohibiting you from achieving your goals over a period of time, then they are no longer about self-care. For example, I know many people who desperately want to establish a fitness routine but are constantly exhausted when the work day is done. They immediately veg out on the couch and tell themselves that they have to "take care of themselves". Popcorn and The Bachelor is not a restorative exercise, I promise.
I have a lot on my plate. I bet you do. You are probably the opposite of our "veg out" friend. You check off all the to-do lists and hustle from dawn to dusk doing something that you don't love and don't really want to be doing. Sure, you have a side dream, but that's all it will ever be - on the side. It's the one item that you begrudgingly move off of today's check list and on to tomorrow's...every day. You don't believe there are enough hours in the day, and you can't find it in your heart to make your dream a priority, even though you tell yourself it's your #1.
It's not the right time. This one is especially tricky because who are we, as outsiders, to judge? Sometimes, it's not the right time, but often, this is a cover for fear. We have a dream that we want to go after, but it's not convenient. The problem is that the best things in life are rarely convenient. I almost gave up on trying to start my business because it was extremely inconvenient to move across the country and abandon all the connections I had worked to build in Nashville. I remember the conversations inside my head where I tried to rationalize that staying still was much more practical and normal.
Nobody makes movies about normal.
Keeping the promises that you make to yourself is a personal decision - no one can do it for you. No matter how many inspirational books you read, blogs you follow, and speakers you hear, you are the only person who can change your life. If you aren't happy with the life you are building for yourself now, there's a good chance that you won't be happy ten years from now. It's not about having your dream career by 25 or the perfect family by 30, it's about building blocks and stepping stones: creating the life that you want to live and surrounding yourself with people who are like-minded.
Don't be the type of person that talks about a dream and never acts on it. Ideas can't change the world if they are stuck inside your head or on a half-built website that is never launched. You have to jump off the ledge. You can't fail if you don't start, but you can't succeed either.