How do you perceive physical activity?

As i write this, I’m literally days away, 2, in fact, from my first marathon – I’m not telling you that so you can send messages of congratulations – I’m telling you that to show you that the way we view physical activity is most definately about perspective.

This is a little about my running story, hope I don’t bore you, but really the morale of the story is about perspective and mindset.

5 years ago , actually, even 12 months ago, I’d say the thought of running marathon could have made me physically sick, or at least twitch a little! Of course, I wasn’t sick, but I viewed it as torturous!  It was SO far out of reach, not to mention, my comfort zone.

Since then, I’ve slowly increased my running, and along the way just decided I needed to do one marathon in my life.  That was pretty much all – I made a conscious decision, rallied my beautiful girlfriends to be support crew, booked flights, accommodation and registered for the event.  To be honest, I’m still feel amazed at what the body is capable of when we set our minds to it!

I’m not implying everyone needs to do a marathon or similar, for you, it might just be starting to committing to using the stairs every time there is an option, instead of the lift!

Today, I’m, yes, a little anxious but strangely excited – excited for lots of reasons.  Here are some random thoughts for race week and a few things I’ve noted and learnt in the last 6 or 8 months:

I’d be a liar, liar pants on fire if I said it’s all been super easy! Did I want to get out of bed and run every time the alarm went off? No! But I did (except for maybe a few times, when I couldn’t logistically sort my children to be safely looked after!)

Training for a marathon is a rollercoaster of emotions – on the days I didn’t run, especially if a few in a row, I’d start to talk myself out of it! Questioning my decision and perspective! In comparison, after I’d run,, I knew I could do it!

A runner I know was telling me how he cried at end of one of his marathons!  At the time, I felt sorry for him and was thinking, he’s soft, who’d do that?!?!? I so get it now, after all the training and commitment, the support (and well meaning questioning) from loved ones, the ups and downs, I might just get a bit terry too!

I’m going to be towards the end of the finishers, and that’s cool, but I absolutely cannot wait to know I am capable of a marathon! I feel like, my view of the world will change even more – I’ll let you know!

My marathon perspective took on a whole new level of meaning when I also decided that the Jake Garrett Foundation would be my beneficiary for my fundraising efforts.  Again about perspective.  The Jake Garrett Foundation provides emotional and financial support for parents whose precious children have passed away.  Thank you to everyone who has generously donated. When you see a friend and her family having to face this, marathon training isn’t even on the radar of degrees of difficulty.  The marathon is half a day and families have to be without their little person forever.

Please, let my gradual shift in perspective be proof that once we change the way we view things, what we’re capable of changes!  For physical activity – just get moving!

I have a gorgeous friend who has been sending memes in the lead up to race week – all supportive, some hilarious – so I have a few quotes to share:

You will never grow if you stay in your comfort zone – cliche but true – how we view a challenge matters!

We always over estimate what we can do in the short term but under estimate what we can do in the long term – just start!  Go for a walk around the block to reward yourself. Make it a priority instead of making excuses why you can’t, just make it happen, and see how it feels!

That’s what I’ll be doing on Sunday!

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My house is still messy.

Changing your perspective really can be a personally restorative act.

Let me explain – take cleaning the house for example – I feel like it’s a chore, so, given a chance, I avoid it! If I just took the view that by keeping the house clean it would be easier to live here, things might be different…(note, I haven’t mastered this yet and as a result always struggle to keep the house respectable!)

It’s the same with exercise – if we see it as a chore, quite simply, it will be!

But yet if we see it as not only being protective of our physical health but also our mental health – the game suddenly changes!!  When we are soaking up endorphins and achieving – we can easily choose our marvellous life, largely because we are feeling strong and confident from our efforts.  Are you following?

Perspective by definition is “a particular attitude towards or way of regarding something; a point of view”**  We make our best decisions when we can be aware of our own attitudes and points of view.

Now for the questions – how do you view physical activity?

Do you do it because you love the endorphins or because you think you should because of that chocolate slice you had for morning tea (or similar)?

What if you chose to view physical activity as an act of self-care and not torture?  It puts a whole new perspective on it really, doesn’t it?

Do you think choosing to change your perspective would make your life more marvellous?

** Reference – http://www.dictionary.com

 

Photo via Visualhunt

Know what makes you tick.

Topic – Mental Fitness

Best way to look after your mental fitness – know your real self and know what you need.

It makes sense really, doesn’t it?  Knowledge is power – so if we know what our preferences are – we can work towards using that knowledge to choose a marvellous life?

No one else will benefit from this.  Just you, which is 100% the goal here!

