Earn is a funny word. In the past few days I’ve evaluated the way I use the word “earn” in my everyday life and the way it affects my mentality on various topics. It’s so easy to be proud of earning something that feels like it just fell into your lap, but it’s also too easy to make excuses for shortcomings. I very rarely say that I earned something I don’t want. I think my biggest issue recently has been expecting more than I have actually earned. There are definitely times when reality is not fair and we don’t get anything near what we earned, or when we are gifted some kind of hardship or penalty that we did not earn. That’s life, and I don’t believe in beating myself up over every little thing that doesn’t go exactly how I worked for it to go. But on the other hand, I think it’s worthwhile to challenge myself for just one month to really analyze what I earn and how I respond to earning things I don’t want.

Over the past few days I’ve mostly focused on how I apply “earn” to working out and getting back in shape. Things would seemingly go great for a few days and I’d celebrate my success, and then when it would turn around and I’d have a bad day or two I’d curse the universe, because, well, it obviously wasn’t my fault. Right? That’s when I really started to focus on “earn.” When I really got down into the nitty gritty of it, I was earning a few small successes, but I was also very assuredly earning my failures as well. I was falling into the trap of over-congraduatlating myself for small victories, and ignoring or dismissing my shortcomings.

“I’ve had 8 glasses of water today! I’m a rock star!”

“I ran one mile today! I’m making big changes!”

“I’ve eaten mass amounts chocolate everyday, sat on my behind in front of the TV for multiple hours on end, and eaten heavy and calorie dense dinners without tracking my food…. how could I gain a pound?!?! That’s just not right?!?! I didn’t earn that!”

There are going to be days where I have a horrible, craptastic run, just because. Or when I gain 3 pounds out of nowhere, just because. I realize this and I don’t believe in holding myself accountable for every little thing. Unfortunately, I’m starting to realize that my line between earning a crappy workout or a weight gain, and it just being a bad day or a random fluctuation has blurred to the point of almost disappearing. I’ve fallen into a habit of not holding myself accountable enough to actually make a change.

I guess that’s really my goal for the month with “earn.” I want to increase my awareness of what I actually work to achieve, and what just happens because of life.