Life is Too Short to Play Games with Your Health
The decisions are up to you ...
One of my favorite board games I played with my sisters when we were young was Chutes and Ladders.
The game was designed to teach us how making progress and dealing with unavoidable pitfalls often go hand-in-hand — in much the same way we’d inevitably encounter those types of experiences in our lives.
Simple enough, the game started with each player choosing a marker piece to travel the curved path on the board. Taking turns in rotation, we’d toss a pair of dice and move our marker the designated number of spaces to a new location.
Each player’s progress was measured by where the piece landed. Depending on the number rolled, you might land on a neutral space, waiting until your next turn to keep moving forward, or ascend up a ladder to a higher level on the board— leap-frogging toward the top. But there was a downside. Your piece could also land on a chute, which meant you’d slide back to the bottom, losing all the ground you’d gained. And that meant you’d have to start the upward climb all over again.
As youngsters, the anticipation of taking our next turn — and our adolescent self-assurance we’d continue moving in an upward direction — held our interest and attention, building naive confidence, at least until a winner reached the coveted square at the top of the board.
Leaving our fate to a dice toss was the only option available if we wanted to continue playing the game.
Much of our childhood was spent participating in this early form of education — learning the rules of life through entertainment, sports, and games. But those activities didn’t guarantee we always learned the right lesson — or even received a passing grade.
One of the toughest lessons we faced was realizing that winning doesn’t happen by sheer luck. It takes focus, commitment, and consistent action to come out ahead, or even get close to accomplishing our goals.
More important, we discovered our personal success was the direct result of choices we made every day — small steps to ensure our board piece would make it to the top.
Staying on track with a healthy diet and exercise plan can feel a lot like Chutes and Ladders — with one very significant difference. Staying committed to better health, fitness, and making good food decisions is the result of personal choice — not chance.
Every day you have options.
You can remain where you are, or choose to take a step forward, or backslide into self-destructive behavior. Yes, the temptations are fierce. But as adults, the power to reach our goals rests solely with us, rather than a roll of the dice.
The best part? As we come closer to reaching our objectives — and the rewards become visible in the form of a stronger body, weight loss, and increased focus — our commitments tend to become habits, creating a powerful strategy to bring about the changes we want to see in our life.
The decision is up to you.
Ditch the dice— along with the excuses — and take control of your future. Because life’s too short to play games with your health.
In health & happiness,
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Jill Reid is the author of Real Life, Discover Your Personal Truth, Life in Small Doses, and Please God, Make Me A Writer. Her books, videos, and newsletter explore life, relationships, health, and personal success strategies for working through the challenges of everyday life.
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