Here’s a few questions to start you thinking about your level of self-awareness:

When was the last time you engaged in an activity you walked away from taking you could take on the world?

When did you get so irritated by something that it made you ‘explode’ or ‘implode’ as the case may be?

Do you prefer your own time or to be surrounded by people and/or sounds?

What do you do to ‘recharge’?

How do you prefer to approach conflict?

How do you show people you appreciate them being in your life?

Once we are consciously aware of the way we prefer things to be, life is more likely to be marvellous!  Decisions just get easier.

It is also important to remember – we should never stop learning about ourselves!!

While our basic values don’t tend to change much, our experiences do!  And we know experiences can have profound effects on how we view the world.  That’s why we need to keep checking in with ourselves to make sure the action we are taking, does indeed, line up with the person we are at that time.

These are a few great resources I can recommend to ‘check in’ with yourself

  • Via Character – http://www.viacharacter.org – a free strength profiling website – you do a quick survey and in exchange for your email address, it gives you your results.
  • Personality Plus – there are lots of great personality sorters out there – this is one I have used and recommend – such an interesting exercise! There is also a ‘for Parents’ version of this one – personally, it answered lots of questions for me as a mother!
  • The Five Love Languages – a book, or I think there is an online version too, that profiles the way individuals prefer to give and receive ‘love’ – a must for anyone in a relationship!

Obviously, this is not an exhaustive list – but these are ones I’ve used and encourage you to check out to move along on the ‘knowing yourself’ path. **  I receive no endorsements – I just genuinely liked them and feel they could help other people too.

In terms of knowing what you need – knowing yourself usually informs this – if I’m someone who avoids crowds – a music festival isn’t going to be relaxing for me, or if I like to be alone and i live in a shared house, these don’t match up, do they?!  You get the idea!

Please, be kind to yourself – be really conscious of knowing what makes you tick and take note of the positive effect on your mental fitness (and the moving closer to your marvellous life)!

 

Image Source – http://www.quotemaster.org

 

Motivation is rubbish?

So, let me explain why I’ve boldly claimed that motivation is rubbish….

I’m going to use your car to further explain:

Relying on motivation is equivalent to having to connect the battery leads on your car each day, instead of just turning the key in the ignition to start the engine.  Turning the key to start your car is an act you undertake when you want to start your car each day, isn’t it?  It’s logical and automated, and you do it without much thought.   (Psst, this is how habits ‘are’ in a sustainably healthy life)

To be honest, I wouldn’t be sure HOW to connect the battery each day and to be more honest, I couldn’t be bothered? Could you?

Ok, I know some people would choose to do it for awhile, but could you keep doing it every day, knowing you needed to do it everyday to get anywhere??

Motivation usually comes in short bursts too – because change is desired.  Habits, on the other hand are a commitment to who you are growing to be.

You get in your car because you know why and where you are going.  Similarly, if your habits support your values, goals and your ‘why’, you will do them with ease.  What you do everyday matters!

Do you really think you would or could connect the leads before you leave home each day, forever?  As if it isn’t enough of a struggle to get to work on time, without having to think about which leads go on which battery terminal???

Does that make sense?  If we can make sustainably healthy habits something we do automatically without a thought, we have more time to focus on nurturing and choosing our marvellous life!

A little deep I know – but I thought it was an excellent comparison to highlight that what we do everyday matters!

Good health information can guide habits that change lives.

I ask you to try it!

Try starting a new positive habit – do it for a week to start with, if you love it, try committing to it for a month.  Review it after a month and see what’s different? Or if you would go back to not having it in your life.

Plan, do, review and change according to findings – know sustainable good health is a process!  Make the process a habit, and it will go a long way to helping you choose a marvellous life!

Have a great week!

 

Photo via <a href=”https://visualhunt.com/re/546f88″>Visual Hunt</a>

More on habits.

Since the live session on rituals and habits – I’ve been doing some research in my circle, aka discussing with friends, that the importance of rituals is, indeed true, in their lives too. If you missed it, you can see the live session at https://www.facebook.com/wellnessassist/

Our habits have such a huge effect on the way we perceive things.  From the field, here is another example:

Meet Sharon* – Sharon chooses to go to bed and leave the dishes there from the day – instead of just sucking it up and getting it done…Sharon leaves them until the next day, doesn’t seem like a big deal.  Sharon walks past them until lunchtime, or later when she feels annoyed enough by them, that she finally does them.  If Sharon had done them the previous night, there would have been no energy spent being annoyed by them and no impact on her next day. You see?

Ok, no more examples, just action!  Yes, action is crucial to choosing a marvellous life!!

