The spring sun is here! I want to go outside! I love to go outside. I am an outdoorsy person. I believe in the benefits of sunlight and movement to set my circadian rhythm, lift my mood, and give me a good dose of feel good chemicals.
Yet, even so…somehow it’s been a challenge to get off the couch. My winter workout routine was going to the gym and then sitting in the sauna. Mostly, in the evenings. The weather went from the 40’s to the 80’s as it does in the midwest and although it is a welcome change I have had a hard time adjusting. At the same time, my daughter has started evening soccer games and I want to attend them. All this has added up to me doing very little and then berating myself for not doing enough.
I am an all or nothing type of person which can be a real gift, and also a real curse, at times. I feel like I have to commit to a 8 month marathon training plan in my mind before I even take a walk around the block. Being a perfectionist often delays me from getting started on something new too.
I am sharing my story about how I got to the Arboretum yesterday for a hike. I am writing this to show how many barriers I had to overcome in my mind. I am sharing this to inspire myself and others to push past limiting beliefs and make our own rules.
I wanted to go to the Arboretum but I couldn’t get myself there because it wasn’t fair to Rocky, my dog. Typically, when I take a walk outside, I take him with me. Often I do it for him. Dogs are not permitted at the Arboretum. I thought how dare I go for a walk without Rocky? First I had to allow myself to go for a walk without my precious Rocky boy. Spoiler alert, Rocky is a bigger fan of naps than walks so he was just fine. Limiting belief #1 removed.
Then, I thought I couldn’t go because my annual membership probably expired. I didn’t want to deal with the extra hassle of renewing. It is not a difficult task, but it does involve opening the wallet and getting online and it just felt overwhelming to me. This is a reason I haven’t been there in a while. You know what I had to do? I had to find my membership card and check. This meant digging around in a wallet. That task seemed heroic, but honestly if you break it down and just check, it’s about a 2 minute task. I was making a mountain out of a molehill to say the least. So I checked and lo and behold my membership expires this month. Limiting Belief #2 check.
I start to panic again about renewing (another 2 minute task), but feel overwhelmed with decision fatigue about whether I will or will not renew. How much it costs (a totally fair amount and I have spent money on worse things than trees), and when to renew (as if waiting a month or more will give me more value). This is all senseless, but still. Absolutely paralyzing. Easier to sit on the couch. Limiting Belief #3.
The next reason I couldn’t go is because a real workout involves the gym. An uphill treadmill climb is more productive than an actual uphill hike in the woods. I believed this for a second. That in order to count as a real workout, it had to be dreadful on the treadmill/dreadmill. That my muscles wouldn’t be working if I was actually enjoying myself and my surroundings. This is a straight up lie. You must put the voices in your head in check. Limiting Belief #4.
I couldn’t go once I decided to go because my kids had the day off school. I should wait for them to get up. If my calendar is blocked from meetings, I should spend time with them. Truth be told, I spend most waking moments with them. I could use a little time and space with my own thoughts. Yet, Mom Guilt. So unnecessary. Limiting Belief #5.
As I am starting to warm up to the idea, if I went to the Arboretum, how would that affect my other plans and goals. I also want to sit in the sauna and I also wanted to get outside the house and work. Limiting Belief #6.
I couldn’t go to the gym because I wasn’t doing a class or using the treadmill.
Wait, what? Is that a rule?
No it’s not a rule. I decided I could go to the gym to use the sauna and shower after my hike. What a revelation.
Now for work. I had lots of work to do and seemingly not enough time to do it. Truth be told, I spend a lot of time staring at screens and wasting time or accomplishing little. I am an entrepreneur, in part, so I can be my own boss and set my own schedule.
Guess who knows what’s best for me? Me! I could go for a hike and get my work done. Even I knew this. So I packed up my gym bag and my work bag.
I went on that hike. I sat in that sauna. I got my work done.
I will be renewing my membership and spending more time at the Arboretum this season.
I hope this helps you start to reimagine your limiting beliefs and start rewriting your rules to make your life work better for you. To make finding joy a top priority and not the last.