One of the most prominent ideas behind the practice of meditation is that you remain constantly mindful.
To elaborate, the idea isn’t that you meditate for a set number of minutes in a day and then move on, but rather that you move seamlessly from a state of meditation into the rest of your day, therefore remaining aware and mindful throughout.
I love the idea of a simple practice rippling into other aspects of my life. The simpler the practice the better, as it illuminates the necessary skill or character I need to demonstrate to complete it.
With this in mind, it’s not hard to understand why I love training so much. There can be fewer practices as simple as picking something up and putting it down. Yet it still requires a great deal of discipline.
If I’m unable to commit to something as simple as lifting a weight each day, how can I hope to have discipline in other areas of my life? Moreover, how can I trust myself to be disciplined when life actually becomes hard?
This, to my mind at least, is the reason so many people are unable to follow through on what they ‘commit’ to. They don’t trust themselves. They have left so many goals unfinished or uncompleted that they literally don’t trust themselves with any others. This then has a ripple effect, where it becomes easier and easier to quit, reinforcing the lack of self-trust.
The line between quitting a workout, quitting your commitment to exercise and quitting when anything else in your life becomes difficult is both straight and short.
The fix is simple, but it’s not easy. It requires choosing a realistic goal, and then completing it. One goal at a time. Second by second. Just like in a relationship trust needs to be earned, so it does with the relationship you have with yourself.
Exercise, no matter what form it takes, is an excellent place to start. If you’re new to it, or have fallen off the wagon, then start small – but start! One hour of exercise, three times per week, is an absolutely realistic goal.
In that hour, stay present. Don’t let your mind wander. That hour is committed to that task, and that task alone. Trust that in doing so, the virtues of discipline, grit and trust will ripple out into the other aspects of your life.