“I should exercise more…”

“I should drink more water…”

“I should eat healthier…”

“shoulda, woulda, coulda…”

We all know what we need to do.  So why don’t we do it?

What it is… is that deep inside of all of us… is a little toddler. 

No, not like that! 

Our inner child who is sometimes like a little toddler who wants to eat ice cream, who doesn’t want to do what they’re “supposed” to do, and who will pout if someone “makes” them. 

I’m sorry you think this is brash, but I like to think of it as “tough love.” 

Just because you don’t want to do something, or you don’t enjoy the healthy things, you still need to do them.  That is, if you want to be healthy and feel good.  If not, disregard. 

If you don’t like the taste of water:  I’m sorry, but just because you don’t like the taste of it, it doesn’t mean your body doesn’t still NEED it. 

If you don’t like vegetables:  Sorry, but your body still needs them.

If you don’t like to exercise:  Yep, you still need to do it. 

When you’re a kid and you decide to eat muffins and juice for breakfast and not drink water all day long, and skip meals, and play video games all day, there’s not too many immediate consequences to convince you that’s a bad idea. 

But for adults, there are consequences, and while they won’t show up the first day you eat bad or just laying around for one day, eventually it will catch up with you. 

Then you will need to see a doctor. 

Western doctors are inundated with patients, and they don’t have the time (and frankly, there’s no money in teaching people how to live a healthy life anyway) to teach people how to avoid these problems or how to correct these problems of lifestyle.  Plus, that’s not what doctors learn in medical school.  They are not experts in getting people healthy.  They’re experts in attacking what’s wrong.  Not supporting what’s right.  So, what they’re going to do is give you a pill.  Because it’s

  1. easy for them to just write a quick script, and
  2. easy for you because your insurance covers it and you don’t have to change anything.  Just take the pill and “all your problems are solved.” 

Or you can decide to tell that little kid in your head to grow up already.  Take some responsibility for what you put in your mouth.  Pay attention to what and who you listen to.  Move around some more.  And put down the damn phone/remote.

So, how to get more will-power?  It’s called a swift kick in the pants.  Just decide you’re not going to take it anymore!  You have the power to change your body and change your mind, if you want it.  

Oh, and what happens to those kids who are told to “sit up straight,” and “finish their vegetables, ” and “go play in the street?”  They grow up to be healthy, vibrant, and active adults who actually enjoy doing those things. 

What you need to realize is that the disgruntled toddler brain will eventually stop bothering you because the healthier options actually give you longer-lasting results and pleasurable feelings that grow and improve over time. 

Here are some ways you can give yourself a nice kick in the pants:

1. Just focus on one thing

you should read this, too!

Don’t worry about the entire list of things you have to do.  Just focus on starting one simple thing.  Finish it and then start on the next thing.  Focus on doing this…one day at a time. 

2. Check in with your body

Are you tired and actually need to rest?  Are you anxious or stressed?  Address your actual needs with deep breaths, conscious body-talk, and real, actual human connections.  Avoid addressing the needs of your body with extra caffeine, alcohol or sugar. 

3. Slow down

We so often get into “robot-mode” and do a lot of pointless activities – really fast.  We think we need to move fast all the time, but we really don’t.  Try driving slower for a start.  Seriously, it’s a fun experiment to see how stressed everyone around you is. 

4. Daydream

The American way is to push, push, push to get results.  But is it really working?  Take some time to relax, pull out a pen and paper and really think about what your long-term goals and dreams are.  What projects do you want to tackle or start up?  How can you align your energy to making those dreams come true? 

Next thing you know, you’ll have the will of steel and the inner focus of a Buddha!