When it comes to Pilates Tonic and my personal goals, I have grand plans. And as you might imagine, with grand plans can come grand mental blocks. Here’s how I get through the blocks…
It’s easy for me to get so wrapped up in focusing on the end result and the million things that have to happen to get there that sometimes I freeze from complete overwhelm and the fear of doing it wrong and, instead of working toward my goal, I do nothing.
Every time I have made progress in my Pilates practice, or any area of my life, it has been a result of keeping the goal in mind, but focusing on the next step. When I focus on the next tiny step that leads me in the right direction, I always make amazing progress and avoid fear and overwhelm; every time.
This year, my goal was to improve my family’s nutrition.
I started researching different books that made many conflicting suggestions. I immediately started feeling the familiar feeling of overwhelm and frustration at not knowing how to get started, or how to do it “right”.
So, instead of attempting to radically overhaul our entire diet all at once, which made me want to throw all the books away and go to Five Guys, I chose a few suggestions that worked for me and decided to break them down into small, attainable steps.
My ultimate goal for my family’s diet is to eliminate as much refined sugar and processed foods as possible and introduce more fresh vegetables.
Here are some of the small steps I’ve taken this year to achieve my ultimate goals.
1. Pick One Small Thing and Master It
First, I learned how to cook kale. This may sound incredibly simple, but that’s why it worked so well. I found a simple kale recipe, and we started having kale every night with dinner.
Learning how to successfully cook kale liberated and encouraged me to learn how to prepare other vegetables.
For as long as I can remember, cooking has seemed like an impossible chore that I didn’t have a clue how to do. Learning how to cook kale helped me shift my perception of cooking by giving me a little victory, and I now cook a variety of different things.
2. Find and Question a Core Belief
I stopped believing I didn’t have time to cook. One of my biggest hurdles, in general, is my time-scarcity belief. I had a tape in my mind that played chronically and said, “I don’t have enough time to cook.”
As soon as I began to question my belief that I didn’t have enough time to cook, I was amazed at how quickly I could get in and out of the grocery store after work and before picking up my kids.
I found out that I do have enough time to make a meal. It just takes little preparation ahead of time and now time seems to actually slow down for me when it comes to cooking.
3. Eliminate Environmental Distractions
The next step I took was to eliminate food that comes out of boxes. Many studies have revealed that a major key to success when changing habits has to do with optimizing your environment for the new habits you want and removing things that encourage the pattern you don’t want. When you optimize your surroundings to support your behavior change, you don’t need willpower to stay on track!
4. Get the Tools You Need
The fourth step and biggest financial commitment I’ve taken towards my nutrition goal was to buy a juicer.
For two years I’ve been reading about the benefits of green juice, but had been reluctant to take the plunge and purchase a juicer.
I purchased a heavy duty blender three years ago with every intention of making a whole food smoothie every day. Even with my good intentions, I couldn’t get past the texture and taste of the smoothies and ended up wasting more fruit and vegetables than I ate.
So, while I was very hesitant to buy a juicer, I finally took the plunge and have been committed to making green juice every single morning since. (This was also another great challenge to my time-scarcity belief.)
I was worried about the taste of green juice. But I thought that if I could become accustomed to the taste of coffee, I could certainly adapt to the taste of green juice, and I was right. Green juice has been a great experience and I haven’t looked back.
Morning Green Juice
2 -3 cups of greens (I rotate kale, collard, chard and mustard greens)
1/2 a lime
1 Granny Smith green apple
4 stalks celery
These are some of the small steps I’ve taken this year to improve my family’s nutrition. Each step built upon the previous one and, together, these changes have seriously improved my family’s health and nutrition.
More importantly, I never could have done it if I’d tried everything all at once.
Small Steps and Your Pilates Practice
What does all of this have to do with your Pilates practice?
The same concepts apply. Taking small, easy steps on a daily basis is the key to creating new habits. I used these same methods to create the Pilates practice I have today and you can absolutely do it too.
Remember, instead of focusing on the end result, focus on the next small step that leads you in the right direction.
Here are some suggestions to help you toward your own Pilates goals:
- Sign up in advance for a class every week and make it a non-negotiable event.
- Give yourself five minutes of movement every morning.
- Register for a series of classes and schedule them in advance. Mark them on your calendar and then focus only on the next class when the day arrives.
What big goals do you have planned? What small steps, or other techniques are you using to achieve your goals? I look forward to learning your secrets to success!
See you in the studio,
“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.”