“The most important knowledge is that which guides the way you lead your life” Leo Tolstoy
Exercising regularly is good for you. I assume you and everyone else reading this agrees with that statement. But how many of you actually exercise regular basis? My guess is less than half. Instead, it’s why don’t we do the things we know we should be doing? As “rational” beings, we tend to rationalize our situations and talk ourselves out of anything we don’t want to do.
Let’s say you have decided to start exercising regularly, and you are planning to do it immediately after waking up before work. This means you will need to wake up earlier in the morning to give yourself enough time. When that first morning comes and the alarm goes off earlier than expected, the rationalizations will kick in. Suddenly, it will be too early and too cold to make the decision to get out of bed. Just like that, you have talked yourself out of last night’s good idea.
As discussed previously in my Goal, we must ease into our goal with small accomplishable steps. Also important for successful change is taking actions to prepare ourselves for the change. Here’s how this might look in the scenario of exercising before work.
1. Before going to bed the night before, get your exercise clothes picked out and placed near your bed. To help with the cold mornings, have some warm socks and a sweater in the pile. If mornings are particularly chilly, wear your warm exercise clothes as pajamas. This will help make getting out of bed much warmer, and therefore easier.
2. Instead of going to sleep at your normal time, make sure to go to bed early the night before. Calculate how much time you will need to warm up, workout, and get clean afterwards. Set your time bed time accordingly. This will ensure you get the rest you need with an earlier wake up time.
3. Start with stretches to warm your body, awaken your mind, and prepare your muscles for the workout. Think of this as a vital, independent step in the process that should not be rushed.
4. Once you are alert and warmed up, it is time to begin doing the primary exercise routines.
Notice that half of these steps take place the night before? By taking time to prepare for change and breaking down every action into small steps, new goals and behaviors are much more accomplishable. As an added bonus, preparing also cuts the rationalizations off at the pass. Take some time and think about your specific goals and how to you can prepare and break down the steps.
Rogelio H. Charles