08 Feb Starting Over
Starting over – Marisa Richelle
We all have problems: health problems, partner, stress at work, with the children’s education or those extra kilos that make us feel uncomfortable
The beginning of the year gives us that bit of motivation to improve certain habits and achieve our goals.
However, January has already gone by and… How are those resolutions going?
Normally after a few weeks, that initial motivation wanes and we gradually return to our old vices. In this article I want to expose one of the reasons why this vicious cycle occurs.
I attach a graphic representation that describes our processes of doing and feeling.
Our words give away our thoughts. Through what we say to ourselves and how we interpret our environment we will feel one way or another, which will determine how we act.
It seems logical, doesn’t it? However, in our daily lives we have countless thoughts and we verbalize many of them unconsciously.
Unfortunately, we have a negative chip in our heads that makes us interpret what happens to us in a pessimistic way.
And so, day after day, “autopilot” takes over and we abandon our resolutions with a sense of failure. Starting Over becomes a burden.
I will choose as an example the resolution from the beginning of the year: “I WANT TO DO SPORTS THREE TIMES A WEEK”. What dialogue do we have with this goal?
1) “I need to take off a few pounds, what a way to eat on Christmas…”.
2) “They say that sport is healthy. Let’s see if I can get moving for once”.
3) “I have to disconnect from work, take care of my diet and relax… I have to de-stress and do sports, otherwise I’ll get sick”.
This dialectic projects:
1) An internal need, because we don’t like the outside.
2) A desire to fit in, because we choose objetives dictated to us by society.
3) A self-imposed obligation.
I do not intend to judge. It is true that sometimes our exterior moves us to seek solutions to our state, motivating us. What I would challenge you here is to ask yourselves: why do I do what I do? What does it mean for me to succeed in this objective?
Let’s observe how we talk to ourselves in our day-to-day lives as we try to achieve our purpose:
Before a workout:
– “I’m super tired, I don’t know if I’ll be able to do it at 100%”.
– Again more of the same, I’m not looking forward to it!
– “I’m super stressed out… with how good it is on the couch…”
– “I can’t today…”
– “I have to pick up my kids, go shopping, tidy up the house, make dinner…”
You may have made it through the training, but do you guys think this attitude helps to clear your head and achieve that long term goal?
Suggestions for improvement:
- Be aware of your way of speaking and gradually start substituting it in a way that is more real and compassionate to yourself. Example, instead of:
“I’m super tired, I don’t know if I’ll be able to do it 100%”.
“Today I will start softly, without rushing. There are days when I’m at my best and others not so much. It’s okay, I do even if it’s 20 minutes, I know it will do me good.”
- Focus on what you gain from doing sports. We tend to focus on the negative, on the laziness and the difficulty of the exercise, but what if we pay attention to the feelings after training? The feeling of overcoming, of feeling more relaxed, happy, of that warm shower and that beer at the end. Focus on that moment of rest on the couch knowing that you have done your “homework”.
Let’s give ourselves small prizes for our effort.
If Starting Over is hard for you, you can always come to Ánimae.
If you have any questions, I’m here to help you!
Marisa Richelle de Jong, Psychologist
College Number: CV13166
Address- Edif. Servitur, Ctra. Finestrat (CV 758), 03502, Benidorm, Alicante