When you’re trying to adopt healthy living habits, I truly believe that success can boil down to just one factor:
The ability to make a commitment, and actually stick to it.
Now, this is not something for which I’m traditionally known. I’m shamelessly of the “I’ll finish it later” variety who starts a project only to abandon it halfway through (the disaster zone known as my bedroom is proof positive of that one).
Of course, when it comes to family, friends, and work, I always fulfill my commitments…but when it comes to doing something for myself, it’s always been a different story.
These days, I’m working hard to make myself a priority, which means setting a goal or promising myself that I will do something (yes, even if it means learning how to keep my room clean), and then doing it. No matter what.
Maybe my current vigor for keeping my own promises to myself is the result of my still very fresh New Year’s Resolution mindset, especially since I silently made just one very important promise as the ball was dropping on December 31, 2011.
I vowed that this would be the year I finish what I start. No matter what it is, I need to learn to commit to something and follow through. Whether it’s that half-finished query letter to my dream magazine that’s been taking up space on my hard drive for six months, or the fact that I once made it as far as 93 pounds lost and yet still never managed to hit that 100-pound mark, this is going to be the year that I muster enough confidence in myself and my abilities to set a goal and see it through to the very end.
That’s why on a rainy, miserable Tuesday this week, I decided it was a fine time to go for a run. As I declared in my last blog post, I’m madly in love with exercising outdoors, but the winter months certainly present some unique challenges. I can brave the cold, but the rain is usually enough to make me slip out of my running tights and vow to save my workout for another day — heaven forbid my new sneakers get wet!
But not this time. I made a promise that if Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday are my kickboxing days, that Tuesday was going to be one reserved for running. I’ve let my training regimen slack off quite a bit since completing my last 5K back in November, and I started to fear that my running career would become a thing of the past if I didn’t get back to business ASAP.
So when I woke up Tuesday morning to the sound of rain pelting against my window, I promised myself that I was going to suck it up and lace up my sneakers that afternoon — even if there was a monsoon waiting for me outside that door.
And I have to say, even though it was the smallest of goals, actually heading out into the rain that day (with my snazzy new waterproof running jacket) still felt pretty damn good…if not a tad wet.
I’ve learned that’s really all that leading a healthy lifestyle is about: making a commitment to go to the gym, or to eat more veggies, or to run through the rain like a maniac, and then actually doing it.