Sunday, September 29, 2013

Make Sure You Take Care of Your Vehicle

If you own a car, you know that in order for it to continue to run properly, you have to keep up with maintenance and service. In other words, if you expect the car to get you from Point A to Point B in reliable fashion, you must keep up with the oil changes, tire rotations and even car washes. The obvious comparison to my journey isn’t much different: since the vehicle for my road trip is my body, I have to make sure that it is in working order so that I make it to my destination. 
I look at starting the WW plan as the beginning, sort of like test driving a car before deciding to purchase it. But then, as I got more involved with the program, I realized that I had to step up my game to stay on course, much like taking a car in for an oil change. Then I started doing other things that helped take my journey to the next level. Things like weight training, kick boxing, even occasionally doing some interval jogging on the treadmill. All part of the maintenance of my vehicle. 

But it wasn’t just the big decisions that have had an impact my success. The small, seemingly innocuous decisions have also added up to positive results. Deciding to write this blog, buying an ActiveLink (or any other type of activity monitor) and of course, the purchase of the treadmill are all little choices that I made to improve the road trip; however, had I chosen to not make any of those decisions, my journey would have still been successful, but probably just a tad boring. I look at these ancillary choices like getting my car washed — I can still get where I want to go in a dirty car, but it makes the trip more fun to be driving down the road in a clean one. 

The important take-away here is to remember that you will be driving for a while and it makes sense to ensure that the car you are driving is fun, safe, reliable and will get you where you want to go. I mean, that’s why we are all on this journey, right? To make sure that the ride along the way is enjoyable? So, keep up with the little things and hopefully you start to notice that the journey does get easier as you get further down the road. Or, perhaps it’s not that it’s getting easier, maybe you are just getting stronger and are better equipped with your ability to handle the twists and turns of the open road.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Don't Text and Drive

We've all heard the PSAs and the news stories about the devastating statistics surrounding texting and driving. The reason why you shouldn't text while driving is simple: it’s distracting. If you are fumbling with your phone (texting or dialing or Tweeting or Facebooking) you are not paying attention to what you are doing. If you’re not careful, disaster could strike because of not focusing on the task at hand. I have found out that there are plenty of distractions that pop up on my personal road trip, as well.
Everyday, I am faced with distractions that jump out in front of me like a ball that was errantly thrown into the street. I know that I must keep my eyes on the road so that I can be prepared to maneuver around these obstacles that come out of nowhere. I like to control my environment so as to keep such distractions to a minimum, but life will— more often than not— get in the way, so I have to be ready. Now, that’s not to say that I walk around like a ninja ready to pounce on unsuspecting prey, but I do stay focused by asking myself this one question: “Is it worth it?” Most of the time, I know that the answer is no; however, there are times where the answer has been a resounding “yes!!” (Hmmm, could that be considered “texting at a red light”? Probably) But, as I have said so many times here, this journey that we are on, is supposed to be enjoyable. I understand that living life like a mouse trap always waiting to spring, but never knowing if or when you will break, doesn't sound like a lot of fun. It's certainly not the way I would want to live, so I have learned to manage my distractions.
Now, I know me, and if I were to go to a broccoli factory and they said “you can eat until your satisfied”, I’m pretty sure I'd just turn around and walk away. Now, an all-you-can-eat chocolate/coconut/macaroon facility? Now we’re talking! But here’s the thing, if I stay focused on my destination, I don't let anything distract me from reaching that destination and I walk in there with all the self-control I can muster, I know that I will be able to keep my vehicle under control and allow myself the opportunity to splurge. The bonus is that since nothing is off limits with the WW plan, it's not really cheating!

Wait, what was my point? Once I started thinking about a macaroon factory, I got distracted from what I was trying to say. Ironically, I believe I just made my point. Don't let silly little things derail what you have worked so hard to accomplish. You are on this journey for a reason and have an important goal that you are trying to reach, so don't take your eyes off the road, not even for a second, because it could be disastrous for your road trip.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Picking Up Hitchhikers

I realize that, in the real world, it is never a good idea to pick up strangers along the side of the road and drive them to their destination. I mean really, we all know how that movie ends! However, sometimes in your own private road trip, it may be necessary to stop and let others in your car. As I’ve mentioned before (in Road Trip Buddies), it is important that you share your journey; however, it may often prove necessary for you to stop your car and offer to help someone get back on the road. Many times this “someone” will be part of your own inner-circle, so while it’s not technically picking up a hitchhiker, it does qualify as helping someone who is stranded get from point A to point B. 

While others may be excited for you during your successful journey, it still may be hard for them to willingly acknowledge that they are really ready for their own road trip.  So, it is extremely important that you understand whether your buddies want to come along for the ride or are still trying to map out their route. After all, if they aren’t willing passengers, it could make both your journeys a little less enjoyable, because you may end up fighting over silly things like the radio station, the temperature or even what games to play along the way! Also, you will want to be cognizant of the fact that sooner or later, your passengers may want to get out of your car and get into their own. Let them, that is the only way they will be able to celebrate when they get to their own destination.  

The most important thing to keep in mind is that this journey is supposed to be fun! Whether you are by yourself, with a few close friends or a group of people you picked up along the way, have fun with it. Life is too short to sit on the sidelines and watch others accomplish their goals, wishing you could do the same. Treat life like a pool— jump in, splash around and play until you get wrinkled, then play some more.