control

Progress, and a good day

Today, after college, I got on a treadmill and kicked ass. This was despite walking to my bus stop, and nearly getting the first bus home because I felt like I didn’t have the energy for a run. At the last minute, I turned around and decided I did. I was right.

I ran 10km in under an hour for the first time, and was 3 minutes and 13 seconds faster than my previous personal best. I’m still 14 minutes and 47 seconds off my goal time, but today, I made a lot of progress. I am closer to reaching my goals now than when I got out of bed this morning. So it was a good day.

I realised that most of the things that limit me and hold me back are in my head. I am capable of a lot more than I give myself credit for. I definitely need to work on having a more self-positive mindset. I need to believe I can do things, reach goals, and if I put in the work, I will. I need to stop being so discouraged with myself.

Every time I run, I try to remind myself that 8 months ago, I could only run 1 kilometre, and my legs hurt for a day after that attempt. So when I feel like giving up, I think of where I can be in 3 months, or 6 months, or a year if I don’t. The future is exciting.

My time for thinking.

I think best when I’m lying in bed, before I go asleep. It’s at that time that I think back on the day’s events, on my plans for the next day, on my feelings, on conversations I have had. It’s because I am alone that I can do this. During the day, it can be very easy not to face how you feel, to fill your time by doing things, seeing people, going places. I love this half an hour before sleep because it gives me the chance to breathe, think and plan.

It’s in this half an hour that I have made some very important realisations. It was where I first realised that it was totally ok for me to start standing up for myself. I realised that I am never obliged to take shit from people. If someone is doing or saying something that I am not comfortable with, it is totally ok for me to tell them to stop. Calling someone out on their bullshit should not be something I feel I need to apologise for, provided it is done in a polite, patient, respectful and constructive manner, and is neither condescending nor aggressive.

But on the other hand, without distractions, it’s very easy to over-think things, and come to less empowering realisations. Sometimes when I’m lying in the dark, I start to worry, or the enormity of what I have yet to undertake to achieve something hits me, and I feel overwhelmed. Other times, all the emotions from a long day overcome me. The reason I think so well before I sleep is that I can focus solely on myself, no one is there demanding my attention. But at the same time, no one is there to tell me to relax, that everything will be ok. I’ve realised that it’s up to me. 

In times when it seems that so much work must be done in a short space of time, or when your goals seem discouragingly far away from where you are at now, it helps to try to calm down, and get some perspective. In a year’s time, will this matter? 

Then look at what you can do to get everything back to a place where you feel in control. Usually this involves resolving to make progress every day.

Go to bed each night confident that you are more prepared than when you woke up this morning. That is my motto lately. If, at the end of a day, I can say that I am a little closer to my goal then I was before, then that day was both productive and worthwhile.

Prompt: http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/01/06/daily-prompt-best/