Sunday, July 10, 2011

Don't Give Up

"The harder I work, the luckier I get." Michael Jordan

One of my favorite nephews graduated from high school this year. He's a smart, good-looking, talented boy. He's also one of the nicest, hardest-working kids I know. The Michael Jordan quote was on his graduation announcement. I'm convinced his brains and talent (can't change the beauty part) have been developed to such a great extent because he learned to work hard at a young age.

There are many different aspects of life where hard work is essential. My husband is riding his bike in a race called Lotoja. From Logan, Utah to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, the race is 203 miles and almost 10,000 feet of vertical gain. In one day! I hurt just thinking about it. Other riders who have completed the race have told him it is 90% mind over body. Of course you have to train well and have the right equipment but the most important thing on race day: Don't give up.

No matter what you want to succeed at, it is imperative that you put in the time, train hard, and get the right equipment or help but the most important thing: don't give up.

Below are a few areas of my life that I want to succeed at but sometimes find myself becoming discouraged.

Fitness: Becoming fit is extremely tough. Many people start an exercise regime and quit because they get injured or sore or just plain sick of it. Please don't give up. I promise you it will get easier. As you do an activity you will enjoy it more. I'm finally recovered from my fourth baby and I completely understand how hard it is to get back into shape. It hurts. But it gets easier and more fun. Keep a positive attitude, keep making yourself get out of bed (I know, I love my mattress too), and keep trying different kinds of exercise. The variety will help you become more fit and keep you mentally excited about exercise.

Healthy Eating: As I exercise each morning I am convinced that I will eat healthy the entire day. By two p.m. my taste buds are hollering for their ice cream fix. I'm embarrassed to admit that most days I succumb. But it's okay to give in once in a while. You don't have to be perfect to be a healthy eater. I like the 90/10 diet plan (i): if you eat healthy 90% of the time, 10% of the time you can eat what you want. I try to eat low fat meals loaded with veggies so I can splurge on ice cream. Don't throw in the towel just because you slipped up on your diet. Enjoy the treat and do a little better next time. Or better yet, plan for the treat so you don't feel guilty or out of control.

Writing (or any worthy goal): I know of many writers who keep a file filled with rejections from agents and publishers. Not me. I toss them in the trash, delete them from my computer, and try to erase them from my memory. Writing is a tough industry. It's rare to hear of a successful writer who didn't deal with rejection. It's brutal, but no matter what kind of industry you're trying to succeed at, you have to keep going. Learn from the setbacks and get up no matter how many times you get knocked down.

Family: As a parent I repeat myself so often I get tired of hearing it. No wonder my boys tune me out sometimes. Parenting is one of those areas you can never give up on. Even though it seems like they're never going to get it we have to keep working, trying and praying. "No success can compensate for failure in the home." (ii) My focus has to be on my boys. When I start having those selfish nudges like wanting to eat a meal sitting down, I remind myself that they're growing up fast. I don't want to miss out on the opportunity to teach them but I also don't want to miss out on the fun.

Spirituality: Endure to the end. How many times have you heard that one? It's always when I get kind of comfortable and think I'm doing things pretty well that the Lord reminds me of several areas I can improve. Never fun, but as we obey the commandments, pray our guts out, and listen to those promptings we can become more like the Savior each day. And when I catch those glimpses of loving others as He did. The humbling is very much worth it.

What goals or dreams are important to you? How do you keep going when you feel like giving up?


(i) "The 90/10 Diet" by Joy Bauer
(ii) Quote by David O. McKay, ninth president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

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