RK Tip of the Week| Shaping your path to Greatness!

Posted on March 24, 2010


We make time for that which we value. Way too many people are telling me that they don’t have time to workout regularly or prepare home-made dinners most nights (or eat at home most mornings rather than get a 550 calorie waffle sandwich at Dunkin Donuts -bleh). I even caught myself saying this about my long runs that need to be building up now as I prep for some a few longer distance races in the summer. And as soon as I said it, I heard myself & corrected th statement to say “I haven’t made time” vs “I don’t have the time.”

We’ve all got the time to do anything we want! It’s in there, somewhere in each day is the time to do what you want to do, in this case, to do what is good for your body & mind. Many of us just choose to do other things instead & then assume we are too packed to fit anything else into the day. Or, we let other things got onto our Path to Greatness that will not lead our health to greatness & may only make us marginally happy.

I’m still reading this awesome book on change called The Switch, and it talks a lot about ‘shaping the path.’ Imagine an elephant walking along. It would be much easier led by having a clear path to follow vs a wide open space where it can meander along, maybe getting to your intended destination, maybe not. We are much like elephants in that we will lead ourselves along the path, IF there’s a path to follow.

Here are common things that could be on your path & reasons why they need to be removed today.

“Work is taking over my whole life.” –>Work can be super busy, for sure, but did you know you’ll get more production out of your day & have better mental clarity & focus if you’re exercising regularly & eating nutritiously? Sure you did. We all know that by now. But many of us don’t take that step to say, “oh, well that’s obvious! I’d like more productivity in my day so I’m going to go get a workout in right now!” We don’t often say that because it’s not the emotional connection we need to me motivated to move forward. Some research into similar situations shows that we are actually more paralyzed by the fear of what that commitment to doing the work includes than actually doing the work. I know those BOSU boards are scary 😉 but there’s actually more fear about all the extra work that goes into getting a workout in i.e. you’d have to remember regularly to pack a gym bag, you’d have to buy new gym shoes, you’d have to get an extra shower in, you’d have to pack a snack for after the workout, it’s just so much extra work beyond just the workout. See what I mean? We think we’re going to stir up so much dirt in our life just trying to do this one thing that we choose not to start at all.

“I get home at night & just want to watch a few shows before bed.” –> I get it. Watching people lose weight on Biggest Loser is so much more gratifying than actually going out to lose weight ourselves or cook healthy meals that will help us lose weight. That makes total sense!…or not. If you’ve shaped your path (consciously or not) to look for comfort on the path from the Boob Tube as my father called it, then you’re going to be very uncomfortable leaving your literal couch comfort zone to go exercise or cook meals. We shape our own path, and digging out a new one is going to be strange & different, because it’s a path you’ve never been on before, but let’s be clear on one thing – you are the one who’s shaping that path – not anybody else, no matter how much you’d like to use your kids, your boss, or your wife as a scapegoat. To be honest, there was a time when I was here too. I’d just moved out on my own, and worked a 6am-2pm job, early hours to be sure, but only 8 hours & never more than 8. I could not fathom how people could work longer hours, it just didn’t make sense to me, because of how I’d shaped my path. But as I got comfortable with being uncomfortable as new path was shaped out before me, I found myself able to work later, which got me a promotion & launched my career. What’s possible for you if you take off the blinders & re-shape your path a bit?

“I feel so guilty taking time away from my kids by going to the gym.” –> Really? really? We’re going to use the kids as an excuse? Throw this one out the window right now. If you teach your kids to understand health, nutrition & exercise at a young age, they are going to ‘get it’ when Mom or Dad has to head off to the gym or is a little late getting home on Tues night because she takes a workout class. Remember, they are young in their minds, they are not logical thinkers yet like you are, so it’s up to you to teach them about why you’re going off to workout for a bit or need to step into the kitchen to cook dinner rather than take them into a McD’s for a meal. **By the way, gluten alert! All of McD’s grilled chicken contains wheat!! Do not eat if you are gluten intolerant! For the rest of you who are not intolerant, why the heck would you want to eat chicken that has wheat in it?** We choose how we feel about every situation. No one makes you feel guilty, ‘less than’, or angry. You feel your own emotions. So decide how you’re going to feel about your situation, then act accordingly. You can love your kids a million % & still manage a fantastic workout schedule & regular home-cooked meals IF you take charge of your mind & emotions, and re-direct your mind to draw out “sense of accomplishment” when coming home to your kids after working out, rather than “sense of abandonment.”

So get on your elephant & ride folks! There’s a Path to Great Health out there for you, if you’d like to travel it.