I love the idea of a lot of things. I love the idea of camping. I can handle 3 nights in the Sierras. After that it becomes work and no fun. I love the idea of a neat and tidy closet but when I attempt to straighten out my closet, I stop because it’s too much work. I love the idea of a cute garden but never actually achieve it because it’s too much work. Suffice it to say that I love the idea of a lot of things. I just don’t like what these things require to attain.
When working with people who want to add physical activity into their lives, I find that many people love the idea of getting more active. They want to be able to decrease their medications, for example, and their doctor has told them that exercise is a way to do just that. The idea sound great. What it takes to make their desire a reality, however, is another story. It becomes work often in an uncomfortable way. I have come up with a list of 3 ideas to think about before making a lifestyle change. I call these the secret of the universe because once understood, the path to positive change opens up.
- Do you believe in possibility? Do you actually believe that it is possible for you to be more active? For example, if you would like to start walking 30 minutes before work in the morning, do you believe it is possible for you to set the alarm early, have your walking shoes by your bed and get up and do it? One way to start believing in possibility is to begin noticing your self-talks. What do you tell yourself about living an active life? What do you think when you see someone jogging? Or when you see a picture of someone in a bathing suit? Or when your best friend tells you she has lost 15 pounds? What we tell ourselves can be a key in our ability to grow into new areas of being.
- How curious are you? I have found that those who are curious about why they feel a certain way have learned the ability to take a step back and have a more objective approach toward making changes. Fashion photographer Mario Testino says, “my favourite words are possibilities, opportunities and curiosity. I think if you are curious, you create opportunities and then if you open doors, you create possibilities.” Being curious helps create new pathways to grow into. If you have a habit of thinking negatively about exercise, try to notice those thoughts. Then, take a step back and have some curiosity about why the negative thought came about. This is what I call doing the inner foundational work to build your platform for active living. Learn to be curious about your opinions regarding exercise.
- Are you comfortable feeling uncomfortable? Changing how we do things can create a sense of discomfort. It’s a pain to feel uneasy. I have heard it said that the blessing is outside your comfort zone. It is okay to feel uncomfortable. Take a deep breath, think one positive thought and keep going.
I guess I’ve learned to be okay with a messy closet. As long as I can find my walking shoes.