Think about something you absolutely have to do every day. You might not particularly enjoy doing it, but itís part of your routine such that, if you didnít do it, it would feel completely wrong to have missed it.
For me, that thing is brushing my teeth. Iíd really rather proud of my dental hygiene and the strength of my teeth. I donít have any filling and apart from a grumbling wisdom tooth a few years ago, Iíve had not major issues with them. I feel very lucky as I remember a friend who woke up one morning and her front tooth dropped out. This would have been fine if she were 6 years old, but in her late 40ís it was pretty shocking! She couldnít go to work that day as she had to go to the dentist to get a temporary tooth until the dentist had made her a new one. That for me is the stuff of nightmares - I do actually dream about losing my teeth and wake in the morning to find myself checking that they are all there! Iím not saying that my friend didnít bother to brush her teeth, sometime there are other influencers, but those kinds of stories make me all the more dedicated to brushing my pearly whites at least twice a day, and leaves me with a sense of guilt and worry if I do not.
So how does bushing your teeth relate to exercise?
Itís simple really. When I embarked on an exercise routine I have (and continue to) admit that it was probably one of the most difficult routines to stick to. It hurt, I was hot, out of breath and Iíd rather be at home watching Netflix. Or working even, Iíd actually rather work than exercise.
More than that I didnít like and was somewhat resentful of the people who were heading there each day as if they were off to church to pray to the sweat god. My mother even reminded me that when I was younger Iíd said that Iíd never go because I didnít want to breath in other peopleís sweat air!
You can see that I was really not on board with the idea of the gym at all!
So how did I crack that resistance? It was actually quite simple. I stopped trying to be one of those people who loved it, I stopped being one of those people that hated it and instead I thought about it as something that I just have to do regularly, like brushing my teeth.
Sometimes I might be in a rush and brushing my teeth could be seen as a time zapping activity, but Iíd never not do it. I just have to. Now when I think about staying at home of an evening instead of going to the gym, I apply the same feeling as if I were choosing not to brush my teeth. It feels wrong to make a decision where I am avoiding doing something I know I have to do, more than that, Iíd feel like Iíd let myself down if I didnít do it.
So what is the thing you do in your life on a regular basis, that if you didnít do it, it would give you that feeling of the day being a bit weird or disjointed? Tune into the feeling you get when you think about not doing it and begin learning the formula for what you feel. Later when you want to go to the gym (or want to avoid it) tune back into the feeling as you thing about the gym and notice how you feel compelled to get on and take some action. Now get to the gym!
Being able to take useful emotions and apply them in different situations is just one of the benefits of NLP.
By Gemma Bailey