This morning as I was leaving the gym, a woman stopped me and asked me, “how do you make yourself come every morning”.
I admitted to her that my habit of going to the gym was well ingrained, and quite honestly might border on a bit of obsessiveness. That said, I told her that I have three strategies I use when thoughts like “I don’t wanna” or “I don’t feel like it” or “It won’t matter if I skip today” arise.
First, I remind myself of how good I will feel when I leave the gym. Regardless of how I feel going in, I always feel better – more energized, more focused and a bit accomplished. I added that it’s important to connect the goal of going to the gym with some larger purpose. For me, I want to be healthy and strong as I age. I’m a very active and independent person and it’s important to me that I’m able to fully engage in life. I also want to be able to participate in my granddaughter’s life and watch her learn and grow.
Secondly, I noted that it’s important that you be kind and gentle with yourself. If I am tired and I don’t feel like going, then I tell myself “just go and do something easy for 30 minutes”. Giving myself permission to do less helps me to sustain my habit. Like this blog, I renegotiated with myself to write three days a week rather than daily. In doing so, I feel much more confident that I will be able to keep my promise.
Thirdly, it’s important to share what you do and why you’re doing it with friends and colleagues. Having the support of others is so critical in achieving all our goals. When we engage others in our lives, we’re creating an instant accountability. We’re also making our goals an aspirations “real” by communicating them to others.. they’re no longer some good idea that I’ll do someday!
While these suggestions may seem simple and obvious, it’s always amazing how sometimes the best solutions are just that – simple!