Lara talked to the group on Sunday March 29th about intentions for this event, how to stick to it and how to approach “slipping up”. Here, I paraphrase her talk. My apologies, Lara, if I leave out anything critical.
First question to consider:
WHY do you want to create a habit of regular exercise?
Possible answers might be….reduce stress, sleep better, be more energized, clear your head etc etc. This is unique to each person in the group.
If you were to have ( the reason why you want to exercise daily ie. stress reduction), what might it give you, or bring to your life? What would that give you that’s even deeper and more meaningful? (ex: a sense of peacefulness, more joy/contentment)
Before you take on any kind of new activity or lifestyle change, it’s always good to check in with yourself. You are about to make space in your life for something, so start opening up that space by devoting a little time (tonight perhaps) and focus on what are your intentions!
Try this: for 2 minutes, list ALL the positive benefits you can think of associated with exercising regularly, include things that mean something to you personally, not just the things you hear in magazines and on TV. For example: “It’s important to me to have more energy to keep up with my children. Being an active parent and role model is important.”
Now that we’ve delved into our best intentions for the event, what happens when we wake up, one morning or two, not so jazzed up about our previous commitment. Maybe it’s raining, maybe you’re feeling tired, maybe you’ve got guests over…it may be a time to call on “Mr. or Mrs. Willpower”, but wait. You called on them yesterday and the day before and they just haven’t been giving you what you need? There are a few ways we can react:
- Find comfort- stay in bed, procrastinate, say “oh well” etc etc OR
- Use any number of strategies which remind you of your intention so you stay ALIGNED with your initial goal. You can post your goals, where you can see them, arrange with a friend that you can call each other if you are “wavering” on your commitment. Make it EASY ( ie. no-brainer) to exercise by keeping your gear ready, in your car or at the door. Make plans you’d hate to break with someone to exercise. Re- read the commitments that your wrote about above! Etc. etc.
Here are a few subtle yet profound ways of creating a positive relationship with daily exercise that involve language….do you catch yourself saying things like- I “should” go out for a walk. I “have to” exercise 30 minutes while you get to sleep in a bit more…TIP: Replace the words “should” and “have to” with the word CHOOSE!
Another great way to “re-align” yourself with your intention when you see yourself slipping or wanting to slip is to recall some time in your life where you “persisted and persevered”. Wasn’t the outcome great? Doesn’t it make you feel good to recall that event. Or visualize yourself looking back (on May 1st, 2009) and feeling what a great sense of accomplishment you have from completing the 30 days!
What happens if you do fall off the wagon? Dust yourself off and get back on, as soon as possible. There are no punishments for missing a day (or 3 or 5 or 15). Notice what happened by turning inward briefly. I do this practice of a nightly review. I focus on what went well in my day first. Then, in areas that I feel a little shaky or I’m dropping the ball, I question what’s underlying that and how I want to approach it the next day. It only takes about 3 minutes.
Be realistic. I’m a classic over-committer, I admit! I hate missing out on certain opportunities but sometimes (actually on a weekly basis), I over-schedule myself. What can I say, I WANT a lot of things in life. But I also flirt with burning myself out, as a result. Not so good! So, I encourage you, amidst all this encouragement and hoopla about exercising regularly and how great it is, to please BE REASONABLE. I don’t want anyone getting hurt or leaving the event frustrated and disappointed. Please email me if you even start to move in that direction so we can fix it fast!
Last but not least, support yourself. Be proud of yourself for signing up and showing up! Yah! Tell people what you’re doing (so that they can acknowledge you and encourage you). Please remember to have fun doing this. Positive past experiences = more daily habit integration!
There’s a sheet below that Lara handed out at the event- it’s a fillable form you can type right on to, then “Save-As” and email it to Lara HERE or just print it out, write on it and post it to your bedroom wall!
You will need a program that opens pdf files like Adobe Acrobat Reader. Get it here.
Have FUN everyone!
Sincerely yours in wellness,