When you are learning a new skill including life skills, starting a new exercise program, growing your business, working toward any goal, changing any habit you want to change AND reaching for your dreams, you’ll create greater success if apply ALL of these elements.
If you want to change, grow or heal, it is essential to work your way through these stages:
- Make a Personal Commitment
- Strengthen That Commitment With Social Accountability
- Take It To The HIGHEST Level With A Coach or Teacher
I’ll walk through these steps using my Bikram as an example. (Bonus Tips Included Through-Out)
How did I make a Personal Commitment to get back to Bikram?
First I made the commitment in a specific statement…IN WRITING in my journal:
“I’m going to do Bikram for 10 days straight as a kick off and then make it part of my weekly routine”
Then, I did a few things that work for me EVERY time I make a change, no matter what kind of habit I’m changing. Here’s the run down that you can try too:
- Intellectual review – I brought my brain (pre-frontal) back to the logical benefits (for Bikram – it’s a way to have a facial, sauna, cardio, strength training, lymph flush, organ flush, skin detox and meditation . . . all in ONE! NO BRAINER)
- Set yourself up for success – I started on a 3 day weekend when my schedule was free. I knew if I got the first 3 days under my belt my momentum would be established
- Do it frequently enough to set a habit – that’s why I started with a 10 day power focus
- Negotiate with my mind – examples are “today if I do the 1st set of each pose with ALL of my strength, I can go easier or even skip the 2nd set . . . of course I never actually skipped the 2nd set but this negotiation gets my mind on board enough to get started
- Allow time for adjustment and rest – because I began on a 3 day weekend, I could take a nap each day to help the muscle recovery. Rest is also when we assimilate new information and new neural pathways form. You don’t have to sleep like I did, but have total down time
IMPORTANT NOTE ON TRAINING YOUR MIND: It’s really important that once you have made the commitment in writing that you stick to it no matter what. You can always re-evaluate and “course correct” later but you must fulfill the initial commitment. Each time you do the exercise . . . no matter if you are successful or not . . .you are building a new neural connection that over time makes this action a habit. For me, this meant . . . get myself in the Bikram room . . . whether I felt like it or not, if I had time or not and whether or not I thought I’d continue Bikram long term. I also had to note this commitment on my calendar as “seriously” as any business appointment and that time HAD to be before 12:00 noon. Why?
I KNOW I will not exercise in the afternoon. It is self sabotage for me to think that I will.
Strengthen Your Commitment with Social Accountability
Human beings are fundamentally social by nature. Loneliness is at the core of many mental and physical illnesses. When I ask clients what they are dissatisfied with in their life, one of the top three answers is a lack of friends or family. People heal together. This is why support groups work, why gyms work, why running clubs work and why the buddy system works. There is also a heightened sense of accountability when another person is invested in our success or failure. When it comes to my Bikram – I just guaranteed social accountability by putting this out. Feel free to check in on me from time to time to hold me accountable.
Take It to the Highest Level with A Coach or Teacher
The fact that I’m doing Bikram shows my personal commitment because studios come and go in my town. I had to create my own Bikram room. A few years ago, I got an industrial strength heater to heat up the laundry room in our barn. I added a humidifier and need to start both a minimum of 3 hours prior to my practice.(it’s hard to make humidity at 8500 ft elevation in the Rockies.) I didn’t let ANY of those challenges get in my way of doing Bikram. They were simple problems to solve. Even though I do pretty well on my own with a Bikram cd and my self made room, every time I travel or go to a home away from home for the winter, I JUMP at the change to take class with a teacher. It ALWAYS ups my game. I spend a fair amount of time in Palm Desert, CA and my practice improves every single time I’m in the presence of a CA Champion Bikram Instructor named Kim. Here’s a picture of her!
Kim has the talent to notice what is going on with my body when I don’t. She knows just how to stretch me without discouraging me. She has a team that follows her lead and it makes for an EXCEPTIONAL Bikram experience every single time. \ I wouldn’t miss it for the world.
Working with a coach or teacher on any skill is an incredibly beneficial investment. None of us, including me, can get the same result in isolation. Such is true with a coach I hired this year to help leverage my time and grow my practice. At first the financial investment felt big, but a month or two in and I knew the value of the experience was PRICELESS.[Tweet “I believe the very act of investing in ourselves stretches us beyond limitations.”]
I encourage you to try all THREE of these tools to stretch yourself, improve your results and live your purpose! If you struggle with the execution, reach out by emailing me at leah[at]onewholehealth.com. I can help with that.
One last note about why Bikram works so well for me. Bikram is a series of 26 poses that never change in the same order every time. This creates the opportunity for SURRENDER . . . There is no short cut. I can’t make it up as I go along. This creates an environment (like guided meditation) where one can clear the mind and not have to think. One of the most common forms of self sabotage that I see is the tendency to “jump around between commitments” so much so that people never actually make one! You will train your mind, direct your brain and build your confidence in yourself when you pick ONE commitment and follow through to its completion.
Here’s to your growth and healing!