While I am a big advocate of people keeping structure and routine in their life so that we can stick to important tasks such as exercise, meditation, and family time because regularity breeds healthy habits, I am also a believer that sometimes we just need to take a break from our day to day life.
Have you ever noticed how enjoying a vacation can give you a whole new perspective on life? This is because we take time away from our daily routine which gives us a renewed outlook on everything around us. Periodically snapping out of repetition is not only important, it may be vital to our health and long-term wellness.
When we fall into a routine, we stop paying attention and we go through the motions of life without trying. We close off to synchronicity and new experiences because we are running on auto pilot. We neglect to stop and smell the roses and our experience can become boring and monotonous.
Just as our body and health require a detox or vacation from food, we too are in great need of hopping off the hamster wheel and taking a time out. We might be ready to try new things, push ourselves outside of our comfort zone, take a road trip, or simply have a nap. And we should do it being fully aware and conscious.
Creating a spiritual practice for example is important but sometimes that too can become mundane and habitual which takes us out of the newness of the experience. Balance is the key. Create a life where you have a certain amount of structure while also shocking your system just a bit by introducing something new or by doing the same thing in a fresh way.
Sometimes it’s much easier staying with what we know but it also creates blinders to the wonderful excitement and novelty that life has to offer. Try saying YES more and NO a little less. When somebody invites you out to an event that seems disinteresting, why not try it anyway? You may surprise yourself. New people and unique opportunities are the only way that we can grow in life and although it’s often uncomfortable, we usually end up feeling amazing afterwards.
Engage a friend and commit to trying something this week that involves meeting new people and trying a different activity. Challenge your body, mind, and emotions. Perhaps you can visit an area of your city that you have not seen or join a meetup group of like-minded people or simply attend a free lecture. Or perhaps it’s time to start putting feelers out for that new job you’ve been talking about for years.
We can all get bored and disillusioned at times and the best solution is to shake things up and watch what happens. Life has plenty to offer so if we’ve hit a wall we have the power to change that. Find the inner motivation and self-love, pick yourself up and transform your experience. While things won’t always shift overnight, you’ll most likely make some new acquaintances and learn new skills with a renewed sense of optimism and zest along the way.
Jay Bradley is a Youthful Aging, Wellness & Lifestyle Expert Living in Los Angeles. http://www.JayBradleyLifestyle.com
He is the Best-Selling Author of LIVE LOOK FEEL, The 12-Week Guide to Live Longer, Look Younger & Feel Better!
Let’s face it, exercise sucks. Well, maybe for a small percentage of fitness buffs, you love the feeling of pushing your body to it’s limits, building strong muscles, and working up a sweat.
But for most others, myself included, working out can be compared to a dental checkup. Not the type of check up that requires drilling, filling, or a root canal, but more of a bi-yearly cleaning and scraping. Mundane, routine, a little painful, and just something that NEEDS to get done!
People are often surprised when I tell them that I don’t enjoy exercising. They look at me and figure that it must be my number one passion. The truth is that it is something I endure because I know that it is assisting me in living a longer, healthier life. And quite frankly, it helps me to look better!
This is where most people would say “change it up, find something that excites you.” While I agree that keeping our routine fresh is vital, some people just don’t like to sweat, push, pull, and move. In actuality, I think that I am one of those people. I am MUCH happier sitting quietly with my morning coffee, writing in my journal and reflecting on life.
With all of this being said, I am here to share this with you so that you can feel better about your own blocks. Most of us would rather take that magic pill to keep us lean, healthy, and energized but the truth is, there is no such pill and the only way to achieve positive results is through exercise. This is where the tough love comes in. If you want to increase your odds of living a longer life, if you want to have younger looking skin and hair and you desire to look your absolute best, you MUST get up and move.
Other than exercise being boring, why do most people avoid it? Why do gym membership sales go up in January only to get unused for the rest of the year? I believe that it all comes down to self love. When we love ourselves enough, we are able to get through all of the excuses about why we don’t exercise. When we put ourselves and our health first, we take pride in who we are and in how we come across to the world. I know it’s not easy. Trust me, I’d much rather travel the world and eat cake at this point in my life but to repeat, exercising your body is NOT an option.
If you’ve been avoiding it, making excuses, or doing it on or off, I challenge you to dig deep and find the reasons why this is. Really look inward and see what blocks come up when you think about skipping your neighborhood walk, spinning class, or training session. Find your own motivation, something that keeps you in the game regardless of the resistance that comes up.
If you’re dealing with depression get some help. Even mild depression can cause you to remain stuck. If you have a physical disability, for the most part there are still ways that you can move your body. I know it isn’t a bed of roses but we all have that inner motivation under the cloud of complacency.
I won’t share the benefits of a fitness routine, by now most of you know those. Instead, I suggest that you begin paying close attention to your inner saboteur that keeps you stuck and tells you all the reasons not to bother. Maybe it’s telling you that you’re too old, too fat, too tired, or that a bad heart runs in your family. Whatever it is, pay attention and begin to challenge this voice. I know that each one of you can overcome and get through all obstacles. I have seen it time and time again where people have changed their life through exercise after a lifetime of being sedentary. I am not telling you that it will always be easy, fun, or that you’ll see instant results. But I will suggest that in time, you WILL be doing yourself a favor by finally committing to a regular workout routine. Hire a trainer, Engage a friend, join a gym, research new classes. Now is the time!
Love yourself, put yourself first, and know that like life, it won’t always be a walk in the park. But we keep going, we keep moving forward, and we commit to always doing our best because that is the smartest option. Go for it! I promise to be there with you every monotonous step at a time.