Self-Care Challenge (Day 252): Beginning Again

colorful, stacked hand weights

On day 252 of my 366-day self-care challenge, I began again. (Yes, at the gym.)

I admit it. I fell off the wagon.

I missed one exercise class…and then another…and then another. And I soon found it all too easy to find an excuse not to go the following week, and then the week after that. I was too busy. I had a conflict. There was an important project that I needed to finish. My shoulder was hurting. My lower back was sore. You get the idea.

But when I realized that I hadn’t been to the gym in almost a month, the reality sank in. While I’ve still managed to be physically active – using my treadmill and taking hikes here and there –  hadn’t done much in the way of strength training, and that’s exactly why I started taking the classes in the first place.

When it comes to habits, I’ve found that it’s much easier to continue doing something than it is to start doing something new. And after missing so many days in a row, it felt like it did when I was just getting started. I had lost my rhythm, and a bit of motivation as well.

But then I did what I always do when that happens. I pulled out my vision board and reminded myself what I was trying to accomplish and why I was working so hard in the first place. Those images gave me the boost I needed.

So, what did I do? I guarded my calendar carefully and said “no” to a meeting request that would have interfered with the class time. The night before, I laid out my gym clothes next to my bed so I would see them in the morning as a reminder.

Am I sore today? Yep. Am I feeling a renewed sense of confidence? Absolutely.

The road to goal achievement isn’t linear. Sometimes we come to a dead end, and sometimes we simply get lost. But if we can keep circling back toward it when we get of course, we’ll eventually get there. if we’re patient and compassionate with ourselves, we can always retrace our steps and begin again.

Forget the excuses. Own it.

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