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  • Writer's pictureRachel Bennett

I didn't want to do it. My goals made me…

So let me tell you what happened this morning. I woke up this morning and I didn't want to get out of bed. I had planned to do a six mile run and I needed to get up at 5:00 AM in order to do it ….. I just laid there . And I continued to lay there until 5:45 when it was too late for me to go out and run and be back in time to get my son up for school. And then I started to argue with myself. I have 1/2 marathon in 10 days and whether I train or not it's going to be hard. So do I train today? The answer was yes. But when? Do I do it this morning after my son gets on the bus and I'll just be late for work? Do I do it at lunch when I know most of my days get hijacked and I won't end up doing it anyway? Or do I wait and do it after work and client calls??? And you and I both know that's not going to happen. And what if I don't do it at all…. Y'all I would be absolutely pissed at myself.

Why do I do this to myself? Why do I argue with myself when I know I'm going to do it anyway I will find the time. Let me break this down a bit. I signed up for this race 8 months ago because it's something I've wanted to do for the last two years and I finally could do it. I've trained , I've raced, and this is my time. Training is hard and if I'm not vote motivated I have to lean on my discipline. And sometimes my discipline isn't perfect. But I made this thing non-negotiable . The race is non-negotiable. So I put on my shoes and I ran 6 1/2 miles this morning between my son getting on the bus and me starting to work an hour and a half later than I usually do.

Was I motivated to do it? Nope. And truth be told, I argue with myself most days. But because I've gotten into the habit of just getting up, getting dressed and out the door before my body really knows what I'm about to do to it I don't miss many mornings.

I can't tell you how many times I've had conversations with friends , acquaintances, family members, about motivation . They say things to me like "I wish I had your motivation." And I love that as a compliment but what I don't love is that people think I'm constantly motivated to do the hard things. The hard things like meal planning and prepping. The hard things like getting up every morning and going to the gym or going for a run. The hard things like turning down sweets or alcohol. The truth is I'm never motivated . I don't wake up in the morning excited to eat a salad . I don't wake up in the morning excited to go run in the dark and the cold. What I do get excited for is at the finish line . I get excited for race day because the buzz of the people and the payoff of crossing the finish line is absolutely electric. My training only tells me how comfortable I'm going to be on race day. Is it gonna be hard? is it gonna be fun? these are the questions that I ask myself . If I don't train it is hard and it is definitely not fun. When making healthy food choices I know that the finish line is at my annual physical. That finish line is every morning I wake up and I don't feel fatigued. That finish line is every weekend when I have the energy to clean the house or go for a bike ride with my family where I used to want to just sit around and relax and sleep. That's what keeps me disciplined.

Those finish lines are non-negotiables for me. And I bring this up because we're at a time of year (meaning right now it's the first week of January)... We're at a time of year where many people are making resolutions , or setting new goals, or feeling motivated. For instance there's a lot of people that are motivated to lose the weight they gained over the holiday or over the last five years or over their lifetime. They want to finally tackle this thing that they never thought that they could tackle but somehow they're feel motivated. They start on a health journey to lose weight and because they don't lose 100 pounds in a week they think they failed and they stop. They're motivated those first couple of days because they know it's gonna take time but when they see absolutely no results in one week they lose that motivation and they're not excited about it anymore so they quit. How do I know that's what happens? Because I did it for 30 years!!!! What if that goal was non-negotiable? What if the things they needed to do every day to get to that goal eventually became non-negotiable?

One thing I know that's non-negotiable for me, as a parent, is taking care of my child. I have to make sure that he's fed. I have to make sure that he has clothes. I have to make sure that he has a place to live. And I'm spending at least 18 years of my life doing that and raising him. Parenting him, talking to him, course correcting when he seems to be going the wrong direction. All of that takes time. Raising a human takes time and effort. And discipline. I can't just check out and decide I don't want to do it anymore. That's the most important life to me. But the payout doesn't come until way later…. so why would I treat the things that are important to me personally any different than the one thing that I hold as precious as my child? What if we treated our health goals so that we could be the best moms, wives, friend, daughters that we could be what if we treated our health goals as non-negotiable just like we do raising our children.

If we did that we wouldn't need fad diets. We would not be afraid to do the hard things, like is change our habits and how we live. We would not need motivation. we would just simply do what we need to do because it needs to be done. This morning I learned that. Because I was talking myself out of running for over an hour and the discipline kicked in. I ran. I did it. And I have no regrets.

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