“You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.”
– C.S. Lewis
Denee came across this quote the other day and sent it to me, and I love it for it’s simplicity and applicability to so many situations in our lives.
One audience that comes to mind immediately for me is folks that are having a hard time starting a workout regimen like CrossFit. You’ve all probably heard it as many times as I have, “I want to do CrossFit, but I need to get in shape first.” Think about where you were in your fitness journey before you started working out at CFKI. Even those of us that THOUGHT we were in shape were rudely awakened with our first few WODs. So, if you hear this from someone, remind them that their starting point doesn’t matter, what matters is that they do start.
Of course, this quote could also apply to all of us that have taken the leap and are serious about our fitness. Now I’m thinking of the upcoming holidays that will disrupt our work, family, and fitness schedules to no end. Many of us spend a lot of extra time in the gym before the holidays and plan to do the same afterward, to account for our plan to not work out or eat right at all during that stretch from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day. We’re automatically writing off that whole time as a “no fitness zone”, but that doesn’t have to be the reality!
If you really tear it up on Thanksgiving, layering on the turkey and stuffing with two pieces of pie (you have to try them both) and then 6 beers watching football on the couch, that’s fine! Another great quote to live by during the holidays is “Everything in moderation, including moderation.” So, don’t beat yourself up and feel guilty about going overboard once in a Blue Moon (get what I did there?). That leads down a spiral that can continue the debauchery for much longer than you planned. In addition to enjoying all the food and drinks with your friends and family if you’re away from home, spend some time hiking outside or tossing the football in the backyard. If you’re at home, take some “me time” to get to the gym in the morning before the whole crew is awake. You’ll feel great from the endorphins released when you move around with a purpose, and because you know you’ve once again committed yourself to a healthy lifestyle.
Finally, I’m sure we can all read that quote and think of another area of our life that it really seems to fit. Something that you know you should be doing but haven’t been able to pull the trigger. That feeling that is holding you back may be a fear of failure or even just a fear of the unknown. “What if I make the leap and things suddenly are a lot different?” Or maybe it’s just that the objective you have in mind is so daunting when you look at the big picture that it seems like too much to bite off at one time.
Thinking about our quote again though, we’re never going to be able to find the perfect starting point, the perfect beginning. The thing to do is to take small actions that lead toward your future state. As part of your morning routine, identify ONE THING you can do today to make progress toward your goal. In the evening, reassess where you are and determine the next appropriate action toward your goal. The next morning, review your plan and then go out and take action again! As you continue progressing toward that final objective, the bigger picture will come more into focus and your momentum will keep you energized.
So in the end, whether we’re talking about starting or maintaining our commitment to fitness and health, or even creating a meaningful change in our lives, the process is simple but not easy. Wherever we are in the continuum of “ready”, all we need to do is start. Take one step in the right direction, which leads to another… and the rest is your story!