Have you ever had something you committed to do, but over time it fell off your radar? Did you plan to start exercising, eat healthier, write a book, spend 30 minutes a night reading with your kids, write in your journal, meditate or one of the many, many things we try to add into our days.
We know they are good for us or will fulfill us, but somehow we fall off the wagon and weeks, months or even years may go by and we don’t get back into our desired habits. If we commit to something and then we don’t do it, the main person we hurt is ourselves. And how are we hurting ourselves? Because when we don’t do what we set out to do, we feel guilty or like a failure. We avoid thinking about it, but there is always that little nagging feeling in the back of our mind that there’s something we are “supposed” to be doing.
I would recommend being gentle with yourself. Re-examine the habit or activity and see if it is really something you still want to do at this time. When I went back to school, I made a decision that workouts were going to be a lower priority. School, family and sleep would trump any time working out because there were just not enough hours in the day, especially when you add in my full time job. Yes, exercise is great and necessary, but I made it a lower priority. Then when classes were done, I put it back on the priority list.
Now there is a difference between quitting and re-prioritizing or deciding not to do something. You quit because you think you can’t so something. Deciding not to do something has nothing to do with whether you can or cannot, but rather a choice to do it or not. When you make a choice, you can later make a different choice. I chose to exercise less often (okay sometimes, not at all) because I was choosing sleep and school work.
You do however need to be careful not to allow fear to be the motivation behind your decision. You have to think about how you will look upon your choice 20 years from now. Will you regret not writing every day or will you be happy you spent that hour every day with your kids while they were young and waited a couple years to devote yourself to your writing. The choices are not always easy and sometimes if we are passionate enough about getting something done, we will get up earlier to fit in an hour of writing or exercise. Sometimes we will hold off. Just be sure that whatever you chose, that it makes you happy today and is unlikely to cause regret later.