How do we build positive routines? My method consists of two halves. First, I define then refine the routine to its most essential elements: if I want to row twice daily, then I try many different routes, learning what works, what doesn’t, in order to find my most efficient route. Second, I omit free will or opinionated subjectivity from the routine. I simply must row twice daily. Unless my health will suffer, then… row lightly?
Through many thousands of words on self-improvement, “you’ll be fine” should be the overarching mantra that glues it all together. We must now endure an unprecedented amount of stress, from work and others, in this modern reality. Wasn’t the future suppose to be easier? More stress-free? Instead we must find coping mechanisms in inebriation, toys, and escapism to cope. “What happened? We never used to need to worry like this.” “It’s stress. It affects everything [2,3].”
What’s your comfortable limit? How much until you say to yourself “that’s enough” and actually call it enough? Do you know at what point you’ll go too far? For me (and possibly others), there’ll be an excuse planned out rather than a plan to excuse myself from the situation. We’ll take it as far as it’ll last. Even Wednesday, with an endlessly refilled coffee cup, I know I still have improvement room with my resolve.
“Maybe it is all the heavy metal inside of you that shows on the scale!” As much as I don’t want to be influenced by ephemeral external motivators, it’s still nice reading the occasional positive vibration. The number on the scale is just an external unit of measurement for my internal success: if I put on two pounds, but I feel as though I was more successful with my health, did I fail? Objectively? Subjectively?
Words mean nothing in fitness. Similarly to wanting to become a writer yet never practicing writing, you must put in the work not just for fitness but anything in life, in order to achieve the results you want. Fortunately, once you start putting in the work, it becomes easier and after a while, you can’t even imagine life without doing that work as often as you can. It’s a positive feedback loop with subtle results.
Words mean nothing when you’re stressed out and longing for that familiar, harmful way to decompress. Even close to five years later, the numbness of having a drink or five is still ingrained in my psyche as the ideal evening. We must instead practice alternative actions. Since I don’t think as clearly in the evenings, after constantly confronting stress, I go to sleep early to subconsciously wade through that stress to arrive at actionable solutions.
In ten years, I could see myself becoming substantially healthier. Especially if I expand upon my current exercise routine with more than just two 5-minute sets, and hold steady on my diet restrictions (there’s only one restriction: limited or no greasy foods), then the sky’s the limit. It’d be cool seeing the elaborate shots, props I’d build, and other ways I’d be using my increased fitness capabilities to tell more interesting stories in 2028. Until then…
In ten years, will I have this spider’s confidence? It stared right at me. To not be skittish around anyone I don’t fully know? To not feel embarrassed over the most minor, benign, and otherwise harmless social faux paus? The courage to talk to anyone? Compared to ten years ago, I do have more self-confidence, so I imagine in ten more years of practice, I’ll be closer. I have had glimpses of this spider’s confidence…
Ten years ago, I couldn’t have imagined where I am with my fitness and wellness. Owning a rowing machine? Exercising [almost] twice daily? Being able to do more, think clearer, and react quicker? Where even my sick days are just resting up, compared to having days obliterated by everyone’s flus and common colds? And it only took falling to my lowest physical point, twice, to finally solidify my resolve for fitness and wellness last March.
Ten years ago…?
As much as I’d like to tell you that your life will be great, it’s only moderately so. You’ve lived a rough life. At least you’re free now, like you wanted, but you’re also chained to that which you feared: your addictive personality nearly consumed you. Now it’s a daily struggle to live life honestly. You do well enough now, and have some allies in your fight, so it’s alright.