How To Stop Delaying Your Healthy Lifestyle
There is this nagging feeling about health and fitness at the back of my head. A huge part of me says go out and jog. But the allure of the warm bed in a cold early morning is just too powerful to resist. So I curl back and promise myself to try to start living a healthy life tomorrow. After all there is still tomorrow. So, which of you have the same ridiculous morning ritual? I am pretty sure I am not alone in this healthy living battle. In some form or another we delay our need to live a healthier lifestyle. We argue with statements that appear logical and valid in the guise of postponing what is necessary. Wanting to have a healthy body requires action right now. Not tomorrow! It is not really convincing yourself that you do exercise right now. Rather, it is a commitment to change your life at that particular moment.
So how do you stop delaying healthier lifestyle?
Just get up and have a healthy lifestyle NOW
Just get up and go! Obviously this is less daunting on paper. Heck, it is easier when we fantasize running a marathon beside a gorgeous babe then finishing first with some more energy to participate in a triathlon. In reality, you can't even jog for 5 minutes without panting like your life force is slowly evaporating from your pores along with your sweat. I know I did. So what did I do about it? After months of genuine desire to start living a healthy lifestyle I finally convinced myself to start tomorrow. And as you may expect I kept postponing it for tomorrow.
The desire for a healthy lifestyle is a good place to start. Unfortunately, it remains an idea - a fantasy unless you start now. No, you don't have to buy expensive gym equipment this very minute. Rather consider doing these healthy lifestyle starters:
- Start small
- Focus on what you can
- Turn routines into healthier activities
- Tell someone and seek support
Think about starting now as a commitment to health and fitness with actual action from you. No matter how insignificant it may seem, doing something to seal your commitment is a superb place to start.
Decide what you want
I've always wanted a chiseled body. But not too big that will scare my wife or daughter. Nor do I want veins bulging out like they will burst when I bear down when I do my thing in the morning. That's just too freaky for me. At five feet five inches, I'd look like a nerdy troll on steroids. No way I want that - not that I have anything against nerdy trolls. Suffice to say, I have dreams of what healthy looks like. Boy, I was dead wrong about it.
Setting goals is easier when you have jumped over the most crucial hurdle -getting started. However, having the right goals in mind can either motivate you or lead you astray. I can go an about using strategies like setting S.M.A.R.T. goals or some other fancy acronyms, but I won't. Instead, allow me to share some practical goals that I set for myself that may guide you in your journey.
Have you seen people pumping iron for who knows how many reps and still manage to smile? I once convinced myself that I will do the same. I got to that high level of repetition but instead of a smile I grimaced in pain from the lactic acid in my body. I am not saying you should not aim high. Instead, be logical about it. Instead of trying to hit how many reps you want or how many kilometers you will run, think of it differently at first.
There was a time when I can't even jog for 5 minutes. How in the world can I jog for 11 kilometers. So I broke down the distance into manageable ones. It didn't work! Remember that I can't even jog for 5 minutes. So I made a little tweak. I told myself to jog for 2 minutes. And regardless of how far I got or how slow I may be it was an accomplishment. Soon after, I was running 2 minutes faster and farther. Then I challenged myself to go 5 minutes, then 10 minutes, then longer and longer. I did not even noticed I was running 22 kilometers.
I used the same strategy with other exercise activities. I would do push ups for two minutes. It did not matter if I only did 5 at the time. Soon I was doing more in the same period.
Focusing on the time rather than the actual distance or repetitions gave me a pace that is unique to me. I was comfortable with it. Likewise, it gave me the motivation to do better without having to compare myself with others. Instead, I competed with myself. In addition, focusing on the time allowed me to commit to health and fitness everyday. With the limited timeframe I gave myself, I worked out at my own level.
Challenge yourself in a healthy way
There was a time when I could not do 5 pull ups without cursing and cussing with every repetition. And to think I challenged myself to do one arm pull ups. Again, targeting way above your capabilities is not bad. However, challenging yourself within logical parameters will help you get better.
The challenges I set myself to do may sound too easy and even lame. But the small steps and the small increments helped me stay committed. And as you may know commitment is key in maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
The fundamental idea here is to set goals that will allow you to move forward. If you set goals that look good but fail to address your needs at the moment I assure you, you will fall back to "starting tomorrow" again. Goals should be more than just a destination. Rather, they should be your inspiration as well.
Constantly remind yourself
Another important ingredient in avoiding procrastinating is to constantly remind yourself. Many of us find excuses and I feigned sickness just to avoid jogging for the day - how lame is that? Constant reminders allow us to keep our focus. Think of it as a nagging mom or wife reminding you to take out the trash. You have to do it whether you like it or else.
- Use your calendar
- Set your phone or iPad' alarm
- Prepare the exercise equipment
- Leave mores for yourself
- Get someone to remind you and keep you on track
I cannot stress the importance of being reminded about your journey to health and fitness. In many instances it is these reminders that will help you push forward when you do not feel up to it. It is understandable that the human spirit gets dampen along the way. However, it is your ability to surpass these challenges that guarantees your success.
I am a work in progress. In fact I am nowhere near where I want to be. And yes the warm bed in the cold early morning still has its allure. Likewise, the idea of just "starting tomorrow" is still tempting. But I rise above them. Living a healthy lifestyle and getting the needed exercise shout louder and provide a promise that outweighs some temporary comforts. After all, commitment requires some sacrifices.