Way of Life

You will hear people say that fitness is “just a way of life”. How can you begin to make these fundamental principles a way of life for you?

I like the “Tony Robbins” approach. He teaches that as humans, we are motivated by two things: we seek pleasure and we avoid pain. All of the decisions we make, whether conscious or not, are motivated by one of these. Ultimately, we want the pleasure that comes from being healthy and free of sickness. We also inherently want the kind of long life that is free of physical pain that often comes with the aging process.

But when it comes to doing the little, daily acts that produce these big results, the tables in our mind get turned. We perceive exercise to be painful, time consuming, with little immediate benefit. And it takes a long time to start to notice the pleasurable feelings associated with eating fresh foods and moving our bodies on a regular basis.

Here’s Tony’s suggestion. Take out a blank sheet of paper, and fold it lengthwise down the center. On one side, write all the things you can think of that you would gain if you started taking really good care of your health. If you exercised daily and cleaned up your eating. More energy, better sleep, better sex, feelings of self-love, a new wardrobe, etc.

On the other side, write all the things you can think of that will happen if you don’t take better care of yourself. Shorter life span, less energy, higher risk of cancer and heart disease, irritability, low self esteem, etc.

Now…place this list right next to your bedside. Read it before you go to sleep, and convince yourself that you want more of what’s on the left, and less of what’s on the right. When your alarm goes off and you start to reach for the snooze button, go over the list again in your mind.

Just this one workout will put you closer to the pleasure and further from the pain!

You may have to do this several mornings in a row. I have to do it sometimes, even after this has been a way of life for me for almost 30 years! But it’s a helpful tool. Give it a try, just for this week.

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