Stepping Off the Struggle Bus

The Struggle Bus is Real

I am waving at you from the front of the struggle bus. No way has it been three months since I last published a blog post! My streaming workout subscription expired 23 days ago and I have not exercised since then? Cool, cool. Out of control with sugar consumption since that week-long vacation where dessert was served every night? You betcha!

No need to worry about whatever guilty cargo you are carrying, because I am going to share with you something very simple, but will make a huge difference in your ability to reach your goals. Ready for it? You can always start over. At any time, you can put on the breaks and point that bus in a different direction. No need to wait for a special time like the New Year, Lent, or your birthday. At the risk of sounding like a motivational poster, you can start over today! Right now! Down to the minutia, every minute is an opportunity for change!

“I’ll think about that tomorrow.” ~ Scarlett O’Hara

That is not to say it can’t be helpful to have a designated date to start getting your shit together. This can be a solid strategy by providing a runway for preparation. If you decide to delay your reboot, pick a date that is not too far out, lest you lose motivation. I live across the street from the elementary school and I can see the teachers getting ready for the new school year. I decided this would be my fresh start too. This works because the first day of school is a clear date and it is only a few days away.

If you can’t seem to stick to your selected timeframe to start again, you might be tomorrowing. Tomorrowers often fall into the sneaky mental habit of thinking, “Today is already blown. I will just keep doing (or not doing) the thing and start over tomorrow.” This is akin to breaking a tooth and saying, “Oh well. Since that one is already broken, may as well smash the rest out.” [1]I don’t recall where I heard this metaphor, but it has stuck with me. Then tomorrow comes and history repeats itself, pawning off the responsibility of change to your future self (who is never happy about this BTW). If this is you, put down the hammer now, not tomorrow! Choose to do something different in the very next minute.

Accept and Face Forward

Another big trap is believing that not sticking to your plan means you have done something wrong. Starting over is a part of the process and you are probably going to fall off the wagon at some point. Give yourself some credit, to be in the position to start again means you already took bold steps to implement change. All babies land on their diapered asses when they learn to walk and we don’t judge them for it. As soon as you can accept that you are going to make mistakes the sooner you can divert the energy that would otherwise go into shaming yourself into getting back on track. You’ll get to where you are going if not faster, then certainly with less suffering if you turn your face forward instead of twisting your neck back to lament in the missteps of your past.

References

References
1 I don’t recall where I heard this metaphor, but it has stuck with me.

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