Resolute: One Goal At a Time

It seems that, at least for me, changing one part of your life leads to an avalanche of change. And this isn’t really helpful when the goal I set out to meet is seeming less and less significant.

Quitting smoking wasn’t just a spur-of-the-moment decision for me —it came about gradually as I began to realize the fragility and short span of even the healthiest and most well-lived life. I had always accepted death as my final stop, but the way that I dealt with that fact entailed “living it up,” because if we all die, we might as well live first.

That’s an easy enough worldview to have when you’re young and you don’t think or care to think what your life will look like in 40 or 50 years. I thought the worst thing that could happen was I would look back in my old age and regret all the things I never did. Now I realize that making it to old age is a requisite of looking back at my youth.

My youth, hopefully, is not all that I will ever have. I don’t want to squander decades of health for a habit I formed at seventeen, and I don’t want the last decade of my life to be spent on an oxygen tank like my grandmother.

I want to live fully, and that means making sure I am healthy enough to keep doing the things I love for as long as possible.

In the process of quitting smoking, I realized there are several other habits I hold that aren’t likely to guarantee a long, happy life span. And while this realization is probably a positive one, it almost overwhelms me.

I shouldn’t drink as much as I do, and I should eat healthier and exercise, but I also need to ensure that I have a hobby that allows me to relax. What I should do is focus on one goal at a time.  But the knowledge that I could do something now that will help me feel and live better drives me to try and incorporate healthy eating and living into my already busy life.

This probably wouldn’t be too stressful if I wasn’t cranky from less nicotine. I guess my point is that it’s hard to stick to three or four resolutions at once, and all of those areas of my life are not getting as much attention as they should.

So, I’m not exactly doing great at quitting smoking. I’m still smoking a few cigarettes a day and I still use my e-cig pretty regularly. If I could commit to this instead of getting distracted by all of the other healthy things I could be doing, I know at least one element of my health would drastically improve.

The problem is that I want it all: I want to feel better, look better, sleep better. I want to wake up feeling energized and healthy and I ignore that that isn’t something that happens overnight. So my advice would be this: if you have a goal, stick to it. Other opportunities may arise that sound better or healthier, but if you decided to make a life-altering decision, you probably didn’t do it lightly—I know I didn’t.

There is plenty of time to improve yourself bit-by-bit, but it doesn’t help you in any way to get overwhelmed by all of the goals you have set yourself. Don’t put all your goals in one basket, because it will probably be too heavy to carry.

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