Sometimes I read blogs or articles and one thing in them stands out, resonates, or sparks a new idea. Yesterday I was reading this blog entry about resolutions. While there was a lot in it of value, it was one part that sparked a new idea.
“…I invite you to fall in love with your New Year’s Solutions, with the transformation, growth, and healing you are experiencing for its own worth.
Let go of the outcome you want to achieve…”
Now, I have many goals, but one is to be physically fitter and healthier. Of course, losing weight is a part of being healthier and in a way I’ve been thinking of this as an outcome and a marker of my success. However, this has made me think of my efforts differently. The outcome is still important to me. I am thirty and I can’t fool myself anymore that I am young and have time yet to fix my health. It is very important that I get myself in better shape so that my heart and my arteries have the best chance once I get into the higher risk period of my life. That period is not as far off as it once was.
I’ve been thinking of exercise (in particular, but also healthier eating) as a chore to force myself to do to achieve this outcome and not as something to enjoy in itself. Completing a session of exercise may sometimes leave me feeling energised and proud of my efforts, but it’s the completion that is my focus. This attitude makes it harder to make myself exercise because I’m focusing on the effort involved, and focusing on getting to the end, which always makes things seem harder. However, I should be focusing on enjoying the exercise itself.
I may not be a naturally active person, but I can get enjoyment from a walk on a Summer’s evening or challenging myself with aerobics, or swimming (I love swimming, when I can be bothered going, it’s just a pity I can’t afford the lesiure centre fees right now). What if I began to think of my exercise as a treat for myself? What if I thought of it as some time for myself, some time to relax and refresh myself, some time to enjoy being physical? Perhaps I would actually look forward to it and want to prioritise it. Perhaps I would spend that time feeling happy that I’m doing something enjoyable for me, like I do when I’m reading or singing.
Perhaps, if I can enjoy the process of getting fit rather than just the outcome, then I can gradually learn to apply this to other things. Perhaps I could see less things as chores and more things as enjoyable activities in their own right.