Falling off the Horse

I think I have a new Guinness record for the dumbest day ever- I am possibly the only person to break their windshield, lock their keys in the car, and rear end someone all during the same day on all totally separate instances.

This was when I knew something was REALLY working against me. It had really just been through about a month of constant things going wrong and feeling like I was fighting a massively uphill battle. Thankfully, after the accident, the woman that I hit looked at me, noticing there was a discernibly angry/frustrated/embarrassed/confused look on my face, and just said “look, this isn’t that big of a deal. We all make mistakes, we all fall off the horse sometimes.”

So, yea, I fell off the horse, again. And so does everyone else at some point. Hell, you may be there now. It’s not that big of a deal. What IS THAT BIG OF A DEAL is when you don’t realize it and begin to take steps to get back on it.

As we were sitting there waiting on the police (who was super polite) officer to come and report on the accident, I sat in my truck and started thinking. WHAT IS GOING ON? WHY IS THE WORLD AGAINST ME? WHY AM I BEING SUCH AN IDIOT? And as the anger subsided and I really began to think about those questions, I realized that they ALL were due to me not being in the present moment. I had a MASSIVE smart water (the ones that don’t fit in any cupholder), and when I braked, it slipped out of my lap and into the floorboard. My mind immediately lost focus, and I was off thinking about how mad I was at this water bottle. Not what I was doing at that moment– DRIVING. So, why was that the case?

I thought about her statement and began to think about why. I hadn’t made one of the many negative changes (eating, drinking, sleeping late, winging it, etc.) that I normally make when things take a nose dive. SO, WHAT WAS IT? After probably 10 minutes or so, it began to become rather apparent. I wasn’t doing all the things that help focus me and keep me in the present. I had stopped meditating, journaling, praying, and my gratitude exercises; ALL of which are HUGE components of my daily morning routine. After I got honest with myself, I realized that I wasn’t eating nearly as well or exercising as much. I’d stopped doing my monthly goals. And so on it goes.

The more I thought about it, I had actually stopped about three weeks prior because “I was too busy” or “I don’t really need to do it anymore” or whatever stupid excuses I told myself.

Now that I knew the problem, I needed to fix it- ASAP. I thought I could just very quickly start that next morning, but what I didn’t realize was just how much I had eroded that habit and that it wasn’t that easy to get back on the right tracks. So, for the next three weeks, I started layering in one activity at a time. First up, my evening prayers. Secondly, it was my morning meditation. The third was my gratitude, and, lastly, journaling. Along with all of that has come better sleeping, better eating, and a higher level of exercise.

No matter what the issue is in your life, screwing up is just part of it. It’s how you respond to screwing it up that really makes the difference. Below are a couple of ways in which I was able to get back in my routine more quickly. I’m not fully there, but each week I’m getting better.

How I got back to me:

  • JUST START– the first step is the hardest. I woke up the next morning, took out my journal, and started. It was ugly, and it took about 3x the normal time, but I got it done.
  • Start small– Don’t expect to be where you were when you left off. I went to my first Brazilian Jiu Jitsu class in like two weeks and almost died. The next day I was so sore I couldn’t hardly move. Don’t be like me. Start just at your edge of comfortability and go from there.
  • SET GOALS– this one is absolutely imperative to achieving anything in life. I sat down the evening after my super eventful day above and wrote out the following goals:
    • Meditate twice per day- weekdays.
    • 3 BJJ classes and 2 running days/week
    • Journal & Gratitude every morning
    • NO fast food, snacks, or other Junk food
    • Prayers before lights out
  • Stay Focused – if you haven’t noticed, this is one of my biggest character flaws and probably the reason that I got away from everything above in the first place. I love to take on as much as I think I can, which is always more than I realistically can. For me to stay focused, I have to set goals like above, block out distractions, and make sure to have a routine status check constantly.

We all have a time in our lives (or many many times) where we fall out of our routine or whatever processes we have in life. Realize it, take action, and make the changes!