Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Practice, Practice, Practice

One of the things that I need needed to change in my life, like so many other people, is was my lack of exercise.  I've started working out regularly for the last two months, so I feel like I'm making good progress in that department.  But, it's not something that's ever going to go away.  I'm going to have to keep doing the exercise, keep making healthy food choices, and keep choosing to be healthy over junky and lazy.  That used to sound like some kind of terrible prison  sentence.  But, the more I practice it, all of it, the easier it gets.  And the more I choose the right path, the more that becomes what I truly want.  The junky stuff is slowly becoming the stuff that I'd rather not eat.  Huh.  I would have never thought that would happen.

I grew up skinny,  thin-like-a-pencil, and ate whatever I wanted.  I was a sugar maniac.  I remember as a teen, some friends of my parents came to visit, and were just amazed at how much junk food I could eat, and 1) not get sick and 2) be so darn skinny.  I just laughed.  Now, almost 25 years later, things are different, and I totally see what they meant!   I ate terribly, because it didn't matter.  

Now, it does matter.  It's taking a lot of practice to change those habits.  Practice, practice, and more practice.  That's all it takes.  Practice Makes Progress.  Not perfection, but progress.  Sometimes it's hard to see how much progress you're really making.  It helps to look back, to write down where you started, to look forward to a goal you've set for yourself.   For me, I set a goal to do that crazy infomercial workout,  P90X with my husband.  90 days.  Insane workouts.  My goal was to just get through it, the best that I could.   I'm about 1/2 way through with it now, and I'm noticeably stronger.

Three weeks ago,  one of the workouts was this crazy shoulder, chest & triceps workout.  Push ups.  90million push ups.  Regular ones, wide ones, one armed ones, ones where you jump up and clap in the middle.  Did I mention I can't --I mean CAN NOT do push ups?  I don't mean I can only do a few, I can't do any.  So this workout was so frustrating.  I tried.  But if you can't do a regular push up, you can't do a one armed push up, now can you?   I stuck with it. I tried.  I practiced.  I failed.  But I didn't give up.  Practiced some more the next week, and the week after that.  Then, yesterday, at my new challenging yoga class (I call it 'Killer Yoga''s brutal but fun.) PROGRESS!  I did a full push-up.  A full-on guy-style toes on the floor, legs straight with knees not on the floor, butt not sticking up in the air, correct form push up!  The funny part was, I didn't intentionally try for it... It just kind of happened, and I was stunned! It might have been 'only one' push-up, but it was HUGE progress.  Progress isn't always easy to see.  It really likes to quietly sneak up on you, but only if you keep practicing when you can't see it yet.

That same idea carries over to other areas of life.  Other things that need practicing.  There are other ways I want to see progress, but don't yet.  Catching up and keeping up with paperwork.  Cleaning and organizing.  Spending time in prayer and meditation.  Practice. It's all about the practice.  Keep practicing.  Keep trying.  Little by little those things will add up until suddenly the progress will be visible.

How about you?  Is there an area where you are practicing something? Waiting to see some progress?  Don't give up.  It will happen if you keep working for it!

Set a goal.
Practice again.
Practice a little more.
Keep practicing.
Celebrate each little bit of progress as it sneaks up on you.
Keep practicing.
Keep celebrating.
That goal will become reality.

May you be blessed by both the practice and progress!


SomeGirl said...

I love this... Progress isn't always easy to see. It really likes to quietly sneak up on you, but only if you keep practicing when you can't see it yet. Little by little... practice makes progress... do you know your words go around in my head sometimes? Thanks for sharing this! Love, Michelle

SomeGirl said...

Btw, I gave you an award today at