The blood from her freshly skinned knee trickled down her shin and was absorbed by the lining of her black Nike trainers. She took only a quick glance to assess the damage as she knew spending any longer would potentially derail the goal, she had been working on for the past six months. Falling had been something she had gotten used to now. She rose up off the ground, picked up her purple Huffy single speed, tightened the strap on her helmet, and threw her right leg over the bike gipping the handles with a fierce intensity that her father had never seen before from his 7-year-old daughter. “Alright sweetheart you got it this time. You just gotta’ get going and the rest will take care of itself!” She shoved her foot off the ground and onto the right pedal, then the left, and she was off. She turned her head back and shouted, “I DID IT DAD!” The expression on her face had shifted from determined fear to pure joy as she road down the street for her very first time. For the next hour that proud little girl road her new 2-wheel bike up and down the street without falling again. She had found her momentum.
Starting a new hobby or habit can be very difficult. The story above speaks to the challenges of riding a bike for the first time; however, the concept can be easily generalized to any new skill we are trying to acquire. The first step is always the hardest as it is unfamiliar and often in the opposite direction of where we are used to going. We are all creatures of habit and when you introduce a novel situation that challenges us mentally and physically, our human nature is to avoid the discomfort and delay the change. The more deeply ingrained the hobby, the more difficult that first step becomes.
Starting a new fitness routine at the gym is tricky, but if that routine is taking the place of your Netflix and Chill time after work, the difficulty doubles. Having chicken, vegetables, and a glass of water for lunch may be a new challenge but that challenge becomes enormous when it is replacing a Big Mac Value meal.
We all know we should eat healthy, exercise 5x a week, sleep for 7+ hours a night, avoid drinking too much alcohol or spending too much time on our screens; however, it is often of fear of taking that first step that prolongs the change. The sooner you can recognize these patterns in your own life, the sooner you will be ready to take that first step!
Want to know the good news? The second step is always easier and the third even easier. After you are able to breakthrough that initial barrier, the power of momentum swings into the direction you are seeking, and the healthier choices start to stack up. Before you know it, you have the life full of choices you are proud of making and your body and mind will begin to reward you with the results!
I can’t wait to celebrate with you as you take your first step!
Love you all,
For the past year, writing has been the hobby that I have been trying to develop. For a while I had momentum and I was excited with the progress I was making towards my life’s goal of helping as many people as I can through my experience in positive behavior change, health and fitness. Aaaaaand then I lost it. At some point over the winter I stopped writing every week and the excuses began to pile up. “I’m too tired” “I don’t have enough time” “No one cares what I have to say anyway”. I began to get REALLY good at telling myself lies to ease the cognitive dissonance surrounding my lack of writing. This week I decided that I have had enough. I set up my Saturday morning on Friday night so I could eliminate the excuses and set the stage for success. The first step is done, now its time to try and capture some momentum.