Diligently Moving Forward

It’s a few weeks in and you’ve already noticed your passion for the goals you announced for the New Year start to dissipate. 2016 kicked your teeth in and you wanted to hit 2017 running. Somehow now you’ve settled for a light jog and slowly transitioning to a power walk. What happened? That passion and desire to completely change your experience from 2016 is slowly decaying with every passing moment.

At this point you may be kicking yourself while shouting obscenities that would make your grandmother cringe. Stop that! Give yourself some credit for trying to develop a better you this year. Rome wasn’t built in a day and you aren’t going to show huge results in a month. Look at the fact you’ve put a foot forward in the right direction and give yourself some well deserved credit.

Now. Where do we go from here? The issue at hand is not that you’re weak and unable to accomplish your goals. The problem lies with having the diligence to continuously work at your goals. Diligence is defined by the all and powerful Google as careful and persistent work or effort. Notice the words careful and persistent. This indicates that your effort should be mindful and directed towards your goal. You should know why you’re even putting yourself through this in the first place. Changing for someone else will bring a strain to your motivation. There will be a future post dedicated to the seeking out of motivation and using the brightness of others to fuel your dreams. As you move forward it’s wise to remind yourself as to why you ventured onto this path. Being vigilant about your motivation is part of the battle. Maintaining motivation doesn’t come naturally to everyone. Look to set your intention as to what will be your source of motivation to get you through the rough patches.

If you’ve ever played a sport, instrument, or done something that requires you to practice daily then you may know what I’m talking about. I recall a summer in between my 9th and 10th grade year of high school. Making the varsity basketball team had been the ultimate dream of mine. Before my 9th grade season was over there was something our coaches drilled into our heads. That was that if you wanted to progress and make it to varsity, you needed to get better at shooting the basketball. Simple right? I took that information and committed my entire summer leading up to my 10th grade year to shooting 200+ jump shots a day. Any day that ended in the letter “y” I was outside in my backyard putting up shots. 100 degree weather, 30 degree weather, rain, labor day, my birthday, it didn’t matter. This was all done without the help of the internet and all of the fancy “this is how you shoot properly videos”. I just went outside and committed myself to a task and saw a drastic improvement. I shared that story not because it’s an example of diligence. Far from it. I was persistent in my commitment but I was nowhere near mindful. If I had researched and put more thought into my workouts I could have made improvements beyond my wildest imagination. They key is that I stayed at it. I didn’t look for excuses to not practice. In fact I started getting creative when there were barriers in my way.
So what does this all mean? Well, it’s encouragement to take a realistic look at your progress towards your goals. Analyze what’s happening and make appropriate adjustments. We can get a little ambitious starting out so it’s definitely okay to dial it back if we’ve bit off more than what we can chew. The road to success is paved with land mines and dead ends. Be gentle on your journey and stay diligent. You’ll reap the benefits of your hard work soon enough. Metta.

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