Are there areas in your life that you want to change?
If not, good, then you can continue living just as you do. There are people who are living in this phase of life where everything is just the way they want it to be. But, hand to your heart, is it true to you?
If Yes, - How do you want it to be instead?
If you want to change something or some parts of your life, you need to split it up. Take one thing at a time. Start and fulfill a change before you take on next. Choose something that is close to your heart, which you want and desire or you feel necessary for you to change. There is no need to try to get all the changes at once. If you try to change a lot at once, there is often chaos.
Let’s use this example.
You are not satisfied with your energy level, and you want to improve it. You know the benefits of being more physically active, so many good hormones in your body are activated. You want to do more, get more energy, increase the feeling of happiness and get better mobility in your body. Let us play with the idea that:
You want to make a sustainable change of your Everyday exercise, start a change in your lifestyle and get fresh air at the same time.
What’s your status?
An easy way to start a lifestyle change is to get started with daily walks. Ok, but where and how do you start?
Take a closer look at what you are doing today. Do you walk anything at all? Do you take your bike to work? Do you walk the dog? Be true to yourself. How many steps do you take today?
To find out how many steps you take/day, how active you are, you can start to find out with a simple Pedometer. Or use your phone, often you find Health app built in or use an activity bracelets connected with your phone. There are also some Free-Apps To download, to easily help you measure and get the current situation. Use the pedometer for a weeks’ time, then you get out an approximate average of step/day.
In Sweden, it’s recommended to take about 10 000 step/day. If it turns out you take about 2000 steps/day, it’s a huge increase to 10000 steps. Start in small steps, increase f. ex. 1000 steps, to 3000 steps/day etc. Better to make a small increase and manage to hold it, then to set the goal too high and lose your inspiration and blaming yourself for not reaching your everyday goal. Ok?
When are “flowing” and you do not think it is an overexertion, you can then increase again. Remember this is a goal for life, not a quick fix. To keep the inspiration, you could write down your results in a beautiful book that you like to write in.
What do you need?
To get started, you also need some more "tools". Perhaps you could invest in a pedometer of any kind and comfy pair of shoes.
You have decided to increase your every day and get to a sustainable change, then perhaps it is advisable for you to Invest in A pair of good shoes, to avoid injuries in your back, legs, and feet.
What kind of clothes do you want to use when you are out walking? It's easier to get out when you feel motivated. New clothes are not a must, just fun. Maybe you can set a goal and when you achieved part of goal you set out, you treat yourself to a new garment as a reward?
Just as important to know why we make the effort, it is equally important to reward oneself for the effort that we have made. We need to treat ourselves with an extra break and see an extra episode of that exciting series you follow or enjoy with a little time in the sauna.
Your reward doesn't have to cost you anything, it could be that you treat yourself with a nap or sleep longer in the morning. You have tried! Made an active choice to make a change that benefits everyone, so please reward yourself. Be kind. Because when I'm kind, true, honest and generous towards myself, I’m also doing it to others too. We are becoming better versions of ourselves. It is contagious.
When to start and When should you take your walk?
It is always easier to get a change if we plan the walk daily. Can you take a walk during your lunch break? Do you have the opportunity before or immediately after work? When? Plan and do what you can to keep it, until you made the walk become a common feature of your everyday life. Suddenly you will find that you become restless if you do not take your walk, it’s a wonderful feeling when reaching this state of progress.
What can stop you?
When we have started a lifestyle change, you will sooner or later come across a form of a slump. You may need to prioritize your day when there is something more acute. Or it's raining, and it doesn't inspire you a hoot to go out. It's a good idea to think through which situations there may be a blockage in your planning. How will you act? What can you do instead? Exercise band? Gym? Clean your home? Play with the kids?
Even if it happens, because we live in a world of change, so allow yourself to have days where you are not active. Do what you can. Then release the thought and keep in mind what you have achieved. Let the thoughts be positive and encouraging though.
Who can support you?
It's always easier to keep going if we have someone to share our activity with. Someone who peppers and supports, someone who can get you out when you'd rather not want to lift your butt off the couch. A friend, a dog? Find someone in your vicinity where you can get support. Perhaps your friends can walk along? Everyone benefits a walk, to get out and get fresh air. Why not use a PT, therapist or a coach as help?
No matter what you want to change, understand that it takes time. You’re about to add a new habit, building up your new lifestyle. Whatever you choose to change, understand that you need to be patient with yourself.
Take the habit of writing down 3 great things that you've done every day. Whether it's getting up out of bed. Said a friendly word to someone or felt gratitude for something you experienced.
Put the positives into focus.
If you fall through to your old habit, it’s easily done, then accept it. Try not to get angry with yourself. Act as if it had happened to your best friend! Think about what would you have said to them?
Whatever you want to change or want to accomplish, you need answer following questions:
What inspires you to change? Where are you now? What do you want? What do you need to be able to reach your goal? How can you do that? What support do you need from family/friends? What can stop you? If you reach an obstacle, how can you move on?
Good luck in your process of change!
With love and warmth
Holistic Healing therapist and Teacher at Soul & Heart Journey School