We all know what resistance feels like. Maybe you feel it when you’re trying to establish a daily walking habit, cook more healthy meals at home, or when you’re approaching a deadline at work. In this post, I share three steps that helped me work through resistance and how you can apply them to your own life.
I planned to share three blog posts with you last week. I published zero of them. And you know what? I’m okay with that. Life isn’t black or white and our goals aren’t either. Once I found my groove again, I realized that the process I moved through could easily apply to your own healthy lifestyle goals, too. If you feel like you lack motivation or can’t make your healthy habits stick, try following these three steps.
1. Recognize Your Resistance
Everyone feels resistance in some way. Instead of fighting it, accept that it’s a totally normal part of the process of change.
Last week, I paused to recognize that I felt uninspired, a little burnt out, and not very creative. I feared my posts would take a long time to compose and that they wouldn’t be interesting, anyway. and I could even feel the anxiety building up in my chest when I thought about it. Instead of letting those feelings wash over me (because I’ve been there and learned it gets me nowhere), I took a moment to pause and take note of the way I was feeling.
To apply this same idea to healthy lifestyle goals, say you want to go for a walk daily, but one day, you can’t seem to take that first step. Before you power on the TV, run a quick body scan. Take note of how you’re feeling physically. Pay attention to your energy levels and any stress or strong emotions you’re feeling. Remember that it’s totally normal to curl up with Netflix on occasion—you aren’t lazy, you didn’t fail, and you’re feeling something that’s completely normal and universal for all of us humans.
2. Explore with Judgment-Free Curiosity
When you recognize resistance, start asking questions—but, and this is super important, keep the moral judgments out of it. Shifting your plan of action isn’t a sign of failure—it’s what you need to do to achieve real, lasting success. So without judgment, ask yourself whether your goal still aligns with your true intention.
Is this habit still important to me? What happens if I don’t do it? Could I take another route to make it easier to achieve the purpose behind my goal? Is there something else my body is really calling out for?
When I explored my own resistance, I thought about my original goal of posting on the blog twice weekly. The intention was to consistently share information with you and to let you know that you can rely on me. If I don’t publish, someone may be disappointed, people may unfollow, traffic may go down. But taking a break could also help rekindle my creativity and lead to bigger and better things long-term.
If you want to explore your resistance to movement, think about what you might gain from walking as a healthy habit. Are there any simple adjustments you could make to help your goal fit into your lifestyle more seamlessly? (Could you try a different trail or time of day?) What happens if you don’t do it? What might you gain from watching Netflix, instead? Have you ever set a similar goal in the past? What did you learn from that experience?
3. Let it Go, Adjust, & Recommit
If all these questions make you realize that your goal is completely off track with your authentic values, let it go. If there’s something about your goal that no longer fits, let that piece of it go and keep the rest. Once you feel confident your goal aligns with your purpose, recommit.
First I let go of my goal and any moral judgments associated with it—I took the week to reboot. I convinced myself it was okay to scrap my original goal, and I loosened up a little bit. I began to flow more with the natural ebb and flow of creativity. I took in content instead of producing it. I read other writers who inspired me, and I started to notice and take advantage of inspiration whenever it happened to strike. I also spent some time doing nothing. And sure enough, after a week or so, I’m here and totally ready to recommit.
If the original intention behind your walking goal was to manage stress, ask whether it’s working for you. If the thought of squeezing something else into your schedule is only leaving you more panicked, you could drop the goal completely. (Goals always have “rough draft” status.) Or you could adjust it to include a few rest days and a wider variety of self-care activities that go beyond walking (like flowing through a quick yoga video, going for a casual bike ride, or yes, Netflix). Recommit when you’re ready, and don’t be afraid to move fluidly between all of these stages over time—there’s no room for negative, judge-y vibes in this experiment!3 simple steps to overcoming #resistance and reaching your healthy lifestyle goals.Click To Tweet
When was the last time you felt resistance, and how’d you work your way through it?
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