Do you ever feel stuck? You want to get healthier and make changes in your life, but you feel frozen. You don’t think you’re ready yet and you find yourself thinking things like, “I’ll start at the beginning of the week/month/year,” “I just need to lose 5 lbs. on my own, and then I’ll feel confident enough to go to that class,” or “I just don’t know where to start.”
Maybe it’s fear, maybe it’s perfectionism, or maybe it’s simply the discomfort of change. We all procrastinate when it comes to doing something new or seemingly scary, and the same is true when it comes to implementing a healthier lifestyle, such as getting active, eating healthier, reducing stress, etc. We put it off, thinking “one day I’ll start,” but sometimes, without seeing it coming, we are forced to make the change.
It may be that we find our bodies aren’t working the way they used to, or we’re getting sick more often, or that our mental health is suffering from all the stress we’re putting ourselves under. I encourage you to ask yourself, what will it take for you to decide to live a healthier life?
Instead of waiting for the doctor’s orders, or for the scary wake-up call to push you to start, why not just start now? After all, there’s no better time than the present. That could mean getting outside and going for a walk a few times a week, or joining a class or activity like yoga, tai chi, Pilates or fitness classes. Maybe it’s starting to meditate on a regular basis, or it could mean making simple changes to your diet.
Whatever it is, start small. Commit to walking the length of your driveway daily, or walking to the end of your street, or around your block. Don’t jump off the deep end, in the beginning, just take small steps at first, and then slowly increase as you feel ready. When we implement change at a slow and steady pace, we are more likely to stick with it and make it to our ideal destination in a realistic and sustainable way.
I’ve realized through personal experience that sometimes when we want to make a change but don’t know where to start, we freeze. We let fear take over, which shows itself in the form of perfectionism, laziness, confusion, etc.
Fear of change is natural, and we’re likely always going to have it arise in some form when our lives take a new turn. In order to make the healthy changes required though, we must recognize the feeling of fear in our bodies; see it as the stagnation, the excuses, and the procrastination, and choose to start anyways. You’re never going to change your life by waiting to feel differently, you’re going to change it by shifting your thinking, taking action and changing your behavior.
Whatever living healthier means to you, don’t wait for a sickness or physical limitation to motivate you to start. Begin making subtle and easy lifestyle changes now, and catch up on living your best life before life catches up to you.