Thursday, December 8, 2011

Week One

Often, I find myself using all or nothing thinking. For those of you not aware, all or nothing thinking is like not being able to see the "grey"; when you see things as only black and white. If your performance falls short of perfect, you see yourself as a total failure. It doesn't matter that you've succeeded 95%, the 5% stands out to you, and you see it as a fail.

Now I’m sure a lot of us partake in this ridiculous (and might I add....completely useless) cognitive distorting from time to time. But when you couple that with unrealistic or lofty goals, this can become a problem. Case in point: my getting back on the wagon exercise routine.

What I would like to see myself do: 6 days/week of exercise; a mix of pilates, running, weight training and maybe a little Jillian Michaels. Now while my body MAY be capable of this, it’s not something LIKELY given the period of time that I’ve been “off the wagon” and that this time of year (December) is a busy month for many reasons.

Knowing that this is unlikely, I need to scale this down into a realistic program for myself. Instead of committing to this; then finding failure with myself because the goal wasn’t reached, I need to start at a smaller goal and build up. Little steps. Not baby steps, but little steps.

There’s a part of me (controller of my all or nothing thinking) that thinks this way is not very interesting, that it’s not a very valiant goal to have; and therefore not really even worth engaging in. But really – where does this leave me? I’ll tell you my friends. That leaves me right back at the beginning. At the place where I decided that I needed to move forward from.

For me, this means small adjustments and added increments to increase time, intensity, or activity week by week. While it’s not as “sexy” of a goal, it’s realistic, and I know I can do it.
Week One: Get on the treadmill and walk at least 15 mins – 3 days/week. (This is the minimum. If I accomplish more - fantastic).

That’s it friends. That’s all. Can I physically do more? Of course I can. I can do a LOT more than that. Week One is easy, it’s true. It’s designed to inspire desire, to think “that was too easy – let’s do more”. But when you’ve fallen off the wagon, that’s where you start.

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