In all my years as a health professional, one thing I’ve learned for certain is that nobody can change until they’re ready. Knowing what to do, and even wanting to do it, aren’t the same as feeling ready.

If you’ve been meaning to start a fitness routine, but you just can’t seem to follow through, take a few minutes to sort through your thoughts about readiness. On a sheet of paper, list the pros and cons of adding just a 15 minute walk to your daily routine. What will you get from walking, and what will you give up? As you look over your responses, rank them in importance. For example, under pros, you may have listed weight loss, better sleep, and stress relief. But under cons, you might have included the desire to spend the little free time you have doing something else. Of everything you listed, how would you rank the significance of each in your life right now? Your answers may offer important insights into how ready you are.

Also, on a scale from 0 to 10, how confident do you feel about your ability to begin and maintain a walking program? Zero would be no confidence and 10 fully confident. If your answer isn’t 10, is there anything you think would help you to feel more self-assured?

Finally, list any preparation you think you need to do before you can begin your walking routine. For example, do you need to buy shoes or socks, get a new leash for your dog, or find a walking buddy? Thinking through what you’ll need to do to prepare for walking can help you feel more ready to move ahead.

Beginning a fitness routine, and sticking to it, involves more than just knowing what to do. We all arrive at readiness in our own ways, and on our own timeline. Sometimes simply contemplating readiness is the best way to move toward action.



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