How to Care Again

For those times that we know we should, but have a hard time.



4/25/20222 min read

I feel like it should be the message in the foil wrapper of a Dove chocolate. "Care again."

It sounds so simple. The idea of caring again would stem from the fact that you once cared about something and why did you stop? Why did this important thing get left on the back burner? What else became so important that this idea was neglected?

I'm sure any of you that are reading this have an idea of a thing or two in your minds that got put by the wayside. I think everyone has them. I have an example. In August, I struggle with keeping my garden weeded. I sometimes lose late harvests because of it. But in May, or April, like yesterday, I was itching to get in there and get started. What happened between that caused such a change in heart? Summer started and other things, like camping, got in the way of the routine maintenance.

And that's probably a parallel story for you. There was this thing that you knew was important. Maybe it was a healthy habit, like working out, or meal prepping, something that required some effort. You were really exited about it, bought some tools to help you, maybe for a week or two, you did awesome at putting in effort and implementation into your new healthy habit.

And then time took its toll. Something either happened, or there was a routine switch, or something else was distracting the situation. Happens all the time, right?

So when you are thinking, "I need to get back to doing __________," here are some follow-up ways on proceeding with a bit more success and longevity:

1. Remind yourself on the reasons for why. Why is this important? What will it do for you?

2. Visualize the outcome should you see it through. If it's a health goal, visualize yourself in that dress that you haven't been able to wear in 8 years. Visualize how proud your family will be of you. If it's a skill, visualize how much easier it will be to use that skill in the future. They say that if you don't know what exactly you're working toward, that the path to get there will be unclear and much more challenging.

3. Think about or research what might happen if you don't. Using health and wellness as an example, it absolutely is that the risk of developing a chronic disease increases. But what does that mean? What are all the chronic diseases? How much do they cost to treat? Can you die? How would this impact my life, my job, my family, finances, etc?

4. Trust the process. Everything takes time. Us humans aren't always the most patient. But if we begin to enjoy the little victories, the little changes that happen as a result of what you're working toward, it gives you more to enjoy so that you don't want to stop. For example, if you're learning to cook something difficult, and you learn this cool skill in the meantime, how awesome is it to use that skill in other things? It happened to me with browned butter. I use it in everything now.

Or if you're training for a 5k and suddenly you start sleeping better at night, your general endurance during the day improves and suddenly you're drinking the amount of water you're supposed to. All of those things are great benefits directly related to the thing you're working on. It totally makes you want to keep going. And then from there, when you're tempted to not do those things, you have evidence as to why you should "... because I'll get awesome sleep tonight!"

There really is no "can't." Only how. Never forget this.