The Monday before Thanksgiving in 2011 I had a Chrisette Michele style Epiphany. I was just about over being his girlfriend, so I left. I felt like a weight had been lifted off me and decided to make some changes to my life. The first thing on the list was to lose some weight and get healthy again.
I started a modest weight loss journey that I hoped would result in a 15 to 20-pound loss. When I saw it going better than I thought, I was elated and decided to keep going.
My mindset had totally shifted! I was excited about working out daily and meal prepping. I was excited about getting enough sleep at night and not eating or drinking too much at happy hour with friends. I didn’t feel like I was missing out on anything and my efforts paid off. I more than doubled that original goal! It eventually led to me running in local races for charity and obtaining a license to teach fitness classes. I had gotten my mind right! I met, exceeded, and maintained my goal.
I did find that I ran into one problem though. My old life was clashing with my new mindset.
I was going out with friends like I normally would but as my lifestyle became healthier a lot of these outings became less appealing to me. Once I started running, my long-run days were on the weekends. That meant I didn’t want to stay out as late nor did I want to eat or drink anything that would impede my progress. I started missing good portions of the events and eventually stopped going all together.
Eventually my old life stopped clashing with the new mindset, but it was because I had to choose between the two. The truth was nothing in my old life was even interested in being a part of the new mindset. My friends and family were very happy for me but made sure to cheer me on from a distance.
I did my workouts alone. I ran in those races alone. I went to health expos and fitness events alone. I met, exceeded, and maintained my goals…alone. I would have loved to incorporate my old life with my new mindset, but it was not up to me and it proved to be impossible.
I remember leaving one of my races with tears in my eyes. I felt so pathetic. I watched thousands of people finish that race just as I had. However, they staggered in exhaustion over to their group of loved ones congratulating them and taking pictures with them. Me? I staggered to the nearest taxi cab and took a nap when I got home.
Sometimes I think about what would’ve happened if I let the loneliness get to me. What if I would have decided that this new mindset wasn’t worth my old life and given up on getting healthier? Yeah, I lost weight, but the mindset it took to see that goal through shifted my whole life! I became a different, and even a better person. I learned so much about myself, my life, my family, my friends, and my environment. I was absolutely lonely on that journey, but it was worth every second.
I’ll be 40 years old in less than one month. There is a good chance I have more years behind me than I do in front of me. That also means that I built a life in those first 40 years. The same goes for you too, of course. You’ve built a career, relationships, a family – are you supposed to just change your mindset and jeopardize it all? Or any of it? That really depends on how strongly you feel about getting to the next level. How much does the next level mean to you?
Sometimes people may appear lazy, unmotivated, or selfish but everyone has something they’ll work their ass off for. People will work diligently to cheat on their spouse and not get caught but refuse to put in the work to improve their marriage. People will work hard at bumming off friends and family but refuse to put themselves in a better position to be more independent. Being a cheater or a bum takes a mindset, and that mindset takes work. Until the cheater or the bum decide to shift their mindset to something different, their hard work and effort will always go to what they are not yet ready to abandon. If the cheater never wants a healthy marriage, there is no need to work for it. If the bum never wants to be responsible for his or herself, there is no reason to entertain self-sufficiency.
New mindset doesn’t automatically equal new life. If a person decides to give their life to Christ after years of sinning, believe that there are some things they’ll be giving up. Their new Christian mindset is not going to align with everything they were doing. They will have some life decisions to make. There will be some people they can’t hang out with. There will be some places they can’t go anymore. There will be some things they can’t do or even say. The new mindset can create a new life, but it doesn’t automatically guarantee a new life.
Is the new life worth the old one?
That is the million-dollar question. As you are setting, changing, and rearranging your life to meet these new standards you’ve set, you must ask yourself if the new life you are creating is worth the old one.
Because it most cases, you can’t have both.
Have you checked out the latest podcast, Your Mindset Makes It Happen, yet? Click Here to listen!
After spending a year in grief counseling, I started to see that my life needed a major overhaul. Yes, my boyfriend died making me the single mom of our infant twins, but I was still grieving my loss of innocence from decades of abuse. I decided to turn my pain into a new purpose and to share this journey with others that may need some motivation.