“Getting in shape” can relate to a lot of things. It can be spiritually, mentally, physically and so on. Getting in shape doesn’t suggest an “ideal” image, but more so a feeling and being healthy in all categories.
When we think of what it feels like to go about life not having enough energy or feeling tight/pain all of the time or being down and out, it isn’t too fun and it takes away from being able to experience the full spectrum that life has to offer.
Getting in shape and feeling these things in life doesn’t have to be a long drawn out process, it simply takes choosing to do it and doing it with some knowledge of how to best move forward. If you feel that you would like to boost up your energy, process a few emotions, eat healthier or even just feel better overall, here are 4 habits that can help you do that.
1. The Right Mindset
The right mindset is the foundation to everything. Let’s say that we want to get in good physical shape but our reasoning is so that we can look good or impress other people. Often times this desire is coming from ego desires that have to do with some deeper lying perspective about what it means to look good or how much more value we would have to others if we looked good.
To do things from the right mindset means to do it because we recognize the deeper health benefits or value in having a well functioning body. The truth is, a lot of the time staying in good physical shape doesn’t even mean being muscular, it can simply mean having healthy joints, muscle, cardio, tendons and bones.
So to start something from a solid perspective means you will be in touch with both your heart and soul’s desires to do something versus the mental or egoic reasons that can get us striving for something we can never achieve, or that could just be covering up a whole other challenge we have to deal with.
2. Making Changes You Can Keep Consistent
Often times when we go to make changes in our lives we will take a big leap into it without doing it correctly. One thing that I often see for example is when people try a vegetarian or vegan diet. They quickly complain that they have low energy, get sick and give up saying “my body can’t live without meat or this diet made me sick etc.” 99% of the time, the person simply did not give their body what it needs from the sources available as a vegetarian or vegan. Why didn’t it work? They jumped in too quick and didn’t think things through/educate themselves.
When you are deciding to make these changes, take small steps. Understand as much as you feel you need to about some of the changes you want to make before you just jump into them. This will also help your body adjust to some of the changes so that it doesn’t feel overwhelmed at first.
From a mental perspective, making small changes and new habits in smaller steps will also make things feel more doable, especially if you are a person who has a tough time breaking old habits.
Example: Let’s say you wanted to start cutting something out of your diet, it could be anything, I will just use meat for this example since it’s simple to explain the steps. Do it in transition steps. Begin with beef. After 2 weeks or a month, pull out pork as well. After a month or so of that, remove chicken. Finally, remove fish. This way you can make transition steps over a 3 – 6 month period if need be, and replace those things with healthier and equally nutritious options. Don’t just cut it and move on, know what to replace it with.
This same mindset can be used for exercise. Don’t feel like you need to suddenly kill yourself at the gym 6 or 7 days a week. Start slowly and build a habit. Do things you like, not what you feel you have to do. Starting small, especially if you are currently doing nothing, will make a big difference on your health, energy etc.
3. Adding In Exercise
One of the next steps of getting in shape as a whole is adding in exercise. Exercise can help as a foundation to having a clear mind, healthy physicality and lots of energy.
Choosing an exercise program that’s right for you is important when looking to make it consistent. Don’t worry too much about the latest trend or fad, focus on what type of exercise you like and what gets you excited. If you love yoga, do that. If you like going for walks in nature, do that. If you like lifting weights or doing body weight exercises, do that. If you only like playing sports, do that.
The bottom line here is that there is plenty to do in this world and in life that we enjoy when it comes to exercise, we don’t need to force ourselves to get in shape by doing something we don’t enjoy.
For me, I wanted to workout in nature and do it on my own time, so I built my own jungle gym and workout setup in my backyard. Don’t be afraid to get creative and think outside of the box.
4. Making A Bit Of A Routine
Having a bit of order in life isn’t a bad thing, in fact, it can be great. Sometimes we feel like or fear we might lose our sense of “flow” or will no longer be free flowing if we suddenly have some structure and order in our life. From what I’ve seen, when we try to operate this way we tend to not only be the most unorganized but we get very little done in life and end up being quite miserable. Don’t fear some routine!
Think about your day. What do you want it to look like? Do you have to go to work? Pick up the kids? Attend to other activities? Set out your day by writing down what you have to do each day at a bare minimum. Then start including exercise, diet and YOU time to make sure you can get your entire being in shape. At first you might think that there’s not enough time in the day, but there always is. It’s just about where we choose to put our time.
We all have to eat meals which means we can always choose to eat healthy. If we are having some limits on the financial side, do some research into what the best way to eat affordable healthy meals are. You’ll quickly find that if you hold off on eating out and buying less nutritious foods, there’s enough savings to purchase better choices.
When it comes to exercise, again, get creative. If the kids want to play, go out and play with them but try and be physical with it. Go for walks, hike, join a sports team. The bottom line is, if you aren’t exercising now, starting is a step in the right direction. You don’t need to become a 24/7 athlete in order to get in shape so whatever you can start with is a good start.
Make sure you build some of these important steps into your day and keep it simple. If you follow the steps above, you can get moving in the right direction no matter what your scenario is.