My resolve has softened over the past year or so. It’s tough to explain why, but I feel it here and there and leaking through the corners of my mind, infiltrating and weakening whatever willpower and motivation has kept me strong in better days.
It is. But it shouldn’t be.
As much as I hate to admit it, when I pursued some health-based goals a couple years ago I had given myself a number of small incentives. When I write it down it seems weak and petty, but it’s during those weak and petty moments –and we all have them and they are usually them moments we point to when we try to assign blame upon our fails– that we make small mistakes, take tiny missteps, bend the rules, break from the plan, and assert our inevitable failure with ready-baked excuses. Having an incentive to tilt the scale a little bit is how, in those weak and petty moments, we resist the second cookie, make ourselves run when the snow makes you want to cuddle up on the couch and watch Netflix instead, or make whatever choices are making us stronger and fight the inevitable entropy of life.
In 2012, back when I lost 40 pounds and got in awesome-sauce shape, I gave myself goals –yes– but I also gave myself reasons to reconsider. And, I will fully admit, some of those were silly material rewards that shone unflinchingly and steady against the uneven flicker of the distant intrinsic reward, unshaped and unformed in the far off and uncertain future.
Entropy has crept upon me. Not deeply. Not irreversibly. But measurably and in ways that I can point to in my day-to-day existence and assign blame upon individual choices.
So, despite my willful, mindful push to reverse that in recent months –which doesn’t seem to be working– I’ve decided to add incentive.
My goal is a number in my head. And it’s only the number because the number in quantifiable, measurable, and trackable. It relates to my health and well-being, how I feel when I wake up in the morning, and what my quality of life is going to look like for the next twenty years. The number is not important here, but it is a finish line for this altered plan.
My plan is the same as before. Eat better. Expand my fitness a little bit more. And make healthier choices about how I spend my days and my nights.
The incentive is tied to so many things. I’ll write more on that later –if only to nudge along my own personal inspiration and keep the incentive fresh in my mind– but with a girl who is blossoming into a curious pre-teen, a camera hobby that is always looking for new challenges, and the merest blip of a little kid inside me who has always wanted one– but when the goal is met, the challenge succeeded, and the race won, I’m going to buy Claire and I the coolest telescope my budget will allow.
Let the moon shot challenge begin.