Today marks day 3 in my quest to form within myself the 15 habits of a writer. While the challenge of the day is to initiate; to begin something I’ve been scared to start. I was caught by something else Jeff wrote in our post for today. He said this, referring to the discipline of forming these habits.
Every day, you have a decision: to start or stop the things worth doing. To continue building habits that make you more of your truest self, or to break the ones you’ve been doing for awhile.
A rather powerful statement I think. I don’t believe it to be happen chance that as I’ve begun this 15 day adventure in writing, I’ve also gotten myself back into running. About this time last year, I began running. Prior to that moment, I was very much opposed to the idea, concept and habit of running. I joked, saying, If God wanted me to run he’d not have blessed me with a car. Ridiculous I know. But I wasn’t a runner, and I had no intentions of becoming one. And then it happened… I began to run.
I had a goal a year ago. I wanted to run in and complete a 5K race. This past September, I accomplished that goal. Truthfully, I was feeling good; I’d gotten used to working time for running into my weekly routine. I’d discovered a band of brothers and sisters who ran also and encouraged and supported me in my efforts. A week before my first ever 5K I tweaked my knee. Nothing serious, but enough of a tweak to cause me a bit of discomfort during the race; which in turn led to several weeks after the race of not being able to run.
Before I knew it, I was no longer running. The habit was defunct, and the choice had been made to return to life as it were before I’d ever started this misadventure. That was my mindset at the time. Note how quickly it had shifted. Somewhere, in the depth of my mind or my heart; I’m not sure. I knew I wanted to run again. I knew that if pressed hard enough, I could admit that I sort of enjoyed running. I knew I had to begin again. Last week, was that moment in time where I began again. I had come again to the point in my life where I knew the decision that I had to make and I made it. It was difficult that first day. So many times I wanted to quite, or at least slack off. Instead I pressed on, for I knew this is what I was supposed to be doing and it was important I not short change the process. A week passed, and I’d survived the first week of running. Nearly complete with the second week, I’m reminded of the determination necessary to form a lasting habit.
As I mentioned, I don’t think it was happen chance that I had this truth spoken into me. Secretly I was doubting that I could continue with running. I wanted to find any excuse to quite, even though I knew it was what I was… am supposed to be doing. So, tonight as I ran, I found there to be a slight spring in my step as I reflected on these words shared with me from a writer I don’t know and who doesn’t know me. Yet, God in all his wisdom, used those words to motivate me for more than just writing.
The process of initiating can be difficult at times, but the more we lean into it the sooner the habit is formed. Once the habit is formed it’s difficult to alter from the intended course. That’s the place I want to be found. How about you?