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Apr 24 2017

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Preparation Makes Life Easy-er

 

easy

Preparation Makes Life Easy-er

 

“That was easy.” I heard my son’s words slide out effortlessly. He was joking. I was sucking in air, feeling light-headed, and trying to keep upright.

While I took his joke as intended, I felt a tinge of jealousy. The run was not easy. I wanted to give up running . . . forever. Discouragement and jealousy at someone else’s success (or ease at success) comes when starting out. I was on the beginning of this journey called “getting in shape.” My son had been in shape for years because of JROTC and wrestling. Of course the downhill, less than a 1/2 mile jog was nothing for him, he was already more than prepared for a jog. For me, I was climbing Mt. Everest. He was taking a stroll in the park.

Years after that first run, and a few 5k’s under my belt, I look back and agree with my son. That run is easy…now. I’m in better shape, but everyone has to start somewhere.

Starting out, prepare for ups and downs

Running is much like life. Whenever starting something new, like a healthy habit, be prepared for the natural highs and lows that come with it. Starting out, we have motivation and excitement about our goal…

We’re going to lose 10 pounds.

We’re going to get rid of clutter.

We’re going to set a new schedule with margin.

We know we can do it, and we can taste the victory. We feel up for the challenge.

Sadly, that high won’t always stay high. In fact, if we don’t set a reasonable pace for ourselves when we set our goals, we will crash and give up at the very beginning.

When I set out on that first run with my oldest child, I thought I could run harder and longer than I could. Instead of setting a reasonable pace and length of time to jog/walk, I faced the brick wall of reality. I didn’t know it was unreasonable until I felt light-headed. By that time, I was thinking running was not for me. Instead of giving up, I kept going—and learned about pacing through a Couch to 5K plan.

We all have low points in our goals, but that comes more often when we don’t have reasonable exceptions and a clear plan. We need to seek out those who are “in shape” in the areas we want to grow. If they have a clear process for improvement, we can use that as we move towards our goals.

Staying the course

I’ve run a few 5K races and none of them felt easy. I normally start feeling pumped up about the race. The adrenaline only takes me part of the way. After 5-10 minutes of running, I get into a groove. I believe I can run forever. But the last leg of the race, before I can see the finish line, I start to feel mentally and physically weary. That’s when I have to remember how much my thinking is in charge. Most of the struggle is in my mind and not about if I can finish. I can finish, but I have to re-convince myself. That’s staying the course.

When we’re in the middle, and we’re feeling weary, staying the course is a mental game. If we’ve prepared ourselves well, we can achieve our goals. So, we must remind ourselves of this truth.

4 Ways to prepare well

  1. Set SMART goals.
  2. Find someone who is succeeding at what you want to achieve. (It can be a friend, a book, or course.)
  3. Mentally prepare for the highs and lows.
  4. Get accountability. One of the reasons I finished my 5K’s was because I did it with others. Accountability is a key ingredient in most of the goals I’ve achieved.

Preparation doesn’t necessarily make life easy, but does make life easier. Taking time to put the hard work on the front end always pays off later.

I have to keep that in the front of my mind especially when I see someone succeed. Sure, some people are naturals. In most cases, they have put in their hours. Because of that, they make it look easy.

In what ways have you found preparation help you in making life easier? What was the toughest lesson you learned from not being prepared?

Share your story.

Are these words encouraging to you? Share.

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Want to live a more intentional life?


This was originally posted for Five Minute Friday

I added to my original post. The word for that day was easy. The picture above is of my younger son, Bear, finishing his RunHard race. He makes running look easy. I was nowhere near the finish line at that point in the race, but I finished.

What is Five Minute Friday?

You can find out more here.

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Permanent link to this article: http://realinginlife.com/preparation-makes-life-easy-er/

2 comments

  1. Kath

    Hi Cheryl. Thanks for the reminder that what looks easy in the lives of others probably comes after hours and hours of work and other tough stuff.
    Good to remember.

    1. Cheryl

      I find it difficult to remember that life doesn’t come easy to everyone. Most people worked hard to be where they are in life. In the areas I am successful, I know the work I put into it.

      Thanks for visiting.

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