Kick Start

Sometimes we just need a little kick start.
 
I was in a pretty good habit of exercising for the last 6 months and then I got out of my routine and next thing you know it was 2 weeks without working out.
 
I had good excuses. I get sluggish in the winter and sleep more, work was crazy, blah blah blah.
 
But exercising is important to me and like meditating it doesn’t matter if my intentions or my excuses are good, it only matters if I do it.
 
So how do I get kick started?
 
Here are few things that work for me:

  1. Write it Down: I write down my commitments. This is a scientifically proven way to increase the likelihood of my follow through. I blog about it a lot, but I’ll keep saying it. A written down commitment is one that is more likely to be done. “Today I commit to meditate for 20 minutes before I go to sleep.” 
  2. Team Up: I like to grab a friend and make a short commitment, usually for 7 days. We check in daily and report if we had completed our task. I like the extra peer support and it is a fun way to get to make a friendship stronger. Try a 7 day gratitude challenge if you want to share a positive experience with a friend.  
  3. Visualize the Payoff: I feel good after I work out, blissful after I meditate and healthier after I eat my veggies. Sometimes when the task looks daunting I need to spend a little bit of time thinking about the reward to get myself going.
  4. Lower the Bar: When I fell out of my workout groove, my routine felt like too much. Reminding myself that recreating the habit and actually doing it are more important than my old benchmarks allows me to lower the bar and do a manageable amount. 20 minutes of meditation too long? Okay, 5 minutes is hard to make an excuse for.
  5. Just Do It: Frequently I come up against this feeling that I suspect you know. It is that feeling of lethargy that says, “I just don’t wanna!” Some days I just have to ignore that cranky ego monster in my head that wants to eat chips and watch TV all day and just do it. I almost always feel better once I’ve started. Sometimes I just have to ignore myself.

 
Bonus Tip: A little motivation never hurt anyone. Here are few of my favorite go to motivators:
 
Kid President – Feeling worn down and a sucker for an adorable little kid? This video is for you.

Rudyard Kipling's "If" – My favorite poem ever since my 8th grade teacher made us memorize poetry for English class. This poem gave me backbone when I felt I had none.

An Invocation for Beginnings – (NSFW) I love this odd little video and if you like it, you’re probably a little weird like me. FILDI is “F*** it let’s do this.” So many good lines, “My courage is a wild dog, it won’t just come when I call it, I have to chase it down and hold on as tight as I can.” 

Make it Count – This is a Nike commercial but it has some great quotes sprinkled through and something about the globe trotting makes me want to do big things.

How do you get going when you're sluggish? How is your practice going? I’d love to hear from you.
 
Warmly,
Anthony A. Cernera, M.Ed.
ZenHappinessProject.com
 
P.S. 30 Day Challenge Participants: Now that the challenge is over I added you to the regularly scheduled weekly emails. Stay in touch! 

Quote of the Week: “Action expresses priorities.” ― Mahatma Gandhi

Link of the Week4 Tips for Teaching Children How to Meditate which if you're interested in you might also want to check out the new Facebook Discussion Group for Mindful Parenting.