Exercise Your Habits Because Cinderella Stories are Overrated

Have you ever been so busy that you didn’t get a chance to eat breakfast as you ran out the door?

Did you think, “well…I missed breakfast, I might as well give up this eating, thing. It just doesn’t work for me.”

Or maybe, “AHHHHH!!! I failed! It’s just better for everyone if I don’t eat again.”

No, that’s pretty ridiculous, right? Instead we can’t wait for the next meal opportunity. We may raid candy jars, eat lima beans or do whatever we have to in order to fill out stomach.

Our bodies crave nutrition.

Why is it then that if we miss a morning time with God, that we feel like we failed? Why do we believe that its better if we just give up?

The Habit is the Goal

I was chatting with a friend the other day about exercise and how there are days (sometimes weeks) when all I do are a few pushups. No running. No 30 minute workout video. Nothing but my pathetic attempts to push myself off the floor.

And yet I feel accomplished even in those seasons because I’ve realized that it’s not about how quickly we strengthen our body, but how faithfully we strengthen the habit.

Because if the habit gets stronger, so will we.

The Stronger the Habit, The Easier the Task

If we can build positive habits, they become a foundation that requires less and less emotional effort to continue. We can then focus more attention on new positive habits.

But if we try to do something incredibly hard, like suddenly getting up 1-2 hours earlier than normal, we will eventually grow weary and quit only to try to bare knuckle it again a few months later.

We want the habit. We have the determination. But the method breaks us.

Rather than go big and crash big, it is much more effective to start simple and keep the habit going.

There is no amazing Cinderella transformation, but there’s no stroke of midnight either. Faithfulness is a beautiful story of it’s own.

There is no better time than NOW to start small and finish strong.

What is one habit you are working on and how can you make it easier to accomplish it? Click here to join the discussion.

 

 

Comments

  1. I really needed to hear this today. I have been “failing” a lot lately. My Mom leaving after a long visit and sick children have all given me sleepless nights. I vow to work on my habits again — maybe even tomorrow. Thanks Kat!

  2. Thank you for this! I had made time to exercise twice last week and was actually upset that I had gained a pound. Never mind the fact that I’ve only exercised TWICE and have a bad habit of dipping a spoon in the peanut butter jar…I expected overnight results. Going to get back at it today – slow and small, but steady!

  3. I am working on exercising every day! I did Monday-Thursday during the baby’s nap, but then my hubby had a 3 day weekend, and I didn’t do anything Fri-Sun, and was feeling guilty… I just need to make sure I’m back on track today… and then maybe next weekend tell him I can’t spend all of naptime watching movies with him. :)

  4. This is so true. Much like ‘my eyes are bigger than my stomach” when I load to much on my (food) plate… my ‘ambition is bigger than my ability” when I load to much on my life plate.
    That’s not a bad thing because ambition is hopeful and keeps me going… but I need to keep it reigned in for practical reasons and break up the ‘big ambition’ into smaller ones that are achievable. Thanks for the great reminder!

  5. Completely, totally and amazingly true!! I am sitting in the library trying to press through the articulation of my goals….again! I fell off the efficiency horse a couple of months ago and, for the last few weeks, have been hating myself for it! This morning, I went for a walk in the park. I LOVE doing that, but it has been a couple of months! I came to a beautiful new library (that has a cafe…BRILLIANT) and I have just completed my overarching life goals. Then, I get my daily email from you, encouraging me to not give up and to form the habit. Thanks so much for being a vessel of the Lord. So…now….the habit….I felt inspired on my walk this morning that I need to stick to just two things and just little changes (instead of planning to run in a marathon in just two months and cutting out ALL foods that are not organic and living). The first one, do SOME form of exercise EVERYDAY. (I got that one from you.) The second one, drink more water EVERYDAY!

  6. I am working on being on time. For those that know me, that is a HUGE accomplishment. I have planned my morning and know when I have to be finished with my tasks in order to get out of the house on time. I also plan my evenings so that I can go to bed on time. Proper rest is important too. There have been failed mornings, but I keep trying. Thank you for this post. That was perfect timing!

  7. “We want the habit. We have the determination. But the method breaks us.” I love this. This is just pure motivation for me. There are so many things I want to do (eat healthy, lose weight, read my Bible more, pray more, learn more) yet I find the will power to do them is very lacking! I think I get bogged down with wanting the end result straight away and forget that I only have one day at a time. Make a change today and, if I stay faithful, the end result will come in time! The biggest thing I want to work on right now is eating healthy (because I want to lose weight!) and I can make it easier to accomplish by breaking it down into small decisions: every time I need to eat something, make a healthy decision. Then, if I’m trying my best, I can do away with the guilt!

  8. “The Stronger the Habit, The Easier the Task”

    So TRUE!! I always want to just dive in, but for something, a little is actually a lot! I’m pretty sure any trainer (I’ve never had one) can tell someone that they need to build up their strength and endurance before they will always be able to lift those heavier weights, or run that marathon. A bunch of things kept me from keeping up with my workout routine (if you can call it that), and everytime I started working out again after that, I would just be sore. I started over again from the beginning, a little at a time and each day is getting better.

  9. Kat, you always have a fresh way of putting things so they make more sense. Of course we don’t give up on eating altogether just because we miss a meal. Why would we do that in any other area of our lives. Thank you!

  10. Awesome! So true Kat!

  11. Thank you.

  12. exactly what i needed to hear! it’s been 3 to 4 weeks since i got up early for workout, prayer, and bible reading. instead of quitting, i want to plan to try again tomorrow.

    • Katie, That was my feeling last week. It was just one thing after another…sick kid, or I was sick, insomnia, etc etc. I wanted to just give up.

      Here’s something I shared with my group today (kind of a pep talk to myself actually =p)

      I’ve often wanted to throw in the towel because of the craziness of the middle-of-the-night wakings (either myself or the kids), etc, but every time when I get to that point I am reminded that it’s not a ‘all or nothing’ challenge. Each day is a new day and a new start. We can’t let ourselves be defeated by a late night or sickness. Now if we do get distracted and go to bed late every night, then we probably can’t expect to see the results that we want, or we might, but with the sacrifice of the sleep that our bodies need. I should probably get to bed at a decent time tonight too since I went to sleep way too early again last night.

      And my biggest tip is always to take baby steps.

  13. Your words here ring so true! I feel like God has taken me on this amazing journey in the last season with very small steps. First I felt compelled to give up meat (this was even before my favorite holidays). Once I had done that successfully for 3 months, my church began their season of fasting in January and I gave up sweet treats. Once I had done that for a week or two, i began fasting on Sundays. I realize this may sound extreme to some, but what God has taught me is 1. obedience to His voice. 2. To listen to my true hunger and eat accordingly and 3. That His grace alone carries me through tough situations (and for me NOT eating is a tough situation). Baby steps are indeed the way to go!

  14. YES!

    Kat, you have a gift. Your practical words meet us moms right where we are at and inspire us. Thank you for articulating this for me today! :)

  15. This is something I always need to remind myself because too often I have grand plans and they end up going nowhere because I haven’t been able to form the habits I need to get there yet. Thanks for the reminder!

  16. One new habit I am currently working on developing is eating a big colorful salad and/or a green smoothie each day. Going pretty well so far. I so agree about not giving up just because we are less than perfect – what a trick. We need to pick ourselves right up and continue forward. And because I know it is easy for me to get off track I plan on incorporating a 2-3 day/mos mini-detox to help me refocus.

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