7/13/2007

In the beginning

I think the hardest part of starting a new habit, or ending a bad one, is when we get beyond the initial phase of making the decision. How bad do you truly want to have that goal? Are you willing to wake up at 5:00 a.m. or run five miles a day, or give up that unhealthy relationship?

Realistically, as soon as you decide to make that life altering change, you have to simultaneously understand everything that will come along with it. Say to yourself, "I am going to lose weight....in order to lose the weight I know that I have to substitute unhealthy snacks for fruits and vegetables. I also know that I will have to wake up, even though I do not feel like it, and exercise to increase my metabolism." Make a full assessment of what it will take to realize those intentions of yours. Carefully go over all of the details in your mind like you would if you were reading the fine print of a contract.

So now the new habit begins. Treat this process in the same way as one who were to plant a new garden. The soil must be prepared, the seeds planted, the seedlings watered and cared for. The entire process is cumbersome and tedious. But shortly after, tiny little seedlings begin to sprout as a reward for your efforts. But remember, the seedlings are still in a fragile condition. If you neglect to continue with your daily routine of nurturing, the seedlings will die. On the contrary, you must be even more vigilant to protect your little blessings from external forces which will hinder your hard earned efforts.

If you remain faithful in your actions, even if you realize minor setbacks, then you will have created a steady habit. That habit will become like a thriving plant which requires only periodic trimmings to maintain its fullness and health. But for this to happen successfully, you will have to plan carefully and remain steadfast until you are certain that the roots of your habits are deeply grounded. Only then will you be able to enjoy the fruits of your labor.

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