It’s the little things that can make a big difference. So, today is a little post.
Whether you grew up in sports and want to get back in shape or the exercise bug is new to you, it’s hard finding time to work out as an adult. Life happens. Working out is rarely easy and usually only happens if you prioritize it, like really prioritize it. Space abhors a vacuum, so if you have free time, it will get filled…somehow…and chances are it will be the path of least resistance…which probably isn’t working out. Most days, I have to force myself to exercise because it would be oh so easy to go home, walk the dog, and watch Netflix until bed. On the days when I am extra tired, I start with the smallest step. In this case, the smallest step is both literal and figurative: I put on my tennis shoes.
To give credit where credit is due, this smallest step comes from Gretchen Rubin. In her Happiness Project book, Gretchen Rubin shares how her father got her to start running by telling her just to put on her running shoes and close the front door behind her. This was my inspiration for getting back into working out and it works for me.
Personally, as a cheap introvert, I don’t like classes. There are other people and they cost money. Also, my dog needs exercise and attention, so I feel guilty if I work out without him. Ergo, I needed to find another solution: just put on my tennis shoes and walk out the door.
This works whether you get on a treadmill, walk around your neighborhood, do jumping jacks in your living room, dance in your living room, go to the gym, or walk your dog. As long as you put on your tennis shoes, you are more likely to get up and get out. Even on days when I don’t feel like working out, I tell myself just to put on my tennis shoes for 15 to 30 minutes. That’s it. I give myself permission to walk, to take it easy if I want, but that I must put on my tennis shoes and at least get on the treadmill or walk the dog. Invariably, I end up running or exerting myself with pushups/squats/other bodyweight exercises, but I start off with that tiny little step of putting on my tennis shoes and walking out the front door. It’s the smallest, easiest step you and I can take, literally and figuratively.