As winter continues in Southern Alberta Canada, I have run out of excuses and time as to why I don’t exercise more.
“ I will start when it gets warmer. I know I have more motivation when the sun comes out and I want to go hiking. Gardening starts to become an obsession and I naturally get more active.”
I have created a habit of procrastination that is now detrimental to my physical health and well being. I can feel myself getting weaker, foggy and often lethargic. My muscles and circulation are screaming for me to wake up and get active. As we age our body is more prone to feel the effects of less movement acutely. All my old injuries of broken bones, torn ligaments and poorly treated body parts from my adventures are racing to the frontline of my outer shell to make themselves heard and put me on notice.
My body has gone on strike until my habits improve. It no longer feels like being lazy and will not tolerate this nonsense any longer.
The biggest challenge to any habit is to get started. It’s easy to organize a boot camp for yourself full of beautifully planned charts, apps and rewards. The tricky part comes when at the end of the day no matter how much work has gone into the planning the realization that no action has taken place rears its ugly head.
So…I have put myself on notice. No matter what the weather decides to do, even if spring and summer never come to my neck of the woods, I am motivated to get moving.
I started last Monday (today is Thursday).
The conversation in my head has been most entertaining. I swear I have a preteen living in my head with the biggest attitude of stubbornness and sabotage tendencies I know.
Day 1, my alarm goes off. Just a few more minutes of rest and I will get up. It’s the first day of my habit change, GET OUT OF BED NOW!
“Ok, I am up, you don’t have to shout!”
I get my yoga mat set up in my office then find a great Youtube video to follow.
“I need more room, there isn’t enough room in the office to do yoga, maybe we should stop exercising and rearrange the room or get rid of some things” “ We can start this gig tomorrow”.
My response to this inner voice is a big “No”, keep going.
I finish the workout and contemplate changing the office around to create more space. I decide to leave it be for now.
Day 2 and the alarm goes off. I open my eyes and feel too tired to get up. I will just watch a few videos on gardening then work out. I watch a few videos and then realize time has gone by.
Inner voice enters
“ It’s getting late in the morning, we can workout tomorrow. I have other commitments to focus on today”
I am not letting myself off the hook so easily. I drag myself into my office and once again commence a workout in my limited space.
Day 3 and the alarm goes off.
I am beginning to realize that the person in charge is not going to let me get away with avoiding the workout so I get up quickly. Make the bed, promise myself a reward of coffee and cranberry toast after the heavy lifting is done.
Day 4 and the alarm goes off.
Is it Groundhog Day? Remember the movie with Bill Murray?
It would be interesting to be able to replay and redo a day in your life over and over again until you got it right. My hope would be that I eventually figure it out and can move on.
We all know that good habits take discipline and repetition to establish a hold.
Two key ingredients are to get started and then maintain a routine.
I am giving myself 60 days to build this healthy choice. Some of my motivation is that my daughter is coming in the middle of June to join me on a little adventure. I want to be in good enough shape to keep up with her hiking. She is in great shape and I admire her dedication.
I know how my body feels when it’s strong. Coordination, core strength, balance and endurance are rewards for keeping up physical exercise habits.
Are you ready to break free from winter and this long period of hibernation?
I know I am!
PS the voice in my head is still there and though it still wants to drink coffee in bed in the morning instead of get up and exercise, it is now actively looking forward to stretching and getting the blood flowing to make the most of each day.
Slow and steady progress creates long lasting changes.