I think I've Stumbled on to something BIG

2011 has been the year of change for me. Going even further back, I have done so many things since graduation in May that I never, ever thought I would do. But these past few months in particular have been all about changes in my habits.

Early in January, I made the commitment with my friend Lydia to train for a 5k. This simple promise has translated into a very real change in my attitude about exercise. It’s embarrassing how little I cared about my health this time last year. I was totally engrossed in the academic and social lifestyle of college, and it took something pretty major for me to rethink my priorities. The PT program in NCCC was my first wake-up call. But like any good 20-something, I am an expert at the snooze button. I hit snooze on that priority both by leaving the program and by not really buying into it fully. I mean, I was compliant with it as my duty and responsibility as a Team Leader, but I hadn’t embraced it personally.

I started out running with a friend to have that accountability, and that was a very important first step. Now, I’ve reached a point where I hold myself personally accountable. I go out of my way to run on the days I’ve committed to do so.

I started out dreading the physical activity, and only going because I made that promise to a friend to be there. Now, I acknowledge how good I feel after I run, and I enthusiastically track my progress.

But running is not the only change I’ve made. I won’t go into the details, but so many of the healthy things I am doing now have been so easy to incorporate into my life that it’s shocking I didn’t do them before.

Changing my habits has been something I’ve only been able to do after personally committing to the change. It’s not something that others can tell you to do – you have to want to do it yourself. And every day, you have to make the conscious choice to alter the habit, until the alteration becomes your new habit.

I think all of these changes were kicked into high gear as a result of my mom’s sickness. She had a wonderful life, but it ended too early as a result of some unhealthy decisions she made. Partly because I’m the only thing she left in this world, and partly for selfish reasons, I started to realize that if I’m going to live a long and healthy life, I needed to change many of my own bad habits now. Now. Not tomorrow, not when I have time, but now.

And now that I’ve started to make these healthy decisions, I’m stuck by the urge to share my realization with others. But the irony is that if I was in the “unhealthy” mindset and read a blog like this, it would have no noticeable impact on the healthiness of my lifestyle. For me, it had to be an internal, personally-driven change. But maybe not everyone is like me. Maybe some people do take random advice from friends and strangers that helps them in their life journey.

I promise I’m not getting holier-than-thou about this. I just realized that what’s driving the series of changes in my life is the overall desire to be healthier and more responsible than I have been in the past. Ultimately, this is about me, so take this or leave it. As my friend Shawna says, “You do you.”

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