Enjoy Your Focus

What’s your favorite part of wellness? Do you love running? How do you feel after a long cardio session? Do you get excited about trying a new recipe? It’s important to identify these moments and even more important that you replicate them.

We talked about reframing what it means to give your all. So, what does it look like when giving your all starts to give back? There are the long-term rewards such as quality of life, looking better, having more energy. But what about the little returns? With so many options to support wellness out there, why not find the ones you enjoy the most?

The three components of a habit, for better, for worse, are trigger, action and reward. The action portion is the most customizable. Your motivation doesn’t necessarily waver. You simply desire to be well. The last portion, the Reward, is impacted by your action, so it really doesn’t have room for customization. It’s just the result. The part you have the most control over is the part you need to enjoy the most. Are you going to enjoy every part of a workout routine? Probably not, but why not aim for a high level of satisfaction? If you don’t care for CrossFit, try a PT Fitness class. Try swimming, walking, cycling, jogging before committing to anything. Better yet, go beyond the traditional forms of exercise and try rock climbing, couples dancing, and self-defense. Remember active time with your family is a highly rewarding form of exercise. Playing a game of tag, wrestling with the kids or planning a trip to the park are great ways to combine your priorities. It’s more than reasonable to want to finish each session feeling good about how you spent your time. Surely, you’ve heard people say, “I had a great workout last night.” That could be – SHOULD be – you. There’s a saying about employment that goes, “Do something you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life.” The same logic is true for wellness. Find an activity that you truly enjoy, and you’ll never mourn your commitment to improving your health. You can stop saying that you have to go workout and start saying you get to go do something you love.

I love mountain biking. A brisk ride through back trails energizes me more than most other activities. Sadly, Texas weather doesn’t always provide bike-friendly days. As such, I had to adjust. After a little trial and error, I discovered swimming. I found a similar sense of accomplishment and invigoration at the end of my last lap. Interestingly enough, while I was going to the gym to swim, I discovered racquetball. Playing a game against other athletes taps into my competitive nature. Swimming is a great solo activity, while racquetball allows me to be a little more social. By remaining open-minded, I moved on from cycling to discovering two new activities that truly excite me.

You may find the season of your life has caused you to make a switch. If your lifestyle has changed, rather than resenting the time away from your favorite activity, dedicate your efforts to finding something new. Get competitive, go solo, ask like-minded people what they do to stay healthy.

Celebrating your Power isn’t limited to your fitness routine. Eating healthy should never be a chore. If you don’t like a recommended dish, don’t eat it. If we have choice and flexibility anywhere in our lives, it’s at the grocery store. If you’re trying to eat more fish, but discover that you don’t like tuna, try salmon. Don’t like fish? Eat more chicken! If you’re finishing a meal wishing you’d had something else, make the change. Nutrition and taste are partners. There are foods that will help your cravings without setting you back nutritionally. Find a way to look forward to your meals. If you’re resenting your nutrition, the odds of you sticking to a plan are slim. So, why tie your own hands? There are shelves of recipe books, mobile apps, and fitness professionals with great ideas out there. Seek their assistance and dedicate your efforts to nutrition you’ll enjoy.

Celebrating your Power reinforces your goals. If you’re inspired to take action, but then resent that action, you may struggle to maintain that inspiration. If you don’t believe that pleasure is a part of your journey, you’re likely to regret the effort and break the success cycle. Find a way to gain immediate gratification and the long-term impact of those decisions will seem more attainable. Enjoy the process.