Also, I cannot believe I did the whole live session about Rituals and Habits and didn’t mention ‘The Slight Edge’.  This is a marvellous book by Jeff Olson, that I think really highlighted to me that making good choices has such cumulative positive effects.  Similarly, consistently making not so wise choices can have the reverse effect.  I did know this, but the book puts it so simply!  I challenge you to read it this month if you can get your hands on a copy!

And obviously, if we are to choose a marvellous life, our next action is to take a look at our own habits and work out if they are helpful or not.  It IS more complex than this, but this will help you make a start!

Ask yourself:

Is this of value to me?

If it is – great, keep doing it.  If it isn’t, look for an alternative positive habit to take its place, and take the necessary actions to replace it!

Be sure to start small, be kind to yourself, celebrate wins and keep going!!

The good news is that it is never to late to change a habit, you just have to make the change and then stick to it…consistently…I feel like ‘consistent’ is going to be the word of this month!

Again, just like the goals, you need to be connected to your new habits – make them yours and make them count!

Image Source:  www.slightedge.org

*name changed so this person was’t identified

How personalised is your health information?

Here we are, working on this ‘project’ of you and your family’s health and subsequent marvellous life!!  Projects need research – which poses the question – where do you find your health information?

We live in a time when we have access to SO much information – but yet, this doesn’t always make our decisions easier!  How do we know it is reliable and a ‘good’ source?

It’s actually not easy sorting fact from fiction on the internet sometimes!  What I do know and want to share with those who choose a marvellous life is, that we need to be aware that specifically when in comes to health information – Google doesn’t have all the answers.  

Sure, some of your research might be done on the internet, but it can’t be your only source of information gathering.

I hear you say – where then, can I get information –  here’s just one suggestion (by no means the only place you can get good health information, but albeit, a great place to start your research):

Australian Health Practitioner Health Regulation Agency (AHPRA) health professionals have spent years learning and perfecting their profession – sounds ideal, doesn’t it?

Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency

Find more details at http://www.ahpra.gov.au (note – it has a gov in the address – always a good sign when looking for credible health information)

As previously mentioned, the term health professional gets thrown around a lot these days – often by people who haven’t had as much training as AHPRA Health Professionals. Is your trusted health professional’s profession on the list above?

I absolutely acknowledge that sometimes reading articles on the internet can make us feel better about certain conditions, but it can also have the opposite effect.  The main point is that is generic information and not personalised to you.  Therefore, the odds of it being 100% accurate for you every time are very slim to nil.  Whereas, for example, when you see a health professional from the list above, they get so much more information from you, putting them best placed to form their diagnosis and plan of care accordingly.  Does that make sense?

Back to the concept of a research process – remember when you teacher asked you to compare and contrast at school?  That is the perfect set up for assessing health information too – put it all together (maybe not with highlighters or the need for cutting and pasting!) however you see fit, and then you are well placed to make an informed decision.

The term ‘informed decision’ is one that is commonly used in health care – informed refers to knowing ALL the facts about the particularly issue and being able to make the best decision based on those facts.

And if we are to truly and intentionally choose our marvellous life, we need to be making the best decisions that we possibly can!

Goals…the last word.

Still no talk about SMART goals – only the ‘real and honest’ details found here.  The last word on goals is that we need to know where we are going so we can purposefully live our lives and move forward.

Simply by coming up with goals in 2017 you are already ahead of so many people. Celebrate the win!

What becomes the true defining moments, though, is if you are still looking at them and on your way to achieving them, come March, June, September or December!  I say that because goals have a tendency fall away, if we don’t TAKE ACTION to make them happen EVERY DAY!!

We need to see our handwritten (yes, not typed) goals, everyday and goals need to be reviewed on a regular basis – for some people this is monthly, others its longer, depending on the person and the goal.

To recap the month and also to set goals we require:

  • A connection to them – Remember how I asked you to write down what excites you and how then becomes the basis of your goals?  Your goals SHOULD excite you!  This excitement wholeheartedly connects us to our goals.
  • A true desire to achieve them – you cannot half-heartedly want to achieve your goals – you either want them to happen or you need to review your goals!
  • An image in our mind of what it will physically look and feel like –  If you haven’t thought about this, how do you ever expect to get there or even for some goals – know what it feels like?
  • Knowledge of why the goals are so important to you – When you know your why, the actually achieving the goals becomes easy – there needs to be no question in your mind about the reasons you want what you want!

So, go forth, be sure to also:

  • measure your progress (so you know how far you have come) and
  • celebrate your wins (in your own ways)

And keep in your mind, not all goals will be earth shattering, some will be small and may seem insignificant, but it’s all PROGRESS.  Setting and achieving goals is about constantly improving and ‘being better than yesterday’.