I have walked with my dogs a lot. I walk them or take them to the dog park almost every single day. Using rough numbers, we’ve had Mack and Poco for about 7 years. I guarantee we don’t miss more than 5 days a year. Some of those days are just the park since we got Ruby but some days we get two walks, so let’s say over the last 7 years to be conservative we have walked an average of 350 days a year. Most of our walks take around 30 minutes but again, some days there are two and some days the walk is longer. So let’s say on average if we’re walking about 3 mph, we cover 1.5 miles a day.
So (1.5 miles/day x 350 days) x 7 years = 3675 miles!
According to the internet, the largest distance across the main 48 states is about 2900 miles. That’s crazy! I have more than walked across the entire country in just about 30 minutes per day. You might be saying, “Yeah but it took you 7 years!” Yeah. That’s the point! When we first offered to take the dogs off Leasa’s parents’ hands full time, I definitely wasn’t thinking about how much total ground I would cover 7 years from then. All I did was decide that I loved them and I wanted them to live long, healthy lives. So (almost) every single day I just knew that it was part of my routine to take them for at least one walk. They’re both over 10 years old now and every single day, if it’s light out and I’m home they follow me around everywhere until that magical time when I grab the leashes. They even respond to the phrase “get dressed” because they know it means leashes. Even slight movements made towards the door elicit much excitement!
The point of this post is to help you frame progress in your mind. It is ok to occasionally look ahead and wonder what might be and who you might turn into, but the real key to that progress lies in the small, seemingly insignificant, 30 minutes of walking at a time, type of decisions.
Everyone loves to set the big lofty goals. Lose 50 pounds. Run a marathon. Get a muscle-up. We love setting those goals because there are chemical processes in the brain that actually make setting the goal and talking about it feel very similar to doing it. Setting small daily goals doesn’t feel quite as good. But that’s where the progress really happens.
One lesson I took from a StrongFit podcast that has stuck with me is that you are not good enough to accomplish the goals you are setting. He might have phrased it differently and it sounds mean, but hear me out. When I signed up for a half Iron-man, I couldn’t finish a half Iron-man. I was not good enough to accomplish this goal of mine. But through my small, daily decisions I BECAME someone who can finish.
If you have a big goal that seems far away and maybe impossible, don’t worry. The person you are right now is incapable of that feat. And that is ok. If you were already capable then it wouldn’t be much of a goal. But through seemingly insignificant decisions that you make every day, eventually you will become the person who IS capable. Decide what needs to be done every day to get you closer and do it as often as possible. Then some time from now you’ll be able to look back at how far you’ve come.
The family 😀