Eliminate Finish Lines

Finding my groove through these entries

March 11, 2019

You know what I realized last week? I've surpassed my one-year mark with this newsletter and it took me almost two months to realize. When I started back on January 22nd, 2018 I told myself to commit to at least a year. Back then I had a real problem with sticking to my goals and ambitions so no matter how hard it got I wanted to see it through. And trust me, those first three months were hard. For a while there I was only emailing a weekly newsletter to my immediate family (thanks guys, I appreciate your support).

But then I got my first "real" subscriber and things started to snowball from there. However small, it was an audience, something I strived to create from Day One.

"Look ma' I'm doing it!" - me to my mom lol

Although through many shifts in appearance, this newsletter took on an identity of itself. It became something I didn't expect it to be - a weekly reflection of my inner most thoughts and a chance for me to reflect on my progress. And by being able to share that with an audience allowed me spread positivity and inspire personal self growth.

But, back to missing my one-year anniversary. It struck me as odd that I just leaped over it without even noticing. But why? Why did I forget...?

I think the answer to that is why I've been able to grow so much in a year. I've changed my mentality and daily routine to eliminate finish lines. I put that in bold because it's something important I want to discuss.

My whole life prior to 2018 I struggled with growth. Anything I tried to do was immediately dropped weeks or months after starting it and it was usually for one of two reasons. Either I became unmotivated by the early success or I became frustrated with the lack of success I had initially expected. It was usually the latter. Expecting success overnight without really putting any sweat equity into it.

This applied to all aspects of my life. Going to the gym, relationships, businesses, projects, hobbies, etc.

Sort of the biggest thing that changed all that was when I started seeing a therapist. I was in a really bad place in my life to the point where it was a struggle to get out of bed everyday. I gave myself one goal each week - attend therapy. Therapy was something that took time. I wanted to feel better immediately, but things don't work that way. 

Through therapy I discussed ways to get better and one conclusion was physical exercise. Being motivated by not wanting to be mentally unstable anymore, I joined a high intensity workout class twice a week. Again, I would've loved to go to one class and then have six pack abs and be able to bench press my car, but that's just ridiculous. But I wasn't going for those things. I was going to be present. I attended so that I could keep my mind busy, not so I could see physical results.

Just like this newsletter, the next thing I know I've gone twice a week for almost two years. It feels like a blink of an eye and it's so deep in my routine that I can't imagine not going. But if you look at my progress, I'm probably in the best shape I've ever been in my life - which feels nice approaching my 30's. 

I fell upon this sort of accidentally, but what I did was I took away the finish line. I wasn't trying to meet some result. I was just living in the present and doing. It taught me the most fundamental tool for success - patience. 

When you start a new idea, project or hobby we tend to be so fueled by excitement that first month or those first few weeks at the gym feel unstoppable. Then it's February and you're like crap I haven't been to the gym in weeks until eventually you don't go back again for the rest of the year - if ever. Than that becomes the story for your excuse. You make that storyline your reality. "I can't stick with anything" - becomes the cop-out for the reason you don't start something else. 

So my advice to you this week is to take away the finish line. Take away the end result. Go to the gym, but for no specific reason other than you wrote it on your todo list this week. Write that newsletter even if you parents are the only one who's reading it. And take that girl out on a date even if she reminds you of the girl who beat you up on the school bus in first grade (too specific? lol). 

Live in the present. Once you develop confidence and healthy habits so engrained in your daily lifestyle where it feels impossible to not do it, then you can work towards an end result. Things take time. Everyone wants to be an overnight success, but put in an hour towards something every day, after a year it'll feel like overnight and chances are it'll be successful. 

(wal•do) — Person
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