The other day I caught myself thinking about my diet and my exercise regimen. I was thinking, “Well, the holidays are coming, so I might as well wait until after the New Year to buckle down and get healthy!” This was on December 4, mind you! I was glad to see that the thought didn’t ring entirely true, even to me! Then I started wondering why it would even occur to me.
It has to do, in part, with a somewhat defeatist attitude, and a track record that is suspect, at best. In addition, I think it has to do with a way that I can tend to think about time and the tasks that I need to get done. Say my exercise goal is to spend at least half an hour working up a sweat. What with getting ready, and then winding down, it can be an hour before I’m entirely finished. So, if I survey my time and see that I don’t have a big enough chunk of time I don’t even try to exercise. It’s off the list!
Similarly, if I’ve got the holidays on the horizon, and I know I’m going to eat junk at various points during the period, my tendency is to just write off the whole span of time. Healthy eating? It’s off the list! (Interestingly, this way of approaching things also gives me carte blanche to do whatever I want – once I’ve written something off.)
So, what will be helpful for me as I approach tasks or goals is to focus more on the moment — each and every moment.
- If I have 15 minutes free, and am able to squeeze in a mile on the treadmill in that time, that’s WAY better than nothing. Hey, I’m breaking a sweat!
- If I eat a salad for lunch, but then have fruit cake at a party that afternoon (ugh!), the fruitcake doesn’t entirely negate the salad … I still ate the salad, too!
I’m not going to exercise or eat well all the time, necessarily — but if I don’t at LEAST put myself in a position to try, I’m not even giving myself a chance. And if I set my expectations too high, I’m sabotaging myself before I even get TO (let alone out of) the starting gate.
- If I put myself on the treadmill, I’m more likely to run for whatever length of time I can, then if I never set foot on the thing!
- If I go to the kitchen and pull the lettuce out of the refrigerator, I’m more likely to make myself that salad than if I don’t even visit the kitchen!
We all know the famous Nike slogan “Just Do It”!
Well, I’m adding my own slogan — the necessary prerequisite for doing it … “JUST SHOW UP“!