My alarm went off at 6:15 AM. Not only was it early, but it was a rainy Saturday in January. Not the kind of weather that inspires me to spring out of bed, full of vitality. But, I’d set my alarm to get up for an 8 AM Pilates class and I knew that if I went back to bed I’d regret it the rest of the day.
Getting up early on a Saturday reminds me of all the 8 AM introductory classes my freshman year at college. Those classes are designed to weed out students who are not serious about studying. As I was preparing for college my mom advised me that if I did nothing else, I should just show up for class. Showing up meant that I would hear the lecture and be able to recall the material in context for tests.
We all know better, so why is cutting class, skipping your exercise program or cheating on your diet such a temptation? Often it has to do with lack of support and unrealistic expectations. Not reaching your goal as quickly as you’d thought, saying yes to a friend when you really mean maybe, or making a New Year’s Resolution without a game plan of how to accomplish it practically. The important component here is that playing hooky often isn’t the escape we imagine; it feels more like you’re letting yourself down.
How do you get past the feeling of wanting to skip? The first step is to be aware of it and think about why you might be afraid of moving forward. What would losing those extra pounds, quitting cigarettes or saying no to an obligation really mean? What would you lose? What could you gain? Dig deep so that the pull of a warm cozy bed is less than your desire to follow through with your intention. Reframe your goal and create practical steps. Get support from a friend or health coach. However you make it happen, do yourself the favor and Just Show Up.
Back to Saturday morning, 6:15 AM. I decided to heed my internal “mom voice” and I got my butt to Pilates. I showed up. Was it worth it? Oh yeah! Instead of regretting a missed class, I started my day with an amazing work out and I felt the benefits all day long. My muscles hummed with energy. I felt strong physically and mentally, and I made better choices throughout the day. The next time you’re tempted to skip, remember this… everyone feels it, but you’ll feel better about yourself and get more out of life if you just show up.