I just got off the spin bike. It was a depressing 30 minutes not because I didn’t try but because I can see how badly my cardiovascular endurance has suffered over the past two years.
So, should I beat myself up because I’ve slacked off?
That’s been my approach too many times. The result is always the same. Instead of improving I just feel worse and avoid exercise.
Stay Positive even in Bad Times
Maybe you’ve experienced the same “cycle.” Do badly, feel bad. Rinse and repeat.
Instead, why not look at the positives?
I did it today! (I exercised).
If I did it today, I can do it tomorrow.
I can add a minute more each day.
I can measure improvements each day (increasing time, intensity by just a bit).
It’s the same approach that my pastor once described in a story from his teenage years.
“When I was a young, about 16, I wanted to make some money. My uncle hired me to clean up the parking lot of his restaurant every Sunday morning.
It was a big parking lot, about the size of a football field (or so it seemed at the time).
All I had was a trash can and a broom.
The parking lot was full of debris – empty bottles, paper and wrappers, cigar and cigarette butts, the whole spectrum of what you’d expect to see after heavy partying on a Saturday night.
I looked at this job and thought, “I’ll never be able to do this.” I didn’t even know how to begin.
My uncle watched me from inside the restaurant as I stood with the broom in my hand, motionless.
He came out and stood beside me.
He said, “A little bit at a time. Just a little at a time. Before you know it, the job will be done.”
And it was.
Keeping the Faith
This is such an important message as you face the seemingly insurmountable obstacles to self-improvement.
Sometimes we are paralyzed in the face of the job ahead. Even worse, sometimes we ssbotage ourselves because we are afraid to try.
Staying positive is the remedy for inertia or self-destruction.
Remember, you don’t have to look at the enormity of the task every day. Just take it on a little bit at a time.
Before you know it, the job will be done.
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