– Decide! Make the commitment to go! –
you and I approach the start of a commitment to “get more fit” or “get in shape” with the wrong mindset.
We look for the magic potion, the secret formula, the quick fix.
We speak in platitudes. We talk about toning flabby arms and running a ten-minute mile.
We hear that – after all these years – the real reason nobody is losing weight, the real reason we have an obesity epidemic is because this cool pill that expands in your stomach wasn’t invented until 2010. And now that it’s available with one simple phone call, all you have to do is take the pill, eat very little, and you’ll be full and satisfied! Because this expanding pill will fill your tummy and you’ll lose all the weight you want and you’ll be happy and life will be blissful.
Who’d a thunk?
When you’re preparing to go somewhere, how much thought do you give it? How committed are you? When you’re planning a vacation, a trip to the grocery store, going to a party at a friend’s house, or even getting ready for work, you need a certain level of commitment.
Even if you don’t want to go.
Let’s say an acquaintance from work is throwing a party. You really don’t know the crowd. You’re not enthused about going…
You still make a commitment.
You’re not just throwing on a pair of ratty jeans and the sweatshirt you wore to clean the bathroom. There’s a minimum level of preparation that takes place before you walk out the door.
Let’s say you’re getting ready to trudge off to that job you can’t stand…
You still make a commitment. Even if it’s a fixed routine after all these years. Married? Children? Gotta dodge the spouse and kids and maybe the dog as you make your way around your place. No dependents or pets? Still have to make yourself presentable, eat breakfast (or maybe it’s “where’s that coffee?!?”), pack a lunch, make the commute…
You have a routine.
Let’s say you’re planning a vacation…
You decide where to go.
You decide when you’re going to leave.
You decide how you’re going to get there.
You decide how long you’re going to stay.
You decide how much you plan to spend.
You decide how much or how little structure you want in each day.
You decide if you’ll visit friends or family or try to stay as alone as you can.
You’ll also think about the fun you’ll have. Or how relaxing it will be. Or maybe anticipate the stress.
And all of these thoughts and decisions will impact your decision to go. In one way or another.
You’re making similar decisions in the other journeys of your life. They’re more subtle. They may not be conscious decisions any longer because they’re so routine.
But they’re there.
When you decide that it’s time to get in (or back in) shape, your decision is not independent of what you do with the rest of your life.
Something compels you to make a change.
Is it a voice in your head?
Is it your doctor or trusted adviser or friend?
Is it your spouse?
Is it your kids?
Is it a feeling you get when you’re with other people? Maybe a loved one,
or at work,
when interacting with others,
maybe when trying to keep up with your kids or your peers?
What’s compelling you? What’s the voice saying to you? What picture are you painting in your mind? What are you feeling?
Don’t ignore those prompts.
Not only are they real.
>>>> They are the reason. <<<<
Michael * didn’t ignore the reason. He is an active man in his sixties. He loved to take long bike rides and swim. But back, wrist, and shoulder issues were limiting his mobility. He had a young grandson and another grandchild on the way.
For Michael, the reason was his ability to interact with his grandchildren. To roll around the floor with them. To be an active grandfather.
His decision was not about losing weight. Or “getting in shape.” Or shedding body fat. Or “staying fit.” Or any of the countless other clinical reasons or “sounds good” rationales that so many of us use as “motivation” for making a permanent physical change.
* – I have changed the client’s name to respect his privacy.
What are your prompts? What’s your reason?
Marty had a toothache. He hadn’t been to the dentist in years. He knew he was supposed to get his teeth cleaned and examined twice a year. He heard the hygienist tell him years ago that he should brush and floss at least twice daily. And visit the dentist as least twice a year.
But it wasn’t important to him.
He often joked with friends and acquaintances about the flossing advice.
“Yeah, I know it’s important, but I’ve got better things to do with my life. And I’ll bet 100 years ago, people weren’t too worried about flossing!”
His teeth were fine. He never had much of a problem. The dentist discovered an occasional cavity over the years, but even those didn’t really hurt.
This was different. He needed a dentist. NOW! The pain was too intense to ignore. Too agonizing to see straight.
Marty’s decision was not about preventing gum disease or tooth decay. His decision was immediate and urgent.
He also had little choice.
The niceties of prevention weren’t compelling enough for him. The urgency of pain was.
Dig deep to find, to discover, to uncover your reason.
Don’t settle for simple, safe responses to your why.