Monday, 7 July 2014

Consistency creates habits (Lesson #2)

It’s been over five months and I still don’t love exercising. I wouldn’t even say that I like it. But there is something that I like about the process that gets me there. For instance, I like walking into the building that the gym is located in. I suppose the gym is just such an unlikely place for me to be at that walking in there makes me feel like I’m about to do something new and exciting. I especially like making my way down the hallway to the gym. I have to get there early in the morning (another part I don’t particularly care for), but I do love the soothing music that fills the hallway and literally surrounds me each time. It makes me perk up and feel happy to be alive.

Although I plan to finally be able to pronounce myself a ‘real’ jogger this month, I can’t say with confidence yet that I actually like jogging. I like the ‘idea’ of jogging, but jogging itself is still not a walk in the park for me. I still dread the first 18 minutes of my jogs. Even with a warm-up, for the first 10 minutes, my lower legs feel rusty and they hurt, and I wonder if I can really make it to the end, and when it’s going to finally feel easier. By the last 7 minutes, the pain is gone and I’m finally in a mental zone where I feel like I can do it. I like the cold, fresh air that hits my sweaty face while I jog. I like the fact that I don’t huff and puff anymore when I jog these days. But the jog itself is still something I’m still getting used to.

I like the deep feeling of accomplishment when I’m done, and the notion that if I keep this up, I may even dare to run someday (hmm …). My current trainer isn’t terribly enamored with jogging/running. He would rather I walked briskly on a fluctuating incline because of all the injuries that can be associated with jogging/running. I’ve managed to negotiate with him, though, so he lets me jog. I don’t get the same sense of achievement from brisk walking, and so I fought to be able to jog. But I can’t say I actually like jogging.

In my typical fashion, I once searched for experiences of other joggers to see how they handled things. My sister asked me if I really thought anyone just gets up and starts sprinting in a day (lol). Well, of course not. Although she claims it used to be hard for her at first, too, that’s really hard for me to even visualize, given her fitness level today. I found something really encouraging in the comment box of some post about exercise. An older guy wrote in, saying that he’s been a consistent gym-goer for the last 30 years or so, and not once in all that time has he particularly wanted to go to the gym each day.  


So, not all ‘gym rats’ are necessarily in love with the place, nor with exercise. Some things just get done because they need to get done.

Interestingly and surprisingly, my aversion to exercise has not prevented me from forming a habit: I have this habit of being where I said I’d be at a certain time, three days a week. Whatever happens once I get there (and my not necessarily liking what happens) doesn’t matter so much. My habit of just getting there is slowly but surely creating the results that I want to achieve.  

Divorce is a path that I personally chose, presented as I was with a certain set of circumstances. Although I could not have anticipated this ‘uncoupling’ in a million years, I have no doubt that I would make the same choice all over again, given the same set of circumstances. Yet, there are a lot of things that I don’t like about divorce. But, similar to jogging, there are many processes sparked by divorce, which I find myself engaged in (or a driver of), and which leave me with a similar sense of accomplishment in the end.

It would be easy to allow the things I don’t ‘like’ to get in my way and distract me from my goal. I want to try and remember, though, not to place an inordinate amount of emphasis on these things. In the grand scheme of things, they don’t matter. They are just distractions along the way that can easily be taken care of with the right dose of consistency. All I really need is to be consistent in remembering and upholding this fact. Once I’ve made a habit of it, the habit will take on a life of its own, eventually creating the results I want to achieve. Ultimately, I just want to lead a peaceful, joyful life. Whether I ‘like’ certain things or not along the way, I’ll achieve this goal simply through my consistency in putting good habits (thought patterns and other actions) to work. No need to over-think it.


  1. Such deep lessons from a seemingly 'regular task'...taken 3 immediately for life's journey..thanks for sharing

    1. Thanks for stopping by, kiki. 3 is a really good one.

  2. So true. I have gone back to an old habit I used to have of memorizing scripture. It's fun! I wanted it to be a habit and you are absolutely right. Consistency creates habit. X

    1. I need to get back to that old habit, too! I feel like I don't quite have the same kind of retentive memory I used to have years ago. These days, I can't remember anything! Whatever scripture I know by heart today is the stuff I memorized in my teens and 20s ... But nothing is impossible.