Time For A Change
I think all of us have had that conversation with ourselves that we were finally going to create change in our lives. We promise ourselves starting Monday we will:
- Stop drinking as much
- Stop hooking up
- Stop using drugs
- Stop spending so much time in the chat rooms
- Stop watching so much TV
The list can go on and on of all the items we promise ourselves we will do on our fresh start but for some reason, we fall right back into our old habits. We deal with our own disappointment of ourselves and then either say the hell with it or decide to start fresh again next Monday.
I promised myself this year I would spend time on my health. I wanted to eat better and really increase that dreaded word, "exercise". What was I thinking?
I know you need to take care of yourself and the earlier the better. I know this is the only body I have so I need to invest in its health. I know all the benefits of exercise but I just love the couch, some hummus and a good episode of LOST better than going for a run.
My friend Becky and I decided to sign up for a 5K which is about a 3.1 mile run. At the end of this event, you get a medal. We had 7 weeks to train. It took me two weeks to just pick out the sneakers I wanted but finally, I was set and ready to go. I began my training and realized I was not in as good as shape as I thought. I was planning on running the whole race but as time went on, I realized I would be walking more and more of it.
Living in Florida we have great warm weather most of the days BUT one evening a cold front came through and it was a bit chilly for my standards. I decided it was best to give myself the day off. That day off ended up being 4 complete days off of living on the couch and watching Family Guy reruns.
I want to be healthier and I want to exercise more but what is keeping me from making these changes? I had to sit down and really think about what it took to apply change to your life. Here are my 4 tips on how to be successful through your new initiative to a better life:
- Commitment - It is all about commitment. There is a big difference in trying something and being committed to something. When you really want something, you can make it happen but you have to truly be committed to the work and the results it will bring. That is so important. You have to be doing this for you and you alone. I am having a hard time running because I found out I HATE RUNNING. This doesn't mean I give up because I am committed to finishing the 5K. What I did learn is my commitment to exercise requires me to find something I like better to continue this change. Maybe yoga, a dance class or swimming.
- Action - We all want to be motivated to make changes in our lives but we spend our time waiting for motivation to come. Motivation doesn't come out of the blue. Motivation comes from action. You have to start something and take those steps forward and the motivation will start to build. So stop waiting for someone or something to move you forward in your change. Just do it! When I get home, the first thing I do is take off my clothes and put on my work out clothes and sneakers. I can not wait until I feel it is time to exercise, I just do it.
- All About You - When you start to exercise, they tell you do it with a buddy but what happens when your buddy talks you into skipping the workout to get Krispy Kreme donuts? It is great to have support from your friends and your family but you can not expect them to be your rock through this. They are support and cheerleaders BUT you are the center of this change. It is your life and you have to make it happen with or without their support if it is what YOU want for your life. You are going to be your best cheerleader through it all.
- Celebrate - You need to celebrate the milestones to build on your energy and momentum of success. Now if you are reducing your drinking, don't celebrate with a drink or if you are losing weight don't celebrate with a cake. Just find a way to celebrate that supports your goals but lets you enjoy the journey so far. If you are just waiting to celebrate the end result, you can feel it will never come. These small celebrations of your great work along the way keep you moving forward and being proud of what you have done so far.
I am committed to my health and adding exercise to my life. I will finish this 5K race (I know many runners are laughing at me about how small this is) and I will celebrate this achievement as a step in my health goal. I am doing this for me and I am not giving up. I am doing it! The hard work will pay off.
I would love to hear what changes you are working on in your life and how you keep yourself on track.
Michael Moniz is a life coach focusing on the LGBT community. His practice helps others
with self-image, communication skills, self-leadership and setting and achieving goals. Check Michael's website for more information and to schedule private consultations.
Do you have a question about how to improve your life? Send an e-mail to [email protected]