One Moment At A Time
I went back to the gym today. Ugh! Why is muscle tone so hard to achieve and so easy to lose? Why do the 10 lb weights feel like 15 lbs after just a few weeks? As I pondered these thoughts while sweating to some rap song that I couldn’t understand (some of the words were actually missing, thankfully), I searched my mind for the “why.” This is something I do often. WHY had I allowed myself to get in this position, where starting over becomes very hard? Why had I allowed days of being sick to turn into weeks of absence?
As I pondered these things, I thought about the elephant that my mind had created about getting back to the gym, and what I could do differently in the future. What my brain landed on was OMAAT (pronounced OH-Mat, or One Moment at a Time). That can be the moment when the alarm clock goes off, and we either get up or hit “snooze.” It can be the moment when we set a goal of 20 reps, but we really want to quit at 12.
Speaking for myself, if I don’t count, I never push myself. Why? Because I’m not “in the moment.” My body is lifting the weight, or doing the squat, but my mind can be a thousand miles away. And that is why OMAAT matters. There are so many times during the day that, if I could channel my mindfulness, I’d be more successful no matter what I want to achieve.
One Meal at a Time.
One Project at a Time.
One Writing prompt at a Time.
One Bible study at a Time.
I see this memory cue like mountains to climb, or progress to pursue. The “O” is at the bottom of the mountain, because getting started is always the hardest step.
The “O” represents the endless cycle in which we can stay stuck, going ‘round and ‘round but making no progress until we focus intention on the task. That focus is mindfulness. We can chase our thoughts all day long, but without mindfulness we never move from thought to action.
Let’s use the example of writing. Personally, I enjoy writing, and I want to approach writing with intention. I want to make it a priority. My oldest daughter gave me a precious gift for Christmas, a simple countdown timer that reminds me to sit down in a chair and write for a few moments every day. What I write doesn’t have to be perfect, or even make sense. But releasing my creative energy for one moment enables that one minute to turn into many on the path to forming this positive habit. I can think about writing all day long, but it’s not until I take that step to DO it that helps me reach my goal.
Think of it this way. We are often like busy little hamsters, running ‘round and ‘round on our wheels, but do we get anywhere? No! We’re just going in circles. Getting off the hamster wheel in our minds and getting into motion starts with the “O.” Make one commitment to one task or one goal. By all means, dream. But then, define your “O” moment.
I often tell my clients, “name it to claim it to tame it.” If the thought, idea, or goal is just a nebulous idea floating in our minds, it will never fit into the concrete structure of action that OMAAT Mindfulness requires. So go ahead. Name it!
I, (state your name) , want to make progress toward (state your goal) by committing to (be very specific) . It’s just a baby step. It’s not the whole mountain, but it’s one step toward conquering the mountain. I’ll share a personal example. I recently gave up drinking sweet tea. Sometimes I have half sweet, half unsweet, but mostly, I go for the unsweet tea and use the stevia I keep in my purse. It’s just a baby step. But it is an “O” moment that I’ve been able to sustain.
What’s your “O” moment? There may be several but remember, winning one is better than beginning several and losing traction in climbing the mountain. Thanks for reading this first segment and please join me for our next OMAAT post next Friday.