Yes, the above title is from a Dave Matthews song. But lately its kind of been my mantra. I tend to go through different Dave mantras. What can I say? The guy is wise. Right now this one seems to fit.
Its also a bit about starting over. We all have to start over from time to time with something. A lot of us find ourselves starting over with our fitness journeys. If you think about it, everyday you wake up, you’re actually starting all over. After all, its only the present moment that is real. Only the present moment is what matters. So lets all just get past the “starting over” part and focus on digging your ditch. (go play the song now…..it will help you understand my perspective).
I’ve come to realize that instead of focusing on the starting over, its more about what I’m doing every day to get me where I want to be. I can’t change what happened yesterday. I have no way to predict what will happen in the next hour, let alone tomorrow. I know there’s quite a few of you that have had life change in the blink of an eye. All of a sudden you’re starting over with a whole new reality. But you’re not really starting over, so much as you are dealing with a new path to your vision. So what are you doing right now to get you to where you want to be? What are you doing to dig your ditch for when your done?
Lately I had been noticing (others too), that I was spending a bit too much time on social media. That habit had clearly taken up too much space in my day. I also noticed that I was allowing other worries to take up internal space that was not allowing me to get where I wanted to be. In other words I was not spending any time digging my ditch to where I wanted to be. Instead, I was spinning circles in the sand. A friend and I decided to give ourselves a 30 day respite from all the distractions. Some silence in my head to let other thoughts in. Now look where I am…..I started my blog finally!! Now every week I spend a few days writing out an entry for my blog. I’m digging away. I’m not sure where it will take me, but at least I’m digging my ditch in the direction I want the energy to flow.
The other thing I do daily is think about the direction I want my fitness journey to go. Sure I have ups and downs. Great days, decent days, and the days from hell. I have three kids…..so most days are faced with some challenge or another. The biggest thing I do is, I’m thinking about my future self. That ditch. What do I want to see at the end? Will eating the entire piece of cake get me to where I want to be or will just a bite do or none at all? Look where you are and then where you want to be. What is it going to take in this moment to get you there? Don’t focus on how long it will take you to dig that ditch (BTW its your whole life you’ll be digging, so no worries, you have plenty of time) but look more at what vision you had in mind at the end. It truly does not matter how long it takes, the time passes regardless of what you choose to do. That’s what we all forget! The sun will rise tomorrow just as it has every single day of your life!!! A fresh start.
Dig. The. Ditch.
So today you ate that whole pizza. Oops! Alright, you had a bad moment. I get it. We all do. What are you going to do in this moment to change that? You could start by drinking water and letting that shit go. As Dave so masterfully says “Where all these disappointments that grow angry out of me, will rise.” We are all faced with disappointment. You will rise above and get heavy on digging your ditch.
This attitude did two things for me. First, when I really had to work hard on my fitness, it helped me to stay super focused. I wasn’t focused on what I had to do tomorrow or the next day. I was focused on the vision. So in the moments where I had to make food choices, I remembered my vision. In the moments where I really did not want to wake up at 4:30 in the morning to go workout, I remembered my vision. I literally took it moment by moment. Soon I noticed I was making the right choices far more than I wasn’t. Soon, I was seeing my vision come to life.
For example: Lets say my plan for the day was to go to the gym, meal prep and get some work done. The kids plans were to be home sick. So, I ask myself, what am I going to do today that fulfills my vision? I make healthy food choices. I drink plenty of water (and coffee, because well, the kids are sick). I may not get to work out, but that’s actually not the end of the world. Food choices are far and away the most important decisions I make toward reaching my goal. Plus, I’m busy buzzing around the house taking care of kids and cleaning up after them. Always something to do. Always some way to keep digging that ditch in the direction you want to go.
The second way its helped me: I can let that vision keep me clear on those days where I want to have a break. Or I need a break. Or life made it damn near impossible to keep me on track. Its ok to take some time away and rest. Unplug. Do something that also fulfills me, but still keeps me digging my ditch. Maybe some yoga. Maybe sleep. Maybe wine. Ok….that last part was not a maybe….its always wine. But you get my point. On the days where I’m not on point the whole time, I know I’ve done at least one thing to keep me in the right direction of my vision.
In fact I’m digging right now. I’m writing, cooking salmon and drinking water. Yesterday it was wine. Today, it’s water. Yep, digging that ditch people. And when the day arrives where my life changes again, and I have to start over? I will come up with a new plan that keeps me digging. Always thinking ahead to that end goal.
My kids always ask me what I want to be when I grow up. I tell them I want to be a grandma. What they don’t understand is, I want to be the grandma that still plays, still goes places, is still active, bakes, takes care of them and their babies. All that comes from the ditch I dig today. That’s the long term vision. Naturally my short term vision is to have the best booty I can for summer time 🙂 Hey…..gotta have that short term goal to carry you all the way to the end!
Sometimes we have to start on a new path. But its staying persistent with your vision that will keep you digging your ditch.