I made a major breakthrough this week. It was so simple but extremely powerful. I gave up!
Let me start from the beginning, I have been trying to practice my Pilates three times a week at home. I recently got some Pilates equipment. First realization I had was previously I had only been doing Pilates twice a week at a studio where everything was conducive to make the workout happen. I had appointments with an individual instructor scheduled and had pre-paid for the lessons. So I was being successful at arriving at the appointments but when I realized that six months of appointments would more than pay for the equipment I needed I decided to buy the equipment and workout at home. No more commute or scheduling issues and save money, much easier, right?
Wrong! First mistake was to up the amount of times I worked out a week. Before I even got started, remember I had been going twice a week, now I was going to start doing it on my own and do it three times a week. Second mistake was assuming I would feel the same pull to workout that I did when I met with my instructor who was very encouraging and motivating. But I didn’t, feel the pull, that is, to workout at home alone. Within weeks I was facing failure.
The first smart thing I did was reduce my expectation of the number of workouts from three to twice a week, something I had previously been able to do, although under different circumstances. That took a lot of stress off. One less failure a week. I could make a goal to increase to three times a week once I got twice a week down pat.
Then the real break through occurred. I was waiting for the pull or want to do the workout which usually didn’t come. I don’t like exercising. So why was I waiting for or expecting to feel a pull or want toward something I basically didn’t like to do. Then I realized that I had to forget wanting to do something as a criteria for getting something done. I find brushing my teeth and taking a shower really boring but I do it anyway because of the ramifications if I don’t. What were the ramifications if I didn’t exercise. I would get weaker, fatter, loose stamina, less healthy and probably less attractive. As they say, if you haven’t got your health, you have nothing at all.
Letting go of the idea and the expectation of joy, want or a pull toward something in order to do it freed me up to just do it. It is Friday, I exercise on Fridays, It is Saturday, I don’t exercise on Saturday. Simple, I pick my days and just like I shower, I exercise.
Will this last, I don’t know. But it has taken away an awful lot of stress off me. The exercising seems more automatic and a part of what I do to live and less like an internal argument I have everyday about if I will or will not do it. It is not up to an internal discussion anymore. The workout is becoming more rote.
I do feel I need to develop some support system. I am thinking of hooking up with my instructor once a month for a tune-up to make sure I am doing things correctly and advancing properly. That I can afford. Kind of like a once a month coaching session. This will encourage me to workout during the week so there is improvement between monthly sessions with her.
So think about what you want to incorporate in your life and forget about whether you enjoy it or not. Think more about how you can make it a part of your routine and stop leaving it up to daily internal discussions as to whether or not you are going to follow through. This is not a piece of cake but it may be a new way to approach getting certain things done.
IMPORTANT: If you are starting a workout routine, check with your doctor and get some help to set you up doing things correctly. Doing exercises incorrectly can cause injuries. Especially if you use equipment, make sure to have someone help you to use it efficiently and safely. The only reason I purchased the Pilates equipment is because I have gone through the Pilates Certificate Teacher Training Program.