The benefits of using events as goal dates

Image of the thinking man statue by Rodin.

Thinking hard about sticking to his goals. Get your 3D glasses for this one! Photo by Chung Chu. Click on image for more information.

Today is the first day of Lent and it couldn’t have come any sooner. As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, I became so weak to the temptations of emotional eating and snacking and such due to my injury-prone exile from working out, that I’ve decided that I needed an intervention. Divine intervention, if you will.

I won’t go into the details but in the Christian faith, Lent is a time of self-sacrifice from Ash Wednesday to Easter. Hence, why we have Carnival and Mardi Gras before the season. While, it’s more than the myth of “I’m giving up chocolate for Lent”, Lent is a time for us to rid of ourselves of sin through self-sacrificing (hence the giving up chocolate thing) to improve ourselves and grow closer to our faith. Self-sacrificing also means to help others. For the interests of this blog, I’ll talk about the first part. Improving myself.

Suffering builds character

For instance, going to bed early so I can drag my behind into the gym at 5:00 in the morning to do my workout 3 times a week is a form of self-sacrifice.  I couldn’t work out after business hours due to other commitments (and a very busy gym) so it was either 5:00 a.m. or bust. To my surprise, only a few weeks later I found myself enjoying the benefits of achieving my goals, higher energy levels, increased confidence and happiness. With my increased strength, I was able to help  others out when moving furniture or moving firewood.

I also ended up learning that I actually enjoy working out first thing in the morning! By 7:30, I had a feeling of accomplishment and was in a happier mood even driving through heavy traffic. Next thing I knew, I also developed a sense of I-can-achieve-anything-I-set-my-mind-to.

Set a date with your destiny

Adding the timeframe of Lent to my current state of mental-toughness-down-the-toilet gives me a real, honest-to-goodness goal. “Ok. As of March 5th, I’m going to dedicate myself to going back to the way I was in 2013. No more emotional eating, no more snacking, and no more distractions from my strength goals. I don’t care how tantalizing, what the occasion is, I’m eating healthy and re-building my resilience”. After all, how can I be a good person to others if I’m feeling miserable from caving into emotional eating and such?

Sometimes I need an event to kick me into gear. I was able to go back into the gym for the first time yesterday and… well, I have to start everything from zero. An empty bar. How’s that for sacrificing the fragile male ego in the gym? But I am looking forward to this year’s Lenten season. In the past it was always a pain in the neck. But as I’ve learned last year, the goal that I strive to achieving on Easter Sunday (and beyond) will be worth it.

Let’s just hope I don’t injure myself again.

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