No matter what
I went to the gym today.
This might not seem worth mentioning. It doesn’t seem like a big accomplishment.
I signed up for a new gym membership last week, excited to change my daily routine, committed to start a 30-day-challenge and to work out every day. One week earlier, I got very sick. I had the flue with all its symptoms. I thought, I will be feeling better soon, looking forward to my first day of my 30-day-challenge.
The day came but I was not over the flue. I felt worse.
I went anyways. With a pack of tissues and coughing drops in my bag. I probably would have thrown in the towel and stayed at home, if it wasn't for the personal trainer, who waited for me at 10:00 a.m. I really didn’t want to disappoint him, even though I have never met this person. Somehow, I felt ‘I owe him’ to show up. So I did.
I definitely was not in my best shape, my head was hurting, my nose was running, not to mention the frequent coughing attacks in between workouts. When I thought my heart was racing to much, I slowed down. I just slowed down and took a deep breath. I knew, I have control over the outcome. I didn’t see my usual ‘best time performance’ on the treadmill. I looked more like a rookie, trying to accomplish something to big of a task.
Nevertheless, the session ended with a deep feeling of accomplishment. I felt like a hero. I did it, NO MATTER WHAT. I showed dedication to a cause, in my case, to increase the level of fitness and wellbeing, AND SHOWED UP.
So what can we learn?
If we want to change something in our lives, we can’t get around to implement the following habits:
First and foremost there is COMMITMENT.
A half-hearted attempt to change will not get you anywhere. Except frustrated and disappointed with yourself, for not making it AGAIN! You don’t want to continue doing this.
Secondly, quit making EXCUSES.
There are million excuses for not doing what we said we will do. There are also million reasons for SHOWING UP anyways. It’s your choice. Trust me, the second choice will bring a smile to your face. And when you smile, others will smile back at you. It’s infective. Let’s start this chain reaction. Gimme a BIG smile now.
Third, ACTION, ACTION, ACTION.
You need to keep moving. To stop the process will set you back and will make it more difficult for you. And who wants ‘more difficult’, when life already throws us curveballs all the time.
Forth, get an ACCOUNTABILITY PARTNER who kicks you gently, when you consider giving up.
Somedays we might need a less gentle kick though. Take my example, the personal trainer ‘made me go’. But also take one advise: DON’T pick a best friend, a parent or your spouse to ‘make you go’. Pretty soon you will throw a fit, stop the process and might have lost a friend. Because you hired a coach, you committed to being hold accountable. There is no personal agenda from your coach, so you don’t have to resist his/her help. You are on neutral ground and the agenda is all yours.
Fifth, be GENTLE with yourself in the process.
There is no room for perfectionism. Nobody is perfect, and continuing to belief you have to be doesn’t serve you anymore. Perfectionism leads to anxiety and depression, which is the opposite of what you would like to accomplish. So if you feel like a rookie, because you are not at your best, IT IS OK. It is totally fine, as long as you SHOW UP, NO MATTER WHAT. And if something comes up and you CAN’T do it, IT IS OK too. As long as you don’t fall back to your old habit and let excuses rule your life, give yourself permission to take a day off.