This time of year, everyone is resolving to do some things and not do others and working out is always a favorite new years resolution. For many of us, especially me, it doesn’t come naturally to wake up at 5:00 am and hit the bricks to knock out a session at the gym. However, the more I’ve had to deal with PTSD and anxiety, the more crucial physical activity has become for me. Most of us are dealing with some level of stress that can be defused by expending extra energy. I don’t need to tell you that it really sucks to do it sometimes, or most of the time, but man does it help you get through your day with greater ease.
Whenever we try to initiate a positive change, the part of us that is comfortable where things are (some call it your saboteur or shadow) will do everything to thwart our progress. Anxiety will ratchet up, excuses will abound. Before I know it, I’ve quit before I’ve even started. Until I learned that this is just part of the process.
Once you learn to expect this going in and accept it as it comes up, you can quickly overcome the desire to bail. Focusing on the deeper reason why you want to do something is also helpful. Look beyond “I want to get healthy and fit” or “I want to lose weight.” For me, I have to focus on the kind of mother I want to be for my children, which is healthy, active and patient. Exercise reduces my anxiety, which allows these goals to come more easily.
The most important thing to do is allow your mind to go nuts and just keep reminding yourself that you just have to get through this moment, or the next 30 minutes, without quitting. You can take it easy, you can modify; just don’t quit.
Equally important to remember is if something happens to derail you, immediately take action to get back on the program. This advice isn’t limited to exercise. With all positive change expect resistance, focus on how this will profoundly impact your life and don’t quit. Just don’t quit.