The Test Is Coming

It appears my resolve is about to be put to the test. I have made it 81 days into my 100 Day Strong journey. Over the next week I am taking part in my church’s Christmas musical. There will be some days where time will be very slim. However, the goal marches forward.

My thought is this: if I can make it through these days and keep my goals in check, I should be able to handle most anything. That has been the ultimate goal of all of this. Consistency.

Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out. – Robert Collier

That is what I have been doing. Small efforts every day. Where has this gotten me? I have lost over 30 pounds. I have written every day. I have consumed 100+ ounces of water daily. And many other things. It is starting to add up. Slowly. Consistently. Awesomely.

I am about to be tested. I plan to pass this test with flying colors.

Repetition is my friend

Repetition. It seems tedious. It seems boring. It is also so important to improve at anything. You have to get purposeful repetitions.

That is one of the lessons that I have learned throughout my 100 Day Strong challenge. Could I actually make it 100 days and accomplish the tasks I set out? So far I am 80 days in and still going strong. How? Repetition.

This is the beauty behind the List I made at the beginning of this journey. The reason the List works so well is because it lays out specific tasks to accomplish daily. I have gotten repetitions at those tasks. After 80 days many of them are becoming second nature.

I can look back over my life and see where repetition has worked for me. I remember practicing for hours in high school to become a better singer. After a lot of repetition and hard work I received a full scholarship to sing in college. To go from where I started to where I ended up, it took a lot of reps.

Where has leaning into the details and being willing to get reps worked for you?

Behind the scenes

I am sitting in a musical rehearsal. It is the week before show and we are working through placing the sets on stage. Translation? I am sitting in the crowd watching folks place sets where they will go. At some point they will call my name and I will get to help.

This is the part you don’t think about when you go to see a show. If the cast and crew do what they are supposed to, you get sucked into the story and you don’t notice the mechanics of the show. It just flows.

It has given me a great appreciation for the folks behind the scenes. They work hard. They make the show happen. Without them, the show would fall flat and the audience would not see a great show.

It has also given me an appreciation for all of the folks behind the scenes in life. From waiters to grocery checkers, fast food workers to medical workers and everyone in between. There are so many people that make life work and we never even notice.

I am reminded to stay grateful. Just like the backstage crew that gets the performance ready, there are people we never see that keep us moving forward. Gratitude is the way to be.

The Dichotomy of Leadership

I am reading a new book called The Dichotomy of Leadership. I am only a chapter in, but so far am totally fascinated. The authors are Navy Seals who led troops in Iraq. In the book they dive deep into the different dichotomies of leadership.

What does this mean? First, let’s define the word dichotomy:

Dichotomy- (Noun) – a division or contrast between two things that are or are represented as being opposed or entirely different.

Two things that are represented as being opposed. Let me put some context around this. As a Seal commander, the author had to deal with the dichotomy of looking after his troops well being while also leading those men into battle to accomplish the mission. The missions they undertook could injure or cause the death of those troops. The commander had to hold both things in his mind and still get the job done.

In truth, those two positions were not opposed to each other. They were both important. There had to be a balance where both objectives could be achieved. It is a fine line for sure, but there are valuable lessons here.

While reading, my thoughts drifted to the dichotomies that exist in parenting. I want for my son to be safe and to keep him from being harmed. However, for him to grow into a truly productive member of society and to take his place as an adult, he has to face adversity. He has to be have to hold that dichotomy of caring for him and also letting him try things and potentially fail.

I am eager to read more. Gaining clarity on how to deal with these dichotomies will only be beneficial. I am sure it won’t make the situations easier, but it will give confidence that making the right decision is worth it.

Counting Calories? Really?

I love food. I love the way it smells. I love the way it tastes. I love eating it. Pizza, steaks, pasta, pizza, cinnamon rolls, pizza…I love it all. Did I mention pizza?

For this reason, it has been difficult to lose weight over the years. I know the more you eat the more you gain. It didn’t stop me. Sometimes I would exercise more to balance it out, but it never did balance.

It seems I have finally tamed the beast. How you ask? Logging my food in the My Fitness Pal app and sticking to a specific calorie count. Yes. I count calories. Every day.

Strangely enough, when I started doing this very mundane task I started losing weight. It is amazing that when you control what goes in you can see the scale go down. Who knew?

This was a mental game for me. I have mentioned in previous posts that food has been tied to security for me. So, not only did it taste good and all that stuff, it also “kept me safe”. But, it really didn’t.

The biggest part of moving forward is understanding the obstacles in front of you. For me I had to prove to myself that I could restrict calories and still be ok. I am. I had to prove to myself that it was still plenty of food to eat. It is more than enough. This has been 100% mental this entire time.

When I realized this, I had identified my obstacle. I knew at that point what had to be done. It has taken a lot of work, but I have stuck to it for 77 days and I will going forward. The change has been overwhelming.

What goal do you have? What obstacle is in your way? Keep moving forward. You can do it.