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  • Writer's pictureamyk73

How to Make Basic Progress

There are a lot of feelings that come up when I’m about to do something new. I have felt butterflies stirring in my stomach. I felt worry come over me about the risk and cost. I have even felt excited anxiety because I knew it would was good but it was still scary to open that door, take the stop forward and know it was forward and not backwards. Having hope and taking it on faith doesn’t mean I’m not feeling it everywhere in my being as the craziest thing I’ve ever done before. Maybe this time it truly is crazy and I’ve lost my mind. Do I really want to risk it?

I wasn’t sure what possessed me and I believe it was all by chance this happened. I ran across an announcement on my company’s inter-company website providing a new 3 month free virtual personal trainer program and I immediately signed up. As in, I didn’t even think about it, look at any of the details or requirements beyond the announcement, just hit the button, entered my name and set the appointment to meet my trainer. The next day first thing in the morning on top of it! It was about 30 minutes later when I was talking to a co-worker and said, “I am just not sure what in the world I have just done.”

This happened in March. To perhaps understand my actions, you should know I had entered 2020 with the goal of focusing on my health, improving wellness and losing a few pounds. Like most resolutions I had no strong plan how to do this and it would probably end up by the side forgotten but that was my goal or rather passing thought this was a good idea. If I could just master getting my eating cleaned up I knew I would have some energy to start working out and well the rest would be diet success history. I had effectively convinced myself like I have a thousand times before I could take care of this situation and do it on my terms. Despite the fact the scale wasn’t moving and I wasn’t actually completely cleaning up my diet or exercising. I had duped myself about it once again and perhaps it was just my body revolting when I hit the submit button for a trainer.

It was only 3 months, how bad could it be right? Since I had to check in with my trainer periodically and she could see from my entries made in an app when I worked, what I did and for how long I decided I need to commit. It was moderately hard and there were days I didn’t look forward to it. My son and husband would periodically do it with me. The schedule was to go through the exercises she prepared for me every other day and then I could fill in with some extra activities she provided me on the off days as optional. I laughed at the optional part as I could not see myself volunteering for me.

Several weeks into the program, I realized I had been very consistent with not more than 2 days between working out. By the middle of the 3rd part of the program I was asking her to incorporate treadmill time and some additional exercises into my workouts. Again, I have no idea who this person was using my voice saying these things but they came out in a check-in meeting. I had stuck to something and was starting to feel myself move into a habit of working out every other day. I was working on basic exercises that were not hard but gave me a workout and helped build the consistency. I wasn’t ready to run a marathon or anything but I was ready to build into the 30 minutes every other day more that would build on what I had been doing these past few months.

Often when we start something new we are eager to see progress to validate it’s worth. I intentionally did not take my measurements in the beginning or stand on the scale. For me, the progress I wanted to see was consistency and some stick to it from my own commitment to do this program. The progress I did see by the end of this program was I did have more energy. I was consistent in doing it and I was drinking a lot more water. Those were good signs. They were little signs of progress that encouraged me to do more. I gave it some time with no expectation and just went through the door to see what could happen.

I believe when we start something new our expectations for the results often override our ability to give it some time to goes. As a result we put limits on what we try and what we do that in turn generate frustration when progress doesn’t happen. We give up too soon, don’t believe it works and we just wasted a bunch of time. The truth is, it is not that we have set a poor resolution for the year or that it lacks a plan sometimes but rather it is our own impatience that stops us because we expect progress immediately. We forget we have to put in the priority to focus on it, learn and re-learn the basic steps and build on those to actually see progress. The other side of it is, we are actually making progress most of the time but it too takes some time to physically be noticed.

In honesty, I still have no idea what made me sign up for that program but I understand how I was able to stick with it. I see the progress now several months later that is gradual and slow but still progress from where I started. Being free of my own expectations and impatience was the key to unlocking this journey and walking through the door able to create consistency and commitment to see it through. Unlike the other times where I said I would do something then scold myself later for not doing it or eating chocolate on a diet I didn’t set rules on myself. I didn’t scold myself for going 2 days instead of 1 when I needed extra rest because I didn’t have expectations on myself that made me feel guilty about it.

I believe this is also key to living naturally well in many areas of our life. When we put down our own opinions, expectations, criticism and impatience and just explore what it looks like, try it ourselves and be willing to give it time to grow, we can experience and see progress. We become gracious with ourselves to learn and master the basics so we can build on them. We experience change and our goals become much easier to achieve. The stress of change is reduced because we can clearly see what is right for us and are willing to just step forward to try it.

Are you ready to live naturally well this year? Check out my website for resources, tools and support to help you walk through that door.

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