Sometimes we need a break. Sometimes our lazy lizard-brain makes us only think we need a break. Then there are times that we need a break yet fight against it. The real skill is determining which is which.
Look, I’ll be completely honest, I can’t guarantee that after reading this post you’ll be able to determine which is which. I’m not even sure if I’d know the next time I’m confronted with it.
At the very least I get to vent to you, and perhaps after reading it you’ll be convinced that taking a break is okay.
Where It All Began…
Over the past 4 months I’ve watched the glue that holds my life together deteriorate--right before my eyes. In baseball they’d say, “that ball had eyes on it!”
My morning routine, my habits, everything that had propelled me for the last four years, came to an end.
For instance, the time I would wake up. For the past few years I had maintained a ritual-like awakening of 5 AM.
Upon waking up I would write or work on other projects for an hour. At 6 AM I would set up the day’s objectives and after that I’d reflect on what I was able (or unable) to get done the previous day.
At 7 AM I would exercise for 20 minutes, usually running a couple of miles. After that I’d drink some protein, take my vitamins, and eat breakfast while listening to an audiobook. To complete the routine, at 7:45 AM, I’d jump in the shower and get ready for the day.
You can tell a lot about people by their habits and routines (good or bad). I think it’s accurate to say that your habits are a litmus test for where you are in life, or at the very least where you're headed. Routines vary from person to person; this one was mine. For me it was the law of the land. No matter what, I’d do everything I could to abide by it.
I can’t quite put my finger on a single reason why, but one day I started drifting. My snooze button replaced 5 AM. I tried to regroup at 5:30. As the days passed by, it made its way to 6. Then 7. Even 8!
Now, if you look at the time slots for my morning activities, you’ll notice that they were completely wiped out. Everything. Writing, goal tracking, exercise, breakfast, they evaporated. What grew over the course of 4 years was washed away in a few short months.
The Change Wasn’t Hidden From View
Small steps is a great philosophy for reaching goals, unfortunately, it works in destroying them, too.
My habits didn’t breakdown overnight, and what changed them was much like a virus. Started small but ultimately infected every available crack. Small deviations. Instead of waking up at 5 AM, why not sleep in 15 minutes? I’ll write 30 minutes today instead of an hour. Exercise for 10 minutes instead of 20. No big deal, right? Compromise galore.
I saw it happening. Each time I compromised, I noticed. A dose of guilt would creep into my mind, but at the same time I’d reassure myself that I’d regroup soon. Looking into the mirror, I’d follow up with a simple question: when?
And why was I continuing down this path even though I knew it was, well, stupid?
Life is a funny thing.
Why oh Why?
I’m sure I could find events to blame for why my foundation was ripped to shreds (by me), not a lot of good it would do, though. Still, there had to be a reason for it.
Imagine saving money for several years and then spending it all without having jack shit to show for it. That’s a good way to explain how I’ve been feeling the past few months.
Finally, though, I just said screw it. Guilt can kiss my ass. In the end I chalked it up to me needing to take a break, a good old fashioned respite. And so I took one. Nothing more, nothing less as far as I'm concerned.
2017 is a new year. February is a new month. I feel swell and my new routine has already begun. Bring it on life.
I want you to know that it’s okay to take a break to refresh your body and mind. I think deep down our subconscious mind knows what’s best for us, even if we argue against it.
Just wish it would communicate that to us a little better, that’s all.
Share this post because the world could use a break, don't you think?
About this guy...
Howdy! My name is Matt Kramer and I used to suffer excruciating death when speaking in front of a group, now I LOVE it. Overcoming this fear has changed my life and it can change yours, too. My focus is to help you overcome the fear of public speaking so you can build the confidence to go after what you want in life.