We need to move or we would die. The opposite of motion is stillness. The ultimate stillness is death. That’s bad. We don’t want that option.
However, wanting to move is vastly different than needing to move. Many people start exercising because they need to: ‘I need to lose weight.’ ‘I need to lower my blood pressure.’ ‘I need to get in shape for vacation.’ ‘I need to …’
How you talk to yourself matters
How about this instead, ‘I want to lose weight.’ ‘I want to lower my blood pressure.’ ‘I want to get in shape for vacation.’ See how different they make you feel by simply reading it? Imagine how it feels when you do it.
Most people end up quitting after several weeks with new exercise programs because true ‘want’ of movement is not inside the heart and brain. Exercise is movement. But all movement is not exercise. So how do you get someone to want more movement?
Note I didn’t say more exercise. The only way you’re ever going to make any lasting change is by tapping into the power of the brain.
Nothing changes until the brain gives the green light. If you hit yellow or red lights you stop.
Green is want. Yellow and red is need.
Our brains are not concerned with long-term well-being when it comes to movement but rather, completing the task at hand. Doing movement is not the same as going to do movement. For example, we intentionally go to the gym to move. In truth, movement you can do anywhere.
A photo posted by Perry Nickelston (@stopchasingpain) on
Here are a few simple things that might help. The solution doesn’t have to be complicated to work. In my opinion, the answer is not going harder, faster, stronger, or longer. Those are needs. Temporary needs. We must foster wants. These might help.
The brain doesn’t pay attention to boring things. It doesn’t want to do boring things. Been there, done that. So make your movements novel. Stop going to the gym and doing the same old same routine in a familiar environment. Try a different venue for training. Move more of your own body around as opposed to moving other things around your body. For example, bench press is going an object. Pushup you are the object.
Move with others. We are pack animals. Community and connection is built into the human fabric. The more you move with others, the more you move and are likely to change habits. You get accountability from support, not judgment. You don’t have to be alone. There is power in the TRIBE.
Movement is not about no pain no gain. That’s cool if you are a Navy SEAL and you are the elite. Most of us can get through temporary hardship and pain when we must. But the brain doesn’t like pain. We rush away from things that hurt. So, yes you can kick your ass for two hours every day for a short period of time until the brain says it’s had enough. An alternative? Do a little bit of movement every day for 20-minutes. And if it doesn’t make you smile stop doing it.
Stop letting others put pressure on you to do movements right. There is no right way to play. When you look at movement as play it completely changes the way you do it. We are so hard on ourselves and judge others harshly. What the hell does ‘right’ mean anyway? The dirty little secret is there is no right way to move. How you are supposed to move is determined by you, the environment, and the task you are trying to accomplish. So when somebody is standing and judging how you play, kick them to the curb.
Show gratitude for your ability to actually move. We take it for granted. We don’t miss it until it’s gone. Be grateful for what you do have. Find something everyday you are grateful for about yourself. A sense of gratitude fosters change.
Show compassion to yourself. Compassion is expressing the intention of moving from judgment to caring, from isolation to connection, from indifference or dislike too understanding. if you don’t love yourself movement implodes. Explode your body and soul with self acceptance and compassion. You need it. Hell, we all need it.
So how do you inspire a want to move? I came across something several years ago about the fundamental six essentials it takes to be in a state of self acceptance. I really think this is the secret to satisfying your want. Work on these AND throw in some movement then you have the creamy filling for movement change.
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Stay Strong, Perry
STOP CHASING PAIN by Perry Nickelston
A Vital Guide for healing your body, moving well, and regaining control of your life