People always ask me “How do you do it?” or “What’s the secret to staying so healthy?” And quite honestly, I don’t see myself too different from anyone else. I have challenges just like you.
As matter of fact, I fought hard with myself yesterday on whether or not I should go to yoga class. I mean “battlefield of the mind” HARD. Have you ever done that? It was kinda crazy (and creepy, in a “why are you fighting with yourself” kinda way).
One part of me (the cheerleader) kept saying “You’ve got this, girl.”
“You know when you get there, you’ll feel so much better for it because you always do.” She then went on saying “You do so much for everyone else. You surely deserve this one hour with, and for, yourself.”
Then the other part of me (the over-achiever) immediately jumped in by saying “You know you have work to get done.”
“You’ve been procrastinating on projects for WEEKS, and it’s time to get on it.” She then went on to say “And you know the plumber is coming by, as well as the internet guy. You can’t do it all, Christine. What if they show up while you’re in downward-facing dog?”
Ugh! These parts can get on my nerves sometimes!
It just kept going…and going… and going. At one point, I just sat down and was like “What the heck is going on here??
The truth of the matter is we all have different “parts” of us. You probably know this to be true because you’ve undoubtedly said “There’s a part of me that wants to ABC, but then there’s another part of me that wants to XYZ.
For me, there was a part of me that wanted to go to my yoga practice. I love my practice and how it makes me feel. I’m a yoga teacher, for crumbs sake! But then there was another part of me that knew I had a lot to get done: work projects and appointments.
But when I took a moment to pause, I was able to think things through more clearly on my own without the interruption of the “parts”. Before I tell you what I decided to do, let me get to the nitty-gritty of why change and commitment can be hard and scary at times.
There are 2 major things that trip us up when it comes to change & commitment:
- Fear of losing what we already have (comfort zone)
- Fear of not getting what we want (fear of failure)
Read those 2 again.
Fear is a form of resistance. Most of us resist change like the plague because it’s scary and it takes us out of our comfort zone. Even when we say we want a certain thing. Even when we know changing our way is for the better. Even when there’s a pot of gold on the other side of the mountain. It’s hard and it’s scary to get started and stay committed.
So what can you do when you step onto the “Battlefield of the Mind” when it comes to creating (and staying committed to) new habits?
Here’s what I highly suggest:
- Pause. When your mind starts the back and forth chatter, take a moment to pause and recognize what’s really going on. Recognize that your “parts” are both working hard in your favor. They both want what’s best for you, even if one of them is being a little irrational.
- Breathe. This may sound a little cray-cray, but here me out. Taking in a long, deep breath in the moment of conflict can be everything you need to make a rational decision in an irrational situation. So in the moment of pause, take in a long, deep breath. Hold that breath for 4 counts, and then exhale completely for 6 counts. Then know you’ve got this!
- Take ONE step forward. There’s an old Chinese proverb that says “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Take a moment to think of what you can do to take that one step forward towards your goal.
For me, staying committed to moving my body consistently every week has always been a challenge, and yesterday was proof of that. But in my moment of pause, I realized that I could easily have my 21 year old son take care of the plumber and the internet guy if they arrived before I got home. And my productivity towards work projects is always better after exercise; I just had to remind myself of that.
Easy breezy, lemon squeezy, right? Yeah…not all the time, but with consistent practice, new habits become a way of life.
The healthy lifestyle that I’ve created has been a work in progress over a lifetime. I still work at it every single day. Some things come easy (eating healthy) and are just a way of life for me. Some I have to work a little harder at maintaining (consistent exercise).
I bet you’re the same way, too.
So tell me, in the comments below:
- What areas of your health are you wanting to change for the better?
- Is it the fear of losing what you have (comfort) or the fear of not getting what you want (failure) that has you stuck in a rut?