I was working with a woman who had an incredible work-ethic. She had a very demanding job and lots of engagements with her family. When she tackled a project she would go at it with everything she had. And this included her health. This drive for excellence worked fine when she was younger but was not working now. Not only was it not working, it was keeping her from enjoying herself.
When you want changes to stick, like eating well or exercising regularly, you have to construct these routines to feel good. Because otherwise they just won't stick. This woman was using her ideas about a good work-ethic to push herself to exercise a certain way. Her self-prescribed exercise routine always required too much time, or effort or was just not fun. She wondered why she kept failing at these changes that she had been able to do in the past. Finally, I told her we needed to work on making these changes feel good. Because feeling good is the foundation for sustainability.
So we scaled back. She started exercising for the fun of it, 15-20 minutes. And she found it was easy to fit it in; it was easy to remember and it was easy to like. Sometimes we forget that things don't have to be hard-core to be beneficial. But they always need to feel good if we expect them to stick around. So instead of your work-ethic, what is your joy-ethic? :) What feels good?
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