When faced with describing the moment that I decided to change my life I realize that it was never one moment that defined the new me. It was in fact, many moments. There is a long and tumultuous story that is my life. What is important to this story is that during the course of that life I developed some bad habits, and without knowing it, created a version of myself that I came to dislike.
I am 24 years old now and I am getting ready to continue my education, and to obtain a higher degree. I want to write for a living, and I think that I have the potential to do it, but that can only take you so far. In my experience, people with potential are a dime a dozen. You can be intelligent without wisdom; you can have potential and be a failure. Honestly, most of the time the people with potential do fail. The worst thing you can do is make mistakes and not learn from them.
This started out as a simple New Year’s resolution. The resolution was not to cuss for an entire month. After the month was over, I decided to go the whole year. Then one day, a friend of mine said that something about me had changed and that I just seemed like an all around better person. Realizing what I was on to, I decided to begin applying this to other parts of my life. Soon I began taking small monthly resolutions for all kinds of things.
The goal was to be totally unrecognizable in all good ways by the end of the year. I stopped biting my fingernails, dropped energy drinks, and started skipping dessert, started riding a bike. With each month came a new resolution. Then the summer came.
My older brother Joe is a personal trainer and a fitness fanatic. I decided to see him about helping me. School was getting out and everyone was leaving the dorms that I live and work in, so I saw it as an opportunity for some positive change. Instead of resolutions for the summer months, I decided to do a seasonal resolution. My summer resolution was to lose weight and get in shape while working in the dorms over the summer. This would give me an entire season with no one around and minimal distractions.
Joe got me started with a vigorous cardio workout 5 days a week. I spent half of my two hour workout everyday running on the treadmill. I also spent a large amount of time working without weights. I was confined to a series of bird-dogs, planks, push-ups and other various body workouts. This battle against my gut was not on just one front however. I also had to contend with my diet.
I had made some changes, but that was not enough. I was eating at least 6 meals a day, filling up on fish, chicken, vegetables, fruit. After two months of conditioning and dieting and not seeing visible results, I began to lose faith. But suddenly and to my joyous surprise, one day it all simply began to fall off of me. I couldn’t believe how fast weight was coming off and how effectively I was keeping it off.
Winter is more than half over now. Students came, and they saw the change in me. I am energized and I feel more alive than I have in a decade. I have Joe to thank for that. He fueled the fire lit beneath me like no one could have, but if I had to say what it was the put it there in the first place; a series of moments. I realized that I had just done something I didn’t think I could do without even knowing it.
There is a slippery slope leading towards sloth and stagnation. It seems that there is also a slippery scenic route to success if you choose the right path. My advice to people seeking moments like the ones that changed me would be to take those huge problems you want to solve and break them down into a dozen tiny problems. Solve them individually, and by the end you will shock yourself, having tackled a monster problem with relative ease. Then you’ll find that those series of moments will create a version of yourself that you will come to love.