“Slip sliding away, slip sliding away
You know the nearer your destination, the more you slip sliding away.” Simon and Garfunkle.
Last year, when my husband and I were in California, a friend told us about a fitness program that had been the single most important change she’d made to improve her well-being. We weren’t dissatisfied with what we were doing but how could we pass this up?
Since the teachers are on the West Coast and we live in New England, we bought a half day ‘marathon’ training session. I loved the over-arching approach to fitness, focusing on strength and agility through mindful exercise and thoughtful diet. But looking back, I was overwhelmed that day by the exercise routine specifics.
Back home, we read the materials, performed the daily workout, and changed our eating habits. When we returned to the West Coast few weeks ago and had a follow up session, we knew that we were doing the exercise routine that we’d been given, we’d changed our eating habits and we’d each lost weight.
It turned out that my husband had implemented the changes they’d suggested and his strength and bmi improved. But he’s someone who can learn by watching. I’m a more interactive learner and I need to practice and get feedback and then practice again. As I demonstrated my exercise form, the teachers showed me that I was doing them the same way I had a year ago, with the same incorrect position and form. And, sure enough, my bmi ratio hadn’t budged. So that’s why I’m lifting the same weight?
Here’s what I think happened:
- I was given a toolbox of tactics and responded by practicing what I thought was the right way to execute it.
- I started with keeping the mental approach in mind as I did the exercises with thought and careWithout anyone to give me feedback, I thought, “I’ve got it and now I don’t have to think about it anymore.”
- I slipped into old habits of rushing to getting this over with.
- I lost sight of what I was working to change as it gradually became fuzzier and eventually lost.
- I slid back into old habits which yielded no improvement.
Here’s what would have made a decisive difference:
- A clear and motivating intention that had clear improvement outcomes so I could measure and take stock.
- A method to remind myself of the purpose and approach would have helped me to stay on course.
- Consistent and frequent feedback and coaching would have helped me change what I was doing and achieve the outcomes I wanted.
Do you know what it takes for you to make a change? What does this have to do with chronic illness and careers? Everything.
You might ask yourself: What do I want to change in my life? What tools and support do I need make it happen?