As part of my own personal journey to be better each and every day, I have started reading personal development books each day as I commute to and from work (so get ready for lots of posts along these lines). While each of these books takes a different approach and has a different intended purpose, whether to teach you steps to become a successful entrepreneur, overcome your own personal fears and anxieties, or just be more productive in your everyday life, the lessons to be learned from each apply to almost all areas of life and many themes carry across all of these books. One theme that has really resonated with me has been the idea of just starting, or as Jack Canfield calls it in his book “The Success Principles, “just lean into it.” While I can think of so many ways that this theme affects my own life, I can’t help but think about how this idea can be applied to so many parts of each of your own health, fitness and wellness journeys.
Canfield explains that instead of sitting on the sidelines, deliberating, reflecting, and contemplating we should just take the first step forward, lean into this new idea, create the momentum needed to propel ourselves forward and see what the experience of taking this first step feels like. This will allow us to decide if we want to keep going or re-evaluate. Further, and importantly, he explains that when we create the momentum from taking that first step forward, extraordinary benefits can flow from it such as opportunity, more resources, and more people who can help us accomplish what we have set out to do.
The effects Canfield describes from “leaning in” are exactly what happened to me on my personal fitness and wellness journey. Throughout law school and the first years of my career I thought I was committed to a healthy lifestyle, but what this really meant was that I went to spin class when I felt like it, ate whatever I wanted, and hoped for the best. I wanted to treat my body better and I wanted to commit to a more active lifestyle but I wasn’t sure how I wanted to accomplish that. I kept thinking that maybe I’d join ClassPass, maybe I’d hire a personal trainer, and maybe I’d sign up for another half marathon or meet with a nutritionist. One day I decided that thinking wasn’t getting me anywhere and I was unhappy with how my body felt and I needed to do something about. I signed up for ClassPass right away and took my first class the next day.
Over the next month, I frequently ran into the same peers in classes across the city and formed friendships with these other boutique fitness addicts, I learned what instructors I loved taking and what classes I preferred. The more time I spent in the space, the more I fell in love with what it had to offer – which was so much more than I had ever imagined. I made friends that motivated me to try new and more difficult classes and would sign up for class with me at 6 a.m. so I would be motivated to actually wake up and get there. I met trainers who taught me about my body, my limitations, and how I could improve. I began crossing paths with nutritionists, health coaches, and others who wanted to sit down over coffee and offer me the advice and insights I had been craving. Taking the first step allowed me to fall in love with this lifestyle and everything it had to offer, which was beyond my comprehension as I sat in my apartment months earlier debating how I should change my life and start my fitness journey. Just starting opened my eyes to so much more and has truly changed the life I live today in almost all aspects. The people I have met in the space not only push me to be better in the gym, but in all aspects of my life and are genuinely some of the best people I know. And, today, I would not be sitting here, sharing my experiences as “The Sweat Chronicles” if not for taking the first step and being open to the experiences and opportunities that came from it.
From the bottom of my heart, I encourage each and every one of you to take the first step towards something you have been thinking about, but have been hesitant to do. Whether it’s starting a new workout program, making a commitment to eating healthier, beginning a new project, or whatever you desire, now is the time to start to let the positive effects start flowing in. In the words of Nike (as so many of you know, i am an absolute Nike addict so i couldn't let this opportunity go): Just Do it.
In addition to Jack Canfield’s “The Success Principles,” I also highly recommend Sophia Amoruso’s “#GIRLBOSS” and Jen Sincero’s “You Are a Badass.”