I wonder if beating yourself up ever motivated you to change. Let me explain…
As I headed to my morning Restorative Yoga class last week, I began beating myself up for ditching my fitness and eating protocol. GEESH, why did I ditched my routine back August, 2020??? I could blame it on the emotional roller coaster of current events, or on family vacation, or on the holidays, but I knew deep down that I couldn’t blame my lack of fitness on any circumstance.
As I drove myself to yoga the mental beat down continued. Why had I let myself go? I had lost interest and the energy to be dedicated to a work out routine. I was aware that beating myself up was not an effective way to get back on track, but couldn’t get a grip on the condemning thoughts that had taken up residency in my mind.
Restorative yoga was the perfect place for me to take refuge. I was forced to quiet my mind and enjoy taking care of my body. As I nestled into the practice a paradigm shift happened. I thought to myself why not try loving yourself into shape?
Wait what? Love myself into shape? YES, of course. The reason I want to be in the best shape of my life is so that I can enjoy longevity and an active life. I reminded myself to take a deep breath. It is possible to get back into shape. You aren’t a lost cause. In fact, last year you whipped your body into shape and enjoyed the process!
My mantra came to mind: I love choosing her 2021! I’ll choose the woman that is both compassionate and completely capable of getting in shape.
So, where did I begin loving myself into shape?
Create tiny habits
In the book Tiny Habits The Small Changes That Change Everything, BJ Fogg explains a concept that has revolutionized my approach to creating feel good habits. He suggests that our bad habits are not character flaws, but behavior designs that can be addressed in tiny steps. In other words, we are not the problem our approach to change is.
Oh good, you can finally stop beating yourself up!
In his research, Fogg discovered three things that will create lasting change; epiphany, change environment, and change habits in tiny ways. He goes on to explain tiny is fast, can start now, is safe, can grow big, and most importantly does not rely on motivation or will power.
I created a tiny habit that is getting me back into planking form. I make coffee using the pour over method. It creates a great cup of java, but takes a little bit of time with each cup. I’m usually barely functional when I make my first cup of coffee, but have a pep in my step by the second cup. So, while I wait for my second pour over to brew, I set the microwave alarm for one minute and plank in my kitchen. I then pat myself on the back and think, just a little habit that I can build upon. Yep, it definitely feels like loving myself back into shape.
Identify obstacle thoughts in advance
It is human nature to sabotage your best made plans. We know what we “should” do. But friends, please don’t “SHOULD” yourself. Simply identify how you will likely sabotage yourself in advance.
You know yourself better than anyone else. If you are honest there are times when you don’t feel like doing the thing that gets you closer to your goal. You can use the Tiny Habit method to create habits, but there will be times when your mind will get highjacked.
Identifying obstacle thoughts gives you an opportunity to create a strategy.
For example: At the get go, I am always enthusiastic about an exercise plan. However, there are mornings that I would rather avoid the discomfort of working out. My tendency is to think of a million other things that need to be done and skip the workout. I KNOW these thoughts do not produce the result I am hoping for.
To combat the obstacle thoughts, I have chosen two replacement thoughts:
- I don’t negotiate with myself.
- I love to choose her.
Bonus thought: I am a girl who loves exercise. I truly believed this thought prior to August 2020. I know I can work towards this thought again, because I love the girl who loves exercise. 🧘🏼♀️🚴♂️🚣♀️
The struggle is real
No need to beat yourself up. You are not alone in resistance to change. The struggle is real for everyone with a desire to create something new.
Seriously, as I just passed the mirror I was tempted to make a mental note on how my sweater made me look huge. Luckily, I stopped in mid sentence to think instead Tiff you are working on it. It won’t take long before your in bathing suit condition!
There are definitely steps you can take. Tiny habits and identifying obstacle thoughts in advance are great places to start. Hiring a life coach will also help you rise above your BS to create change in your life.
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If I leave you with anything, I hope you will stop beating yourself up! You have the power to create your life and are absolutely capable of change, but do it from a place of genuine love.
So, here’s to loving ourselves into shape!
And the birds fluttered around her writing “YES” in the sky.