Starting Over From Scratch

Starting over from scratch can be a daunting experience.

Really, if you think about it, you are starting from rock bottom, from nothing, from zero.  Doesn’t sound too great to me.

But sometimes, it’s a necessary evil.

You see, we’re human, right?

It’s hard for a lot of us to stay on the right path when it comes to our health, or anything for that matter.

That’s what bugs me so much about New Year’s Resolutions.  We all start off with the best of intentions and when we fall off the wagon, a lot of people just give up and say, better luck next year.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.  You can- if you want to- just pick yourself up, dust yourself off and then try again.

“If at first you don’t succeed, dust yourself right off and try again, try again…”

Sound familiar?

So what stands in your way?

What makes you slip up when it comes to starting over, to trying again and actually succeeding?

I have a few guesses.

First, in order to be successful at pretty much anything, you’ll need a framework of habits and patterns.

You’ll absolutely need more than wishful thinking, crossing your fingers or even buying a lotto ticket.

I may be an optimist, but I’m also a realist.

Why do you need a framework of habits and patterns?

Habits and patterns are how we get things done.   They are like the bones, tendons, ligaments and muscles of the body that are crucial for movement of any kind.

Without habits and patterns not much gets done.

Unfortunately, it’s often because of habits and patterns that not much gets done.


Because it’s the kinds of patterns in our lives that determine exactly what gets done and what doesn’t even have a chance in hell of ever getting done.

An example- you are looking to lose a few pounds.  You don’t exactly look like Shamu but on a bad day, you feel like the people at SeaWorld might just come knocking for a body double.

Positive habits and patterns would be something like:

  • Creating & sticking to an appropriate & enjoyable workout routine
  • Making sure that your fridge, pantry & cabinets are stocked with healthy, delicious foods
  • Effective stress management tools
  • Consistent sleep schedules

I think you get the picture.

Negative habits and patterns would be something like:

  • Alternating between binge eating and then punishing yourself through starvation or deprivation
  • Sneaking “bad” foods or having a hidden stash or stashes of your “bad” foods in your home, office and car
  • Allowing stress to build up either until you blow up and overreact or until an ulcer gets the best of you
  • Burning the candle at both ends ALL the time because there’s just to much to do and you can sleep on the weekends

Following me so far?

Patterns and habits are so critical for our success but they are also what can slow us up on our way.  It all depends on the type of patterns and habits that we have.

How do I change the habits and patterns that I have now?  Is there an easy way?

Depending on your personality, your stress levels and how you just plain “are”, changing habits and patterns can be all over the board in terms of how fast and how easy it can be.

If you are frustrated with how your life is going and you are really and truly ready for a change, then you can make change happen in an instant.  All it takes is one simple thing.

Make the freaking decision.

If you choose to be healthy, then just do it.  Make the decision and then stick to it.

If you go off it, then make the decision again.

And make it again and again, as many times as you need to until the darn decision sticks.

The thing that slows people up is that they don’t realize that they have an infinite amount of do-overs, an infinite number of chances to makes things right, to make things happen and to be successful at attaining their goal.

There is no proverbial time limit or finish line.

Okay, maybe there is a time limit, but I’d rather you focus on the living side of things and not the not-living side.

But that’s it.  You make the decision over and over again until either it happens and you keep the positive habits and patterns or you die trying.

And even if that happens, you’re still not a failure.

This is part of my own personal framework.  As long as you’ve tried, honestly and legitimately, you can never fail.  You can never give up because something in you has already succeeded in achieving your goals.

Once you’ve made the decision, then you are in the driver’s seat and determine how fast it’ll happen and how easy the road is going to be.

You determine your level of success, your speed of success and your ease of success.

And like I said before, all it takes is a decision along with the knowledge that you have an infinite number of do-overs.

What are the other pieces to achieving success, aside from creating a framework of habits and patterns?

There is one hugely critical component of successful people.

They have at their fingertips an amazing support network.

This is a hard fact for a lot of  people, but success does not come purely by your own actions.  You cannot do this alone.

Trust me, I’ve tried.

If you go it alone, chances are you will find the road long, difficult and full of obstacles.

The minute you find support from others, the faster you will find success in your journey.

It doesn’t matter who they are or what they do.  You don’t even need to ever meet them face to face, having a network of people who support you, love you and believe in you makes your life and your journey that much better.

How do I create a support network?  I’m not good at asking for help.

As critical as having support is, many people find it an embarassment when they have to ask others for help or for encouragement.

Sometimes it’s a notion that they should just know and that they should just give me support and that I shouldn’t have to ask them.

Are you ready for this?

Suck it up.  Forget your pride, forget your ego and just ask for help.  Ask for support.  Ask for exactly what you need.

Unless your friends and family are professional mind readers, they cannot read your mind.  They cannot know exactly what it is that they can do for you UNLESS you tell them.

So suck it up and just ask for help and ask for support.

The worst thing that can happen is that they say no.  If they say no, then they don’t need to be around you and supporting you anyway.

Meaning, they are probably not a good fit for the “successful” you in your “successful” life.

Forget them.  Move on.

Can it really be that easy?  I’ve done it before and it’s never worked.

Once you make the decision, that’s when you choose how easy it’s going to be.  Once you’ve committed yourself to whatever it is that you want to be or accomplish, that is when you decide how your journey is going to go.

It can be incredibly easy.  So easy that you kick yourself for putting it off.  So easy that you wonder why you waited.

And if that’s you, then I have something very important for you to know- everything happens in its own time and perfectly in its own time.

Change can be very easy when we are ready and open for it.  Sometimes we believe that we are open and ready but we’re not.  That is when we fall off the wagon.

But if we can just keep the thought that tomorrow or tonight or in an hour from now we can try again, then you’ll be well on your way to actually achieving your goals.

And it really will be that simple.

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