You know you are hooked when you plan your holidays to include movement, exercise, adventure. When you are happy to be home and returning to your regular nutrition and exercise regime. You “miss” your Pilates, you “miss” your healthy food. No, you are not growing horns or three heads, living a healthy lifestyle has become a natural part of who you are.
This is the difference between “strict” and “discipline”. Another lesson learned from my coach. This discussion took place with Georgina in early March, yet I fall back to it in conversations with my children, clients and team members on a regular basis.
STRICT is when you have to manage something to make it work. Manage a new system at work, manage people, manage yourself. When we are adopting a new pattern, lifestyle or routine, we have to pay attention to what we do and how we do it, with conscious effort. It’s not always easy and takes up energy.
If we continue with our efforts, it becomes easier each day. We start to feel the rewards and “space” is created in our life for our new way of being.
DISCIPLINE is when things just happen. Everyone follows the systems, things run smoothly, you naturally head for healthy choices or don’t give skipping your exercise a second thought.
In some areas of our life, discipline comes naturally, but in others areas we may have to apply some effort. For me, exercise has always been part of my life and even though there are days when I don’t “feel like it”, I don’t question it because I know I will feel better after.
When I step into growth or set a higher standard for myself, I am moving out of my comfort zone. At this time, I shift into STRICT. I must be very clear on WHY I am pursuing this new habit or goal. I establish a routine and check-lists that helps ensure I stay on track. Depending on what I am moving into, I may have to recruit support from someone who already does this well and who will hold me accountable, if need be.
The importance of following the steps above is so that I will move into DISCIPLINE much faster than if I were just to begin without such clarity and purpose. This is how you create change that lasts.
Pilates has this naturally built into the system. For those of you who are just beginning Pilates, you may feel like you will never remember to breathe or your shoulders will forever be wrapped around your ears. They won’t. Your instructors gentle cues, the rhythm of the movement matching your breath, the “blow and go” system will eventually become natural.
Because we are always growing and learning in our bodies, you will find that when we introduce a new exercise, concept or pattern, you will slip into STRICT where you expend a lot of energy and focus, but the gap between STRICT and DISCIPLINE will shorten as you practice the system, the “blow and go”, understand “why” and see and feel the incredible benefits of each exercise.
Pilates isn’t just about the hour of movement. Take what you experience from each session and shift it into your way of being in life. You will find your sessions to have a deeper and very profound meaning to life and will help you move into discipline in your other areas in life much faster.