Choosing Your Commitments
By: Joy Leick
How often do we hear the conversations around the topics of “I have commitment issues”, or “I could never do that”, “How do you wake up every day to workout at 5 am?” So often we hear comments just like these thrown around when the topic of health, fitness, diets, etc. come up. While, yes, some aspects of these concerns are legit, but I also believe that there is an underlying assumption that you have to be a crazy committed, disciplined, etc. type of person for healthy living to ever work for you.
Here’s the deal. Yes, you need to be committed and consistent and all of those things to make being healthy a lifestyle. But so often, we sell ourselves short and act like being healthy is this massive mountain that we need to tackle. I am here to shed some light on the fact that many of you are much closer to healthy commitments than you may think. Often times, we think that “commitment“, in general, is the issue.
I don’t believe that “I just don’t do commitment” can be the reason for saying you aren’t committed to fitness or to eating vegetables every day. You’re committed. You have decided, you have committed, you have been consistent. You have all the reason, characteristics, and qualities to be able to stick to an exercise and healthy eating regimen. More often than not, the lack of discipline or motivation doesn’t come from your lack of commitment. It all comes down to what you are choosing to commit to.
We wake up in the morning, we go use the restroom within the first hour of being up. We show up to work and check emails. We leave work and go directly to the school to pick up the kids. All of these things are habits that we have formed. We did not just come out of the womb with these habits in place. We’ve worked on them, day after day, whether we have wanted to or not. I want to challenge you to reframe your mindset around being a healthy human.
Many of us believe that “being healthy” is this label that is reserved for the people that can run miles on end or the ones that choose to get out of bed at 4:30 am. The reality is, you could be doing this also. OR doin something that is completely different because it’s more your style. (Missy is not a morning person so like Zoe and Terrance , she prefers to work out during the day or anytime after 6am lol, but Beth and I love to work out early. As you know, I love broccoli, but Missy prefers green beans for example.) Your mindset around the idea of health just needs a little bump. Your healthy journey doesn’t have to look exactly like someone else’s, but I am here to tell you that your journey and someone else’s are both going to contain some variation of commitment.
Whether you are the person contemplating even going to the gym in the first place or someone that is trying to get a bit more veggies into the daily schedule. Remember this; You can do it. It just needs to be broken down into smaller commitments and over time you will look back and realize how those small commitments added up to so much more than you could have ever dreamed.
Here are a couple of ways you could begin to shift your commitments or habits:
- When you, out of habit, choose to head immediately to the fridge when you get home from work or school to grab a soda or a beer (or insert a unhealthy item you grab frequently) perhaps you could make a deal with yourself that each time you plan to do that, you are going to do 30 pushups before you can actually consume the soda or beer. Whether or not you completely kick the soda or beer habit, you have at least put another step in between you and the soda to think about not drinking it. That’s the whole point- it’s not about “working off” the unhealthy item, it’s about asking yourself if you really “need” it by giving yourself some road blocks along the way.
- What is it that is stopping you from going to the gym? When you pack your things for the work day you could pack your gym shoes or pack your gym bag. You know you better than I do. If you like to sleep in, pack all your stuff the night before. If you like to go right after work, be sure that you have set yourself up to succeed when you leave for work at 4 in the morning and have everything with you that you’ll need to go!
- We all know that tons of us are addicted to Netflix, ABC, ESPN, Facebook, Instagram, and the list goes on. What if we took ten minutes, just ten, to fuel a healthy habit before we start aimlessly scrolling or channel surfing?
The truth is, we are all committed to something. We are committed to things whether we want to be or not. Obviously, we can’t change the fact that we have to drive our kids to basketball practice. But what we can changes is the fact that we could begin to use that as our time to walk the stairs for 30 minutes while they practice or plan our meals/grocery lists for the week.
As you look at your commitments this week/month/or year, I encourage you to see if they are adding fuel to the fire of your life. Are your commitments mindless commits that are adding little to no value to your life (i.e. Facebook, Instagram, etc.). You might realize, sooner than you think, that your decision to commit to one new healthy habit can add up to quite a bit more than you think. Whatever your goals are- what is one new thing you can try this week that gets you one step closer to them?