“The secret to getting ahead is getting started” – Mark Twain.
But man, that first step though…
Want to know how many times I started (and then deleted and re-started) this blog?
So on draft #11 was I getting anywhere? It didn’t seem like it. It certainly didn’t feel as if I was getting ahead, as Mr. Twain promises above. I couldn’t quite get the message to flow the way I wanted it – and I wanted it to be perfect for you all. The plan was to debut my foray into blogging by delivering a very inspiring message about how important and rewarding it is to get started on your health and wellness journey. It would be so profound that you’d be jumping up and down by the time you finished reading. But version #1 was a bit off the mark, and the subsequent revisions weren’t much better. I couldn’t conjure the “voice” in my mind’s eye to morph into motivating words on the screen. So I kept typing away but every draft sent me searching for the Backspace button. And so it would appear over and over again, that blank white screen staring back at me.
Finally, I decided that the perfect blog for today was going to be whatever this next version was…
Ah, magical version #17
Real, raw, and honest. No more backspacing! After all, the real goal I set for myself today was to simply write SOMETHING for the Live It Daily community. I’ve been planning epic content to share via blog and podcast for months to support others on their wellness journey and although I’ve been writing and recording up a storm how many blogs and podcasts have I produced? Zero. I’ve got a fabulous content calendar full of nutrition tips, a plethora of fitness tricks and oodles of motivating stories – including tales from my own personal quest to run a half marathon this past New Year’s Day but not a single blog or podcast has escaped my person. I’ve become an elaborate planner who can’t get herself to publish words to paper or commit her voice to a recording because every time I write or speak it doesn’t come out perfect.
In fact, it’s glaring to see the ways in which every effort has been hopelessly flawed.
Is this rut new to me? Nope, I’ve been here before. I’ve started and stopped myself on so many goals so many times – heck, I can recall times where I’ve stopped myself before I even started. But, to be fair, I can also recall times where I’ve been able to chart a course towards lofty goals and make them happen. So, what’s the difference? <Cue the Jeopardy theme song….>
The key to reaching your goals vs. falling short is exactly what Mark Twain professes above:
Get started 17 different times if you have to. Because even though version #11 feels like nowhere, it is the exact spot you need to be in to reach the final, magical version #17, the version that puts you on the map, that proves forward progress. We never get to version #17 if we stop at version #11. And, of course, we never get to version #11 unless we just plain get started.
Many friends and clients have professed their concerns with starting a new weight loss journey or beginning a new fitness regime. Is it the right time? Do they know enough about fitness and/or nutrition to be successful? Can they make the necessary changes without totally disrupting their lifestyle? While many of us do start, many of us also stop. We stop for a thousand reasons…. We slip up on day one and gobble up a candy bar. We sleep in on day two and skip spinning class. We work late on day three and don’t go to bed until midnight. We rebel on day four and purposefully refuse to eat a single vegetable.
Does that mean it’s all over and you should throw in the towel? Nah. There’s still a win here… you got started! And, although you gobbled down that candy bar on day one, you’ve still made more progress than if you’ve done nothing because you took a step in the right direction and ignited forward momentum. So don’t stop, not now! Stay the course. If you keep going, you’ll work through it and get to that magical version #17, the point in time where you accept the ups and downs and commit to working at your goal despite imperfections. Every positive action you make will add up and over time, you’ll start seeing the gains.
So here’s my attempt at becoming a fitness and nutrition blogger. I promise that I will keep putting myself out there and I will keep taking steps and working through revisions. It’s not going to be perfect and some days I might fall flat. But I won’t stop before I’ve started and I won’t give up before I’ve given my all. Come along with me and start/continue your health and wellness journey in the same fashion. If you keep trying, I will too. And the days that we fall flat we will be there to pick each other up. And the days where we knock it out of the park we will be there to cheer each other on. That’s what life is all about, it’s what this community is about and it’s what Live it Daily is all about. Taking one step, one revision at a time and getting it just a little more right every day.
So, as it turns out, the magic about draft #17 of my first blog isn’t that it is eloquently written or a bona fide literary piece of art, the magic is that I started it, finished it and published it.