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Motivation: Peeling back the layers

Posted Sep 07 2008 8:37pm

I can see the sweat dripping off the edge of my nose. It falls onto my already drenched shirt.

“Be still and calm through these difficult times” I’m told. But I fidget and my mind wanders.

“Focus on your breathing and your body will do the rest” I hear. But all I can focus on is how 90 minutes never seemed so long.

Okay, so this isn’t as dramatic as it seems, it’s just my hot Prana Power Yoga class. Some days when I’m practicing, I’m soooo not into it. Even if my instructor Alex promised me a free trip to Paris for brunch (my absolute favorite meal) at the Four Seasons, he still couldn’t get me to focus on extending my fingers through a Warrior 2 pose.

So why have I been coming back time and time again for the last 3 years? Because I know at the end of class, after all the sweating, stretching and contorsions, my body says “thank you”. I feel lighter, stronger and a bit euphoric. Perhaps the euphoria comes from the 2 pounds of water I sweated out…but no matter, I feel great. Through the sweat and fidgeting, I was able to see the bigger picture: that conquering the small challenge brought me one step closer to my goals.

There are 10’s if not 100’s of small challenges you will face every day when trying to live a healthier lifestyle. Motivating yourself to overcome these challenges is THE hardest part of making positive changes. Every decision you make (candy bar vs dried fruit, extra 10 minutes on the treadmill vs cutting a workout short, soda water and cranberry juice vs martini) is an opportunity to peel away a layer of your old self. Your decision making moment might be 2 seconds at the lunch line counter, but telling yourself “ This challenge is an opportunity to do something good for my body” can make hurdles easier to overcome.

Each decision you make is an opening for you to push past your comfort zone and bring a new, fresh layer of greatness to the surface. Some decisions will be tougher than others, to be sure. But when you come face to face with your next challenge today, focus on the results. Focus on how you will feel after taking charge and conquering the challenge. Know that making this one small decision today could push you towards a stronger, healthier you.

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