I’m looking up at the hill as I put one foot in front of the other, my legs feel like lead weights and there’s sweat dripping into my eyes. This was years ago on Salt Spring Island, when I was training with a group who practiced martial artists, dance, yoga and working out. It was my first time running and I was ready to bail and admit defeat in less than five minutes.
If you’ve ever started a new regime with the best of intentions and failed, you’re not alone.
In fact, previous failure is the number one reason people don’t even try to adopt better health and lifestyle habits. ‘I tried before and I know I won’t do it’ is a phrase I often hear when talking to my clients about adopting a yoga routine. Yet every single one of us has been successful over and over again at learning and progressing.
As a baby you fell down an average of 17 times an hour when you were learning to walk, and it never discouraged you!
Somewhere along the road in life we get focused on our failures and forget about our wins. That’s when we start to believe ‘I can’t do it’ and stop believing in our strength and ability to keep trying until you succeed.
The number one way to give yourself the best chance of achieving your goals is to take baby steps.
My health and fitness coach, a black Hispanic Jew from New York with a an easy going nature and an infectious smile, said to forget the 110% effort and dial it down to 50%, I immediately found myself enjoying running which made all the difference. He further counseled me to work harder going uphill and rest going downhill.
This information is all you need to adjust your attitude. If beginning by doing two minutes of yoga is easy-peasy, well, that’s what you do. Chances are, with the intention to tale that small bite, you’ll find yourself doing more than you intended. What a bonus, you’ve now over-achieved in your goal, yay!
Be consistent and keep your intent at that very manageable level to succeed.
Patting yourself on the back when you meet your goal and doing a happy dance when you go past the post positively rewards your efforts. After a while the habit is established because it’s much easier to build a habit incrementally than to set your sights to high. Feeling happy that you’re moving forward supports your momentum.
How would your life be if you made that one change- How would it feel to be happy and healthy? Close your eyes for a moment and imagine it.
What activities would you do if you were fitter, more mobile or had more energy?
Now ask yourself- am I willing to do 2 minutes a day with 50% effort to get there? That’s the key for how to changing your lifestyle! Small easy steps you can commit to and enjoy.
Stay tuned this month for more habit building ‘secret sauce’ to support you in living your healthy, happy, pain-free life, body and mind.