Keep going until you’re gone

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I’ve written before about the impact the YourTurnChallenge had on me, making me realize that I could write, and do it every day.  I’ve missed a few days, but I’ve been writing regularly for almost a month.  I feel a drive to continue, and find myself frequently thinking about topics to explore.  Those that study human behavior say that it takes a month or two to develop or change a habit, and some might say that my writing is an established habit.

But it’s not that simple.  I once ran almost every day, worked myself up to marathon level training (20-30 miles/wk, 16+ mile long runs), registered for two marathons, and yet I don’t run at all today.

I went on Weight Watchers, lost almost 50 pounds, made “Life Member”, kept it off for about 3 years, and yet my weight is almost back to what it was before I started.

The lesson in this?  You’re never done, until you’re gone.  You don’t establish a habit, and then coast.  Even actions that become truly automatic, seemingly requiring no thought to maintain, still need attention.  Even habits that provide enormous positive rewards, like my weight loss and running, can fall by the wayside.

You’re never finished, you never reach perfection, because the world changes, and you change.  The excitement of accomplishment becomes routine, priorities change, or situations that made a habit easy to maintain become less convenient.  The best you can do is to keep striving, to keep working at it every day.  When good habits can be so hard to establish, and bad habits so hard to break, it can be tempting to give up, but when you do that you’re making a choice to be less than you can be.

If you’ve developed good habits that you want to keep, or dropped habits that are bad for you, keep going until you’re gone.

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8 Comments

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8 responses to “Keep going until you’re gone

  1. Love this bc it’s the consistency that brings about success not coasting. To be perfect is an imperfection & a lie. There is always work to be done in an ever changing world

  2. Patrick McGaughey

    Steve, great post. I love the honesty which helps illustrate the point, making it so much more poignant. Thanks for sharing.

  3. I never established those good habits when I was younger, instead just letting life move me as it would. But until that last breath leaves our bodies we still have time to change.

  4. Not upsetting at all! Actually, it is consoling since I am feeling a bit of self-pity as a result of the food plan I started on Saturday. It is helpful to have a little “group” working on this particular challenge. Now off to walk. Thankfully, I now have a neighborhood walking partner that keeps me motivated. Yes, the writing victory does give me the inspiration to work on more parts of the journey.

  5. nydia

    Love how you phrased this, “Keep going until you’re gone.” Great reminder to persevere!

  6. This is a great post. Thank you. I recently read another article which said that in fitness there is no finish line. And, as you’ve shown here, that can be extended to everything.

  7. You speak the truth, discovered through your own experience. Excellent!

  8. miriamlinderman

    Absolutely right. And nothing wrong with being clear that it takes sustained effort with anything we do. I’m so delighted that you have been shipping so regularly. I am envious of the joy you must have as you keep yourself connected to yourself. I am considering doing a more than once a week blog. Because of you and our Un-Officials.