It's a win that you have made it through all these pieces so far. You have been gaining tools; amazing! You have been meeting and exceeding the challenge given to you, baller! If you are here for the first time or the 8th time, you have likely been asking 'why' a lot; you have been shifting your mindset to new places; fantastic! You are well onto the path of personal growth, change, development, and working towards that best version of yourself that you and those you love and care for most deserve. Now, read that back, read all the previous seven pieces of the WBDD, realize everything you have done and are doing, and applaud and praise you for a second. You have been around since we started filling the tool bag, and you can celebrate now and keep celebrating every win.
Every time you have a win, you celebrate. I know what you're thinking; what if I don't know what a win looks like? That might be different for you and me, but let me help give you an idea. Let's return to our recently set goals and continue to reach and achieve them. When we complete or achieve that goal, that's a win we are talking about. Well, yes and no. The wins come along the path to your goals; let's say your goal is to be kinder and more patient with your family because you grew up in the opposite environment, which is crucial for you as a person not to be. Great, your wins here are every time you: spoke calmer, didn't yell, didn't react negatively, were patient, didn't rush to anger, communicated your feelings in those moments, identified your feelings at the moment, talked about what happened after, apologized, forgave, committed to being better, let it go, and moved forward. That were 13 things that you could be celebrating as wins; despite them feeling or looking more minor than you'd like, they should be celebrated positively.
Naturally, along this path to better ourselves as partners, fathers, parents, friends, and family members, we will have some stumbling blocks. Sometimes, we feel so significant that we can't get over them. They will blow up in our minds to the point we lose so much progress and feel like we have to start from ground zero. You don't; I heard this thing once when I was at an ala-teen meeting when I was 17 or so because I was at this meeting because my friend Kasey and I both have parents who are addicts or recovering, and this affected us in some way. I remember hearing this here, something to the effect of that if you slipped for a day, you don't lose all your progress, subtract a day from your total, pick up your pieces, and keep going forward.
Let's put this into an everyday context that makes more sense. Let's say we are working on our health and fitness. We have established a solid routine of supplements, eating, fasting, and workouts. Let's say we missed a day going to the gym, taking our supplements, and eating a little worse than usual (I don't believe this 100%, again, do what works best for you). Did you lose the entirety of the last 30 days? Did the last 15 pounds you lost come back, did the physical gains all vanish? Unless it did happen to you, I would say no. You had one bad day, a one-off day; you allowed yourself to be human. You again realize you aren't perfect. Your progress is recovered; you didn't fail the mission and didn't have to return and start at square one. You returned to the last checkpoint you were at just a couple of days ago. Now at this point, get back into gear.
Sidebar: the only time you should return to square one is if what you're doing is giving you 0 results. If you remember, earlier in the WBDD, we talked about asking why. We should be evaluating why the last course of action didn't work, and as we start on the new course, we ask why over and over again until we feel we are moving in the direction we truly want to be. Remember to be reasonable and realistic with your expectations, and give yourself a chance to see results in your actions. I need 45-60 days to feel or see the results begin. Stay patient with yourself; you got this.
Okay, back on track now. You are human; you are not perfect. You are going to fail; that is part of the growth process. When you fail, and you know you failed, that makes the end accomplishment that much sweeter. You learn to overcome the mental struggles of failure. The physical failures, if they end up being one-off occasionally, won't have much harm to your physical progress. However, when we fail, we can frequently find it doing more damage emotionally and mentally. It can be hard enough going back to the gym example, when you miss a day and the next morning, the alarm comes along, you have that annoying little voice in your head saying, "Snooze, rest, go later, take another day off your body is tired, you'll be fine" don't you just want to squash that voice? Your mind is messing with you; you must let go of yesterday, get back on the horse, and continue toward your goal. You have to overcome your mind and the mental failure; well, I failed yesterday; what makes today any different?
What makes today different? I always tell my daughters this; we didn't have an entirely lousy day; we had a bad moment. We did something wrong or made one poor choice, but we also had a bunch of good things we did and a bunch of good choices. Why did I bring that up? Because today is a new day, you have many new choices, opportunities, and another chance to do it all right. You got through yesterday, and you let your missing mark on your goal dictate the whole day; you lost a whole day, -1, that's it; now you're at 29, and today we get back to 30. We GET TO! Clean slate daily, you get to get back on the wagon, back in the gym, back to doing the hobby you love, back to working and improving your mental health, back to you becoming the person you indeed will be happy seeing in the mirror every day.
Be patient, be kind, be gentle, and be forgiving toward yourself. Remember, you aren't perfect, you're human, and you're going to fail, probably more than you wanted to go into initially. That is okay; you are still doing a great job. You have made progress; stop and reflect, seriously do it again, and give yourself some credit. You're winning; you are. You might feel it less than 100% of the time, but when you're working out, going through your feelings, being more patient, kinder, and helpful, and have improved communication, those are all wins.
The story's moral is to take the time to see your wins, celebrate them, and when you fail or fall short, forgive yourself and be patient. Remember, Rome wasn't built in a day, and you will become the best version of yourself after a while. Trust me, I'm still working towards that version of me, I'm getting closer, but it's a lifelong path I'm on, and so are you. Continue to work towards your goals, create new ones, and never stop improving and becoming your best.
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