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Nov 19, 2011

The Ingredients of Determination

As I mentioned in a previous post, I survived Hell Week.  I'm still absorbing some of the lessons that I learned this week.  As I ponder today, I think one of the most important ones I'm pondering on is that of determination.

There are many times where I've had desire to make a change, but done nothing.  I've always known that I'm the kind of person who once I set my mind to something, it will be done.  (Note my journey that made it possible to lose 238 lbs)  The problem was, how do I make myself move beyond desire and into determination?  I'd spend a lot of time not doing anything towards that which I wanted, just because the desire didn't move towards determination.

This week, I followed through on a desire to begin to have another tool to help me to lose the weight I gained and be able to maintain weight loss easier.  Because I've often wondered what was lacking in making me "determined", my senses as to what's happening were particularly acute as I pondered what exactly happened that allowed me to be determined for a change.  Therefore, I've come up with what I believe are some of the key ingredients necessary to move from desire to determination and actually achieving what you want.

The ingredients of determination are 1) smacking down and not allowing any negative thoughts to begin 2) being positive about and envisioning what my outcome will be and the goals I can meet by doing this thing,  and 3) making no excuses.  Mix those together, you have developed a batter I will call  "focus".  With this new focus of the mind, you are suddenly able to just  "find a way to make it possible" and you achieve the impossible! 

When the negative thoughts starts, I immediately stop it and counteract it by saying, "I'm going to do it"  I won't allow my mind to start the train of thoughts that would allow myself to begin thinking about all the obstacles and being scared of it or what not.  I would instead envision meeting the goals that I so wanted to meet, and be so hopeful that my newest endeavor would lead me there.  I've come to realize recently that I am the "queen of excuses" which has been to my detriment time and time again.  Yet, when it comes to getting determination, I won't even accept an excuse.  It shows me that I do have it within myself to stop the excuses, because I've proved I know how to do it.  As I thought about the mindset that I acquire when I'm not allowing negativity or excuses, and building positivity; I realized that my brain is now focused on what I'm planning to achieve.  With that focus, I just can't help but succeed and achieve what it is I want.  It is that focus that says, "find a way to make it possible".

For example, if I wasn't determined to do boot camp, it's something I typically would've said, 1) It's too expensive, I can't afford it and 2) I don't have the time, my schedule is too unpredictable and  not in my control every day.  However, because I was determined, those never even entered my mind.  Each time the problems came up, I just figured out how to solve it.  I figured out where to get the money, in the beginning to afford it.  Then as I started the daily work outs, I had to make a lot of extra effort to make it fit in my schedule.  In addition, I went to my colleague that schedules all our our team appointments, and told her that for the rest of the year, if she has to make appointments that won't get me back in time to work out before it closes (and I gave her a specific time), that she needs to make sure that she doesn't start out morning appointments before a specific time that would allow me to get in and do the morning work outs.  I was focused, so I didn't anticipate or dwell on the difficulties.  I just did what I wanted to, and then found a way to solve each issue that arose.  Wow!  Eye opening to realize that.

I've also found determination just in trying to complete all the specific difficult exercises I'm give, for the number of reps required.  Instead of saying, "I can't" which I would do without determination, I'd say to myself, "I will".  When I had no breath left (lung damage coupled with 30 lbs added to the burden on my lungs) and the instructor would check in to see if I was OK, instead of saying I can't because (and I had a GOOD reason), I said, "I'm OK, I'm just catching my breath, and I'll continue until I finish.  Determination.

I'm really grateful for the lesson I'm learning about determination.  I think these is something I will need to revisit again and again.  I know there are new goals and desires I have.  If I allow myself to go down my usual path, it's unlikely I'll achieve them.  I will always need to think about what is happening internally.  Am I allowing negativity?  Am I not envisioning reaching the goal and being positive?  Am I making excuses?  If the answer is yes, then of course I'll know that is why I have no focus.  I've got a recipe for helping myself to get back on track now!  I'm grateful for this new awareness!  Now it's Happy trails as I continue to embark on my recent journeys! :)