Are you stuck behind the starting line?
Have you even found your starting point? Do you get frustrated because you don’t know how a book ends, when you haven’t even picked it up to start reading it? Have you said “I’ll start that book when I have more time”?
What about that butterfly or vegetable garden you don’t have – are you spending time wishing you had one or both, especially when you have to buy more lettuce at the grocery store, and saying to yourself “I’ll start one of those when I know how to do it all”?
The same questions apply to everything, including your fitness and your nutrition. It’s so easy to say “I’ll get started when….”
“When I have time, when I get the house organized, when I lose a few pounds, THEN I’ll start working out”
“When I start exercising THEN I’ll start eating better”
“When I feel better I’ll start to exercise.” and the list goes on and on.
The Perfect Time
You’re waiting for the ideal time to start, and that time never arrives. So you never start.
The time to start is now.
Just start. Start at the beginning. Take action. Start simple, so you CAN start, and so you don’t feel like you’re going to fail right off the bat because it’s too many things at once. Add a vegetable to your daily food intake, or replace one of your bread servings with a vegetable. Just that one thing.
Walk around the block (or even your yard) once, or 2.5 minutes one way down the street, then back home for a total of just 5 minutes. Just that one thing.
Ask yourself “On a scale of 1-10, how easy will this thing be for me to do?” You should answer a 9 or a 10. If you answer anything less, then make it even more simple until your answer is a 9 or 10.
Your Starting Point
Maybe your starting point is quite different from that. Maybe it’s picking someone you can trust, announcing your intention to drop all your bread or pasta servings, and replace them with your favorite vegetable (because that’s really and truly where you want to start), knowing that person will totally hold you accountable to your intentions and not let you slide. And maybe it’s picking that same someone and telling them you are going to walk for 20 minutes 4 days every week for 4 weeks.
I get it, it’s easy to procrastinate, to fear failure, to fear change, to just make no decision. But that’s no way to live, and it’s certainly not going to produce any changes you want. At some point you just have to pick a spot to begin, and then you can figure out if that was the right spot. You can’t change what’s not in place.
Find and Eliminate Obstacles
Making a change in your habits means you have to look at how your days are laid out. It’s easier to change something, such as the food you put into your mouth, than it is to add something, such as 30 minutes of exercise. But either way, it’s easy to allow obstacles to be your excuse as to why you aren’t eating better or starting to exercise. Be objective about this, and figure out what you must change to allow your first small step to be a success, or at least have a good chance, as you may still find you have to change or tweak more.
Make Up Your Bed and Your Mind
Decisions take energy. The more decisions you make in a day, the more tired they can make you, and therefore make it harder to make decisions later. Brain power is a real thing! This means the easiest thing to do is just decide you will do this thing you know you should be doing, and deep down want to do, either it’s exercise, eating better, or starting that first row of lettuce. It’s non-negotiable. There is no decision. It’s going to get done. For many people, this means getting these things done first thing. You set the alarm, you get up, you do it, there is no decision to make. Then it’s done, with nothing happening during the day that gives you yet another excuse not to get it done.
So, what’s keeping you from picking a starting point? Leave a reply below on what you think would make it easier for you to start, and where you feel your beginning is. I’d LOVE to know where you all are struggling, so I can offer suggestions to help you Just Pick a Starting Point.