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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

How to Rock a Personal Change


Back in January, I strapped on a Nike FuelBand thinking it was a cool gadget and not much more. I couldn’t even be bothered to complete the online registration: I just wanted to know if I was hitting my 3,000 daily fuel points or not.
Last night, I finally got around to completing the registration. And ta-da! I was inundated with friendly messages from Nike letting me know how many milestones I had reached. I've talked about self-monitoring as a trend for 2013, but still found myself surprised and delighted when I became a participant in the movement. My favorite data point was a comparative analysis of women in my age group, where I learned that I exercise 50% more than most women my age. 
I’m not sure I’ve said this before, but I truly believe goal accomplishment is addictive. And like any addiction, it has its liabilities. When we are not setting and meeting goals, we can feel adrift. The whole time I was running in the woods or squeezing in a workout between deadlines, I was thinking that this was no real regimen. I kept telling myself I needed a routine—benchmarks and structure. But amidst the step classes and spinning and African dance and kickboxing and weight-lifting that I was slotting in after work, I was changing myself. I ran up stairs in a quest to build stamina, not to fit into a smaller dress size or a bikini (I shudder at the thought).
So here’s to staying at it—to maintaining focus and driving forward. According to my FuelBand, I’ve made considerable progress. I’ve continuously pushed myself to try fun things. (I've also made my muscles sore.) Instead of an elaborate goal-setting exercise, I built a new lifestyle without realizing it. In fact, the absence of a regimen was freeing. I wasn’t neurotically driving myself; I was just doing it.
My advice to anyone who wants to achieve real change... stay at it and you will surprise yourself over time. 
True change doesn’t favor dramatic gestures. It favors persistence. And endurance is the BFF of persistence. Patience is its cousin. Invite all three into your life and you’ll find yourself so far ahead, it will make you want to dance around your kitchen when you discover you’ve arrived. 
Well, that’s what I did.

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