My mother made the unfortunate mistake of smoking up until her mid 50s. In her era. knowledge about the dangers and risks of smoking, while probably known, were not publicized. It wasn’t until she couldn’t carry her baby granddaughter up a hill that she decided it was time to quit.
It was a bit too late to stop the path of COPD and over the next decade or so, her lung capacity significantly diminished and at the recommendation of her physician, she engaged in a surgical procedure that excised the damaged part of her lungs, forcing the healthy part to work a bit more diligently to supply her body with enough oxygen.
As part of the deal, she would also have to engage in regular daily pulmonary exercise.
Exercise, however, had never been a part of my mother’s vocabulary
Regardless, she got herself a treadmill and plopped it right in her bedroom so she would see if every day. She knew that just seeing it was not enough and she came up with a secret remedy that would ensure that she would get on that treadmill every day.
Mom put her walking shoes and socks right next to her bed so that when she got up in the morning, her feet would literally fall into her shoes which would lead her to just “get on that damn treadmill and do my exercise.”
Consistency wins out over intensity every time and creating that small habit helped mom to get her lifesaving exercise done first thing in the morning. That early win provided her with enough positive reinforcement, she was glad to do it again the next day. It helped her to live another 30 years, long enough for her to meet and know all her grandchildren.
Resilience works best when you get ahead of your stressors, or even better, keep them from coming. Those New Year resolutions probably won’t stick much past 4 weeks but a regular practice that you can do each day will ensure that your 2022 will be a good and perhaps more importantly satisfyingly year of growth.
© Richard Citrin 2022