These past few weeks since setting out on my Forty Days Til’ Forty Countdown, I really had no idea what I was doing. I sketched out the month ahead before I was willing to commit to blogging for 40 days because I’ve learned something valuable about myself in these 40 years: I don’t like to say I’m going to do it unless I believe I can. For good or ill, I like to know I can finish something before I commit to starting it in the first place. In much the same vein, as the summer wound down, I signed up for a 90 day challenge at my gym. I considered my calendar and what was manageable and planned to be at the gym at least three times a week from August until November. I wanted to feel good, better than I had felt in a while, by the time I actually celebrated my 40th birthday.
In joining the 90 day challenge I kick started my fitness regimen by agreeing with a trainer on what my goals were. While I had to do the hard work, the spirit of the whole thing began with positivity and continued with a team effort as I met with a boot camp team on Saturday mornings to challenge myself further. Instead of attempting to do it alone, I joined a team that was doing it with me led by a coach who believed we could do it.
Whether it was a recipe, a re-post of something I wrote a while back, or a fresh blog, each day became an opportunity to consider what good stuff was bubbling up. A couple weeks in, and a good friend noticed there was a vibe about me that was noticeably celebratory. I told her how my 40 Days Til’ Forty countdown had become an exercise in gratitude and a chance to consider all the goodness in my life and all that I am thankful for.
Both of these endeavors have been a refresher on some important aspects of life. So often I think we reach for our goals but forget a couple of key ingredients to our success. We either try to do it all alone, or we start off with an overwhelmed, defeatist attitude, telling ourselves, “well, I think I can.” We give it a try but keep in view all the same attitudes and habits we’ve had up to that point.
What has made an impression on me these last few months, right down to the last 40 days is that I need to begin more things by celebrating, rather than waiting to celebrate when I’ve finished it. I wanted to get in better shape. By joining a team and signing up for something that was more than just me sweating it out alone on a treadmill, I was unintentionally celebrating the fact that I believed I could. After all, why start if you don’t think you’re going to make it? Instead, begin by celebrating the fact that you can (not that you might) and then surround yourself with others who agree and are willing to share the load.
Begin by celebrating, and decide who’s going to party with you . . because life is too short for anything less. This is Forty!