The picture to the right is of the window sill in my apartment, which, as you can see, is adorned with my daughter’s art. I love looking at it because it reminds me of her when she’s not there. But there’s another reason: the formations are a perfect example of the marriage of intention and follow-through. She had a vision of what she wanted to create and gave it her total focus, patience and persistence, simply because it was important enough to her. And the result is a physical manifestation of that combination of intention and follow-through.
We are such unnecessarily complicated creatures, with our intelligence often subverting, rather than serving our highest needs. We frantically engage in activity and continually broaden our scope of preoccupations until we often feel wrung-out, ineffective and purposeless. When was the last time you felt really good about something you did in a lasting, deeply satisfying way? Think about it. Didn’t it contribute in a meaningful way to one of your most deeply cherished values?
If you were to write down the three most important aspects of your life, wouldn’t health be one of them? How much time and thought do you put into what you put into your mouth? How about how to keep your body vital and strong?
Here are three simple steps to take to turn those values into action that will literally make you feel better than you can imagine feeling, both inside and out:
- Write down on a piece of paper a brief statement about the importance of your health. Want some inspiration? Think about how much it would mean to you if your parents were as healthy as they could be, and the example you’re currently setting for your kids about how much health and fitness should mean to them. Post that statement on your bathroom mirror, your refrigerator, or both.
- Write underneath the statement one specific intention each for exercise and healthy eating. For example, it could be “schedule three workouts this week” and “make dinner 50%+ vegetables”.
- Get a package of post-it notes and, each week, place a note on the statement that describes your progress toward the specific intention, i.e., “Nailed it!”, “Three days in a row” or “Recommit next week.”
There’s nothing quite like recording the declaration of your values, your intention toward honoring those values, and, finally your actual progress in executing on those intentions.
Seems silly? It’s not. It’s no different than the goals section of an annual employee review, future objectives on a report card for a student or even the Yelp reviews for a small business owner.
The question is – how important is this value to you?
Happy New Year.
Dan is a nationally certified personal fitness trainer and former continuing education faculty member of the National Academy of Sports Medicine and the American Council on Exercise. He is the owner and head trainer at Tri Valley Trainer in Pleasanton, which provides personal training, small group fitness and nutrition guidance. He can be reached at Dan@TriValleyTrainer.com