Alright, so you’ve figured out how to juggle your career and your significant other and your kids. It’s not always graceful, but you’ve got the swing of things down (finally!).
But now after a few years of putting everyone else first, you’re ready to start figuring out how to put yourself back up at the top(ish) of the list, except it feels like you’ve been stuck in this rut for so long with your health, where do you even start?
Not to mention, where you’re at now is a joke compared to where you were with your younger-pre-career-and-family self.
It wasn’t even that hard before and you were in good shape, liked how your clothes fit and, looking back, it seems like magic how it was so easy.
Sound about right?
Then you are soooo not alone, my friend, so not alone.
If that sounds like you, then the place to start is: exactly where you are.
Ever heard the saying, “start where you are with what you have?”
That’s exactly the spot to begin.
Acknowledge that you’re here, in this new version of you, with a family and a career or a business, and you’re not the same person you were in your twenties. And that’s okay!
You wouldn’t have all these amazing things in your life without having gone through those experiences.
So that means you’re not picking back up where you left off – easily going for a 45 minute run without even warming up. You’re not jumping right back into the Crossfit WOD as if no time has passed.
That’s just not realistic and, if you try it that way, you’re setting yourself up for failure.
Instead, start where you are.
Meaning if you want to get back into running, do a warm up (yes, warming up is now a thing for you) and then start jogging and see how far you can go.
**And an important part of this process: make a deal with yourself beforehand that there will be ZERO judgement of how far you’re able to run.
Just run, and see how far you make it without needing to stop. That amount of time or that distance? That’s where you’re at now, and that’s where you’re starting. Begin retraining your brain that this is the new normal, and it’s exactly where you need to be.
(sidenote: this analogy isn’t just for running, it’s whatever type of healthy activity/habit you want to resume doing.)
Once you have your starting point, you can begin to build.
You’ll need a couple tools as you’re beginning this process though, and they’re both free because they’re both mental: (1) grace and (2) knowing there’s no such thing as failure.
You’re just starting back up, getting out of that rut and you WILL fall off the wagon. You WILL ‘mess up’ or not do what you had planned to do. You will. And I know you will because you’re human. That’s where grace comes in.
Because no matter how far you walk or run or row or ride; no matter how many healthier snacks or salads you have; and regardless of how meticulous you track things, whatever you’re doing now as you’re trying to prioritize your health, it’s more than you were doing before.
That, my friend, is grace. And that’s how you forgive yourself for not sticking to it, or for messing up. You’re doing the best you can, you’re still trying, and that is what’s going to make the difference. You’re doing it!
The second is knowing there’s no such thing as failure. As I just said, you’re still trying. And that means you haven’t failed.
I’ll say it again: as long as you’re still trying, you haven’t failed.
Sure, you might have chosen the fried chicken sandwich at lunch, or maybe it’s an entire bad day or week or couple of weeks. But as long as you’re willing to keep trying, you haven’t failed.
Too often we put an insane amount of pressure on ourselves to make our new routine be “all or nothing.” But that’s a LOT to carry around all day every day – thinking that if we make one wrong move it’s all gone to shit and all our effort wasted.
That’s not how it works though – one ‘bad’ meal or day out of your week won’t ruin everything; and a bad week or two won’t ruin your year.
Break out of your rut by starting. It’s that simple – just start. Start where you are and with what you have.
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