What is the first thing you think of when you hear the word flexible? Perhaps it is the idea of being able to move you body in ways that you think you can’t. Maybe you think about your life schedule and how there isn’t time for more or new things in your life; you are already too busy. Or is it negative self-talk telling you that you don’t know how to become more flexible or make time for changes in your life? These thoughts and more may pop into your head and make you question if you really can become more flexible.
What if someone told you that you could become more flexible, would you be willing to give it a try or would you run your laundry list of reasons why “I can’t…?”
Scenario 1: I want to try _______________ but I don’t have time in my schedule. I’m just too busy already.
It is true; we are all busy people. But when it comes to your health and happiness making time is really important. When we don’t take care of ourselves we can become overwhelmed, stressed, and unwell both physically and emotionally. But, when we do things we are interested in and that bring us calm, joy, and relaxation, we can improve our mood and our health.
When you begin to break down what you actually and honestly do in a day maybe you can see some places where you can become more flexible and try that new idea.
Give this a try:
Beginning with when you get up in the morning make a detailed list, including the time, of what you actually do.
For example: 6:30am alarm went off. Hit snooze 3 times. Finally got up at 6:54am. 4:00pm checked social media. Spent an hour scrolling and reading.
When you have completed your list, go back and look at your schedule and identify areas where you could become more flexible and substitute in that new activity. Once you have identified these areas you can start to add in the activity you want to try and reorganize your schedule to make it fit.
You may be surprised at how much time you actually have in a day and how you actually spend your time.
Scenario 2: I want to change some of my habits and routines but I don’t know how to or where to start.
Great news! That you even want to make some changes is a start. Already you have identified things in your life that you want to change. That is half the battle. You are already considering how you could become more flexible in your life.
Give this a try:
Write down what it is you want to change and why you want to change it. Put that list somewhere where you can see it to remind yourself that you are ready to step into something new and exciting.
Then find a buddy. An accountability buddy is a great way to get you going and keep you on track. Have a friend who wants to try yoga too but doesn’t think they are flexible enough? Make a commitment to each other to log on to that online Zoom yoga class and then share with each other that you did it afterwards. Is there a book you really want to read but you just don’t have time? Get your buddy to read it too. Then talk to each other about what you thought about that chapter and where the story may be going. Having someone to support you and remind you that they are walking right beside you is such a great way to dig in and try that new habit or routine.
SCENARIO 3: I TRIED _______________ ONCE AND I DIDN’T LIKE IT;
IT WASN’T FOR ME; I COULDN’T DO IT; I WAS TOO NERVOUS…
Trying something once and not loving it or being awesome at it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it again. Think of how many times a baby falls down as it is learning to walk; it keeps getting up determined to learn and get moving. If it quit after the first fall its world would be so limited. When we set our mind that something isn’t for us we could be missing out on a whole new experience.
Often times our limiting thoughts and negative self-talk are based in fear of failure. We put unnecessary stress on ourselves when we set expectations of perfection in ourselves, or when we compare ourselves to others who are already accomplished at that activity. Keep in mind that they did it for the first time at some point and that they probably had to do it a lot more to get to where they are now. As they say, practice makes perfect (but we don’t want you to be perfect, we just want you to be happy and healthy).
Remember, to become more flexible you have to take a good look at what you are currently doing, and then look at where you want to be. Somewhere in between is that path for you to follow to become healthier and happier in your life.