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50 ways to leave inertia in the days of pandemic past

Health Coach Mary Letson has some tips for those of us having trouble getting moving
Mary Letson
Mary Letson is owner and operator of Positively Fit Studio on Bowen.

Ok, maybe not 50, but here’s some strategies to get your good health habit train out of the station.  As you read through, remember all the other parts of your life that are in full swing and not suffering from inertia – like your role at work, or your parenting skills or your studies at school.  If taking care of your health is lagging behind, all is not lost!  You have all the tools to turn it around.  And full disclosure, I’ve been meaning to write this post for about six months - so Inertia and I have our issues too! 

Slip out the back, Jack

Our over-analyzing brains can freeze us in a quagmire of indecision.  Try disengaging with all the self-talk about why you can’t start that new healthy thing. Embrace a single-minded determination, a one task at a time focus (multitasking is overrated) and quietly bag one day of that new, better behaviour.  Do a happy dance when you do (maybe work up a sweat while doing it) and then do it again the next day.  Bag seven days of slipping out the back Jack, then revisit your inner dialogue and I bet that conversation will have shifted to a more helpful, supportive voice worth listening to.

Make a new plan, Sam

Repeating the same behaviour and expecting different results is a nasty loop that drags us down and keeps us there if we don’t shake the rut.  When something is not working for me and stands between me and feeling awesome, I try and brainstorm a different approach that nails the results I’m looking for - like a good sleep for example.  As a 58-year-old woman, sleep and I have a solidly fickle relationship (thank you menopause). If I diverge from what I know is my sleep-friendly routine (can’t stand the term sleep hygiene), it’s guaranteed that I’ll be flip-flopping in the night. What works for me is: no wine, (one beer with dinner seems to be fine) as it wakes me up precisely at 3 a.m., small dinner portions otherwise I’m awake at 2 a.m. digesting, and a maximum of two cups of morning coffee otherwise I’m awake at 4 a.m. trying to solve all life’s challenges. Sure, sometimes I flip the bird at some of these no-no’s and indulge.  Who doesn’t like a lovely glass or two of wine with dinner?  But when I do, I resign myself to the possibilities of a crap sleep that night, and then get back on track the next day.

You don’t need to be coy, Roy

Have an honest, straight forward conversation with your work mates, life mate and or besties about your desire to leave Inertia for a healthier you. Enlist their support and make them part of your dream team for forging ahead and making lifestyle choices that work for you. 

 Just drop off the key, Lee

Eliminate triggers that set you off on that self-sabotaging train and work on removing them from your fridge, schedule, and or social set.  My weak spot is cookies.  Just can’t have them on the shelf! I don’t buy them, if given to me I re-gift them (sorry friends!) and will only make them if said cookies have a specific destination other than my shelf (like my hard working, calorie burning machine of a son). 

Set yourself free: try one of these strategies and see how it feels. Give yourself a week (or two or three) to acclimatize to the new habit, then layer on another strategy.  Build the momentum slowly, give yourself the attention and care you so deserve and watch how Inertia’s debilitating grip melts away.  Then hop on the bus Gus, and set yourself free.