Thursday, November 22, 2012

Learned Helplessness

The term is often used in psychology to describe exposure to an unfortunate circumstances that evolved into one's inability to cope with adversity and unwillingness to see solutions present to change one's own situation.

The number one most important thing to learn is self control.  Absolutely everything in our lives and our ability to accomplish anything is the ability to control one's self.  Be it for managing your time, your money, your behaviors. You must ask yourself:

What do I want? How can I get it? Who can help me? 
When will I accomplish this goal? What will it take?

I see this daily in clients.  Their excuses usually scream "I'm not committed to this completely" or "I am unwilling to take full responsibility for my actions" or, my personal favorite, "I've got a plan to get started."

Honestly, I see this in my own patterns when it comes to exercise.  I often exercise only when it's convenient for me, I make excuses about going early in the morning when I know it's the only time I'm going to have in my day to do so.  We all have times when we are afraid of moving out of our comfort zones.


How do we create a new normal? Our comfort zones must become uncomfortable.  It's the decision that I am not going to let the excuses in my head stop me from creating vibrant, positive changes in my life.

We must establish a new standard in our lifestyles. Start slow.  Yesterday, I went to the gym with my mother.  She hasn't been to the gym in 4-5 months due to surgery and she was able to walk a mile.  I hit the gym hard as I could for my recent addition of the honeymoon 10 pounds. But frequently, people burn out so quickly.  My mom had it right to take it slow.

Case in point, if I don't start back at the gym at a moderate pace and comfort level, if I charge forth ahead and try to run 5/mph after a month long break, I'm asking for aches and pains and burn out. Adjusting to a new schedule can be challenging, so take it easy.

  1. I jog in place while folding the laundry. 
  2. I walk the dog every morning for 15-20 minutes after I wake up. 
  3. I take the stairs. 
  4. I park at the back of parking lots.
  5. I measure how far I go with a pedometer on my phone. 
  6. I hula hoop in front of the TV at night for at least 20 minutes. 
  7. I go to the gym 3 times a week for at least 90 minutes. 
  8. I eat breakfast.  Protein shakes on workout free days and plain oatmeal or puffed millet on gym days.
  9. I eat a piece of fruit (banana or orange) as a mid-morning snack.
  10. I close the kitchen after dinner. 
Do you have your list of 10 things you do consistently for your health?  I have many more, but I would love to hear what other people are learning to change unhealthy habits!

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