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The Chinese Medicine Sampler - Simple Coountry Acupuncturist

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Alternative to Cynicism

Is There a Right to Health Care?

How to Change Your Life: Slowly







How to Change Your Entire Life: Slowly

So you want to get into great physicdal condition, eat healthfully, reduce stress maximally, and live a peacful fulfilling life. Good for you. But chances are this is not your first attempt; although it may be. Stories of failure at life transformation are far more common than success stories. Don't let that keep you from trying again though. Just use a different strategy this time. Changing everything at once - diet, exercise habits, sleep, adding meditation, giving up coffee and/or alcohol and/or smoking - will turn your life inside out. Any one of these changes involves not just you but the people you live and work with. All the new behaviors you want to install in your daily activities requires a written list.

Take exercise. Educating yourself about different activities and then selecting one also requires experimenting with different types of sports, aerobic and weightlifting programs. That alone can take several hours a week. And then you have to find several hours a week to accomadate your new exercise. Don't forget to include travel time. This also probably means getting up early and changing mealtimes and your commute to work. You'll probably be leaving and returning home at different times than your significant other and kids. They have to adjust to your new schedule too. Going to the gym at lunch is also going to cut out the schmooze time that helps maintain your relationships with co-workers. So, this one change has repercussions in all areas of life.

Imagine trying to change your diet at the same time. Diet change affects whoever you live with too. Do you think the people who share your life will object to new foods and the lose of old favorites? Might they resist them? And have you thought about what is fair to ask them to tolerate? Its probably a good idea to think about the other people in your life before embarking on the new program. If you don't have answers ready you might find that there's so little room for your self-improvement program that the parts of it you can manage to do have no effect.

Another weak link of life-change is realistic expectations. Forget about the numbers on the scale or how many days since you started getting up when its dark to lift heavy things until your muscles hurt and your lungs shake their fingers at you. All of your body's systems must adjust to your new regimen. Getting into good cardio-vascular shape, increasing your elasticity, and recapturing a modicum of grace in your movement do not happen in a week. Getting on the scale everyday is a very effective way to increase anxiety and frustration. And don't compare last week's repetition numbers to this week's. Instead, just go through the motions and pay attention to doing your exercise properly. But expect it to feel odd and awkward in the beginning. You aren't in shape and by definition it should feel awkward

The change you're instituting will take you to your goal of high energy and athletic OVER TIME. If you must check quantified measurements, do it monthly at most. That's a large enough interval for change to accumulate and then you'll be encouraged instead of frustrated.

Go at your new regimen softly. If you're too tired to get up with the rooster on the second day so be it. Get up an go on the third day. Allow your body and your psyche the circumstances they need to stop an old habit and install a new one. Force of will is unquestionably useful but it isn't the most important factor. Couple your sustained determination with recognition of all of the things that are affected by the one 'simple' change you've made in your life.


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