Implementing New Habits

What are you willing to change in order to make your vision a reality? If your daily routine is not getting the results you desire, then you have to change your routine.

For over seven years, my daily lunch break consisted of a quick bite and a nap. As I began intermittent fasting several months ago, the quick bite disappeared and I was left with only a nap. One day, Kia, my Delta 180 partner, and I decided to make a change to our daily lunchtime routine. We decided that instead of sitting for 40 minutes, we would walk for 40 minutes. This was definitely a change. All I could think about was my nap. For the next two weeks we walked on our break. In time, we started walking faster and covering longer distances. The walks became easier, and I was no longer missing my nap. Sometimes it is nice to just stroll and enjoy the fresh air, being mindful of the present and not actively engaging the mind. Other times, our minds are bursting with creativity and the walking session doubles as a strategic meeting. In either scenario there is no stress, just the positive release of endorphins.

Lunch Walk

If we take a moment to think about where we want to go in life, we can make small changes to our daily routine that can have a significant impact in the future. The daily walk helps me:

  • Achieve a calorie deficit that eventually will result in weight loss,
  • Strengthen my body allowing me to be more mobile,
  • Enhance my mental processes, and
  • Improve my state of happiness.

This is only after two weeks of walking. I can’t imagine the effects this will have if it becomes years of walking.

What habits can you create that will have a positive impact on your future? They don’t have to be ground-breaking changes. Maybe it is just swapping a soda for a water or parking your car a little farther away than usual. Small changes to your daily routine can eventually produce monumental results.

Start Today

Can you imagine if you had been doing this all along? Exercising daily. Paying attention to your diet. Basically, doing all the things you know you should be doing. Imagine what you would look like now. Imagine being healthy, happy, and confident.

The past is gone. Forever. Imagining what would have been is pointless. Not learning from the past is reckless and foolish. Even though we are not guaranteed a tomorrow or another 10-20 years, take a moment a picture your two possible selves of the future. One never learned from the past and continued on the same path of complacency. That person is out of shape, not happy, and loaded with potential health problems. The vision of your other future is completely different. This person made the most of everyday. She is in shape. She is confident. Her dedication to fitness went beyond her physical body and extended to her whole lifestyle opening a new world of possibilities.

Begin to be now what you will be hereafter. –William James

Listen to Your Body

You only get one body. That is why it is so important to take care of it. If you are like me, taking care of your body hasn’t always been a priority. Long periods of complacency and not giving it the best fuel eventually lead to it not living up to the expectations you set for it.

But now those dark days of physical neglect are over. You are training that body to be stronger. You are chiseling away all of the undesirable stuff. You are recreating your temple. But remember, it is not the body that let you down. The body did not choose to become soft. You let that happen. Go ahead and push your body to become stronger, but be careful not to overly punish it. Listen to what it has to tell you. There is a difference between driving out the weakness and ignoring the pain. Is the pain fatigue? Or is there something greater? Listen to the signals.

I should have been listening, but I wasn’t. My muscles were getting stronger, but the joints and tendons were not. Old injuries that never properly healed started to make their presence known again, most noticeably in my shoulder.  Logically, I knew I needed to give it time to recover, but I didn’t want to listen. If you don’t have the ability to listen early, the body has a way of making you listen later on. Just hopefully, you do it before it is too late.

It’s going to be a journey. It’s not a sprint to get in shape. –Kerri Walsh Jennings

If this fitness journey is one that lasts a lifetime, take your time. By not rushing, you increase your chances of staying in it for the long haul. Your experience will be much more enjoyable, and your body will thank you for it.