I’ve found that in order to persevere, I need to avoid that other ‘P’ word: Procrastination. I’ve made goals and resolutions to change or improve my life in various ways, one of them being to get a better body. Better in several ways: shape, pain-free, strong, lean. Unless I persevere consistently, my body will stay the same—the disappointing consequence of apathy.
So how do I persevere; what is my level of persistence? Do I give up easily and find excuses not to take positive actions to reach my goals, put off exercising for when I ‘feel like it’, or do I give myself a mental shake and correct that negative attitude?
I’m happy to report that I’ve found a solution to the doldrums of inactivity: just the other day I visualized myself going for a 90 minute walk. Holding onto that image helped to get me psyched up to head out the door and down the road, imagining walking ‘tall’, keeping my eyes peeled for new sights, breathing in the fresh air.
Yesterday Yoga and weights were on the menu: I had images in my head of the different poses and stretches I’d take; I saw myself in different positions of lifting the weights. Using that imagery helped to drive out any thoughts of lethargy, and even helped increase the motivation to put extra effort into all aspects of the exercise—resulting in a 60 minute routine.
Another confidence-builder is the constant reminder to self to sit or stand up straight. Lately I’ve been correcting my posture more than a dozen times a day; I no longer slouch around without a neck. Persevering is the key to kicking decades of letting my body cave into itself.
The very helpful article on persistence, mentioned by Mizzfit yesterday, pointed out that one needs to persevere even when not experiencing instantaneous positive feedback. With exercise, there’s no ‘instant gratification’—sometimes the results won’t be seen for months—so how does one get the motivation to keep on keeping on? For myself, my progress isn’t seen in the mirror—not so far, anyway—but in the strength I’m feeling, the renewed sense of balance, the lack of pain during a strenuous walk.
Being very like the tortoise in that well-known fable, I’m making slow but steady progress. I’m confident that by persevering in a variety of exercises, I’ll do better than my past mode of one step forward, two steps back. Now it’s three steps forward, one step back…soon to be leaping over rocks in a single bound.