What to do when focusing on your health feels like a chore
Focusing on my health feels like a chore. What do I do?
I hear this often.
First off, I get it. You’re busy. You have a lot going on. Life is crazy right now.
The problem is: Life is always crazy right now. When we let ourselves go down the path of, “I have so much going on,” our brain will come up with a “solution” like “I’ll wait a few more weeks / months and then the coast will be clear.”
Why? It’s the law of human nature:
We try to avoid discomfort and seek pleasure.
It’s uncomfortable to stick to something even though the conditions aren’t perfect. Heck, it’s uncomfortable to stick to anything in and of itself!
The reality is there will always be something on the horizon. There will always be something getting in the way. There will always be something coming up that will challenge us.
There is never a perfect time. THIS IS LIFE!
Unfortunately, too many smart people delude themselves into waiting for the perfect time to start.
Too many smart people decide “Now isn’t a good time” once they’ve started.
Here’s the thing:
You don’t have to do anything when it comes to your health and fitness.
No one is making you lose weight and reach your health and fitness goals. No one is making you become a better version of yourself.
You choose to and want to.
You chose to and wanted to…
And that’s part of the challenge. You’re (at least a part of you is) forgetting why you started in the first place.
[This is one reason why people are so great at starting diets but not great at sticking with them. Starting is one thing. Sticking with it is another. This is why daily accountability and support is so key!]
Our short term / irrational mind only focuses on the short term. It couldn’t care less about the future.
Goals?! Dreams?! Desires?! Hopes?! Intentions?! Aspirations?! Values?! Priorities?!
What are those???
All it cares about is right now.
How do we overcome this?
-Focus on why you want to be healthier and fitter
-Focus on how you will feel
-Focus on how you will look
-Focus on what you’ll be able to wear
-Focus on how you’ll be able to move
-Focus on what you’ll be able to do
Focus on all the ways your life will be better.
Obstacles are what we see when we take our eyes off our goals.
The words we use with ourselves make a big difference in how we approach anything.
For example, I don’t say to myself: “I can’t eat this cookie.”
I’ll say, “I choose not to have this cookie,” or, “I don’t want this cookie.”
I don’t say: “I have to exercise.” I’ll say, “I want to exercise.”
I try not to use the word “should” with anyone, especially myself.
We shouldn’t do anything. Should makes it feel like an obligation. Again, we don’t have to do anything when it comes to our health and fitness.
We choose to and want to. It feels a lot more empowering vs obligatory.
When we use words like “choose” and “want” it triggers us to think about why we want to do something.
“Why do I choose to?” “Why do I want to?”
Oh, right! I want to exercise because I feel so good afterward. I want to eat healthfully because I feel energized and empowered and I don’t like how I feel when I indulge.
For my clients, try saying this to yourself: I want to report because I know reporting is the key to accountability, accountability is the key to consistency, and consistency is the key to results.
When we approach it this way, it turns it from something we ‘should’ do or ‘have’ to do into something we want to do.
Again, a part of us will always try to avoid discomfort and seek pleasure.
But, as we learned, discomfort is our compass. Discomfort lets us know we’re doing things differently. If we’re doing things differently, we’re changing. If we’re changing what we usually do, we’re going to feel and see results. (Remember: What feels easy now was once hard. What feels uncomfortable now will soon be comfortable.)
And feeling/seeing the results of our consistency is far more enjoyable and sustainable than any short term “high” we might get from eating indulgently (unless it’s memorable).
We forget how much pleasure there is when we make a healthy choice. When we get that exercise done. When we do what we know we “should” do.
Ultimately, it always feels good when we do good for ourselves.
The tricky part: Doing good for ourselves doesn’t always feel good in the moment.
How you feel impacts every aspect of your life. And how you feel is largely dictated by how you eat, move and rest. I want you to feel what it feels like to be energized, pumped up, confident and strong. There is no better feeling. It’s addicting!
Unfortunately, some people let the discomfort get the best of them. Not on my watch!