Friday, April 2, 2010

Lifestyle Changes – Your perception is your reality.

"One has not only an ability to perceive the world but an ability to alter one's perception of it; more simply, one can change things by the manner in which one looks at them."
Tom Robbins
The thing with perception is that it is real to you. The way you view a situation, is what influences how you feel about it and guides how you react to it. It doesn’t matter how someone else sees the situation, only your perception is real. Therefore, trying to “reframe” our perceptions is an excellent tool in changing our behaviour.

Wednesdays are very busy for me, I have clients in the morning and then again in the evening. I usually have phone calls to return and paperwork to organize in the afternoon. PLUS, according to my Half-Marathon running schedule, I have a Hard Run (i.e., hills, or fartlek) to run! Wanting to avoid as much pain as possible on actual race day, I thought the best thing to do was to try not to skip any part of the running schedule. So, when I just didn’t end up having time to do my run on Wednesdays (which was almost always), I would get anxious as the day wore on, my mind was not as focused as I tried to return phone calls and finish up paperwork, and I would end the day feeling disappointed with myself.

We all know that the best way to fall off the wagon is to be disappointed with this was a “bag-of-chips-waiting-to-happen" situation.

My distorted perception: I really need to get that Hard run in, but I just know I won’t be able to do all I have to do today.
Feeling: Not so proud of myself and worried that work or running will suffer.

Reframing to more realistic thinking: After asking about this, it seems that many people only complete 4 of the 5 workouts suggested in the program and do fine...AND I do not have to do the Hard Run on Wednesday! Perhaps I could do the Hard Run on Tuesdays, because I have more time. If I have time on Wednesday, I’ll do a short run (which I won’t feel bad missing if I can’t).
Feeling: I enjoy taking the time to focus on my work and I am pleased with myself for doing a good job. If I get a run in, bonus.

Pride in ourselves is the best way to stay motivated...and you guess it! The last two Wednesdays, I did manage to get a run in. Knowing that my Hard Run was out of the way, I have been more relaxed and focused with my work and managing to fit in a self-esteem boosting short run on Wednesday afternoons :)

Important points to remember:
1) If a situation is causing you to regularly feel disappointed with yourself, re-evaluate your perception of the situation!
2) Assess: Am I being realistic, “Is it really that serious if I don’t bake the cupcakes myself for the class party?”
3) Reframe: “I know exactly where I can buy some very good cupcakes and I’m sure the kids will be thrilled. There is no obligation to absolutely bake them myself. I can go for my run and be on time to pick up the kids after school, without rushing like crazy.”
4) Outcome: You have an enjoyable day and feel better about yourself!

If you can perceive your life as more manageable, it will be :)
Have a great weekend and remember to give yourself some leeway.


Meg said...

I like that whole "reframing" idea! I think we do that naturally but it's nice to put a name to it! Re-evaluate, assess, reframe=a positive outcome. I love that! Thanks :) !

Char said...

But I like baking cupcakes. In fact I have some in the oven ATM

AM-GoalsfortheWeek! said...

Just wanted to say hi...and i hear you on the re framing..however first time out of the gate for me and the triathlon...there was no re framing. just bits of 'w$%% sm I doin!?' out here!!'. and now i realize it's mental and physical experience. yuh! cheers

Sherri said...

Another winner!
Thanks! =)

Judi said...

Love this Anne! Sometimes I take all of the fun out of things because I have such high expectations of myself, especially in my current role of a mother. For example, my kids don't have to have two Easter egg hunts this weekend. The neighborhood one will suffice. So that is what we will do!

Happy Easter!

(Thanks for the comment on Hiker's post, I think he did a good job too!)

Teamarcia said...

Love this post Anne!
I too feel like I'm setting myself up for failure/PAIN if I don't manage every workout on time and on pace. I'm slowly learning to still do my best but adjust my attitude to go with whatever comes.


Great post! It's so true. Those days when I dread my runs, it shows. When I am excited and feeling powerful, everything goes well ... stay positive!

MomRunningFromCancer said...

thanks for the thought provoking post. I love the idea of reframing issues. I just so totally agree that we and "usually only we" put some much pressure on ourselves. And it is just self imposed pressure.

Relax, breath deeply and enjoy

Have a great weekend

Marathonman101108 said...

Great post! I read it twice. Thank-you SO much for putting running and life in general into perspective.

ajh said...

Like the reframing thoughts! Good post.

Pat said...

A very good post Anne. It made me realize that I need to reframe my thinking about running with Asthma. I know running will help make my lungs stronger and healthier, but right now I'm scared that before I get to that point, I'll have a relapse of what happened a few months ago and tend to take it too easy. I also want to thank you for your encouraging comments on my blog. You're an inspiration for me.

Lisa said...

this is a great post. I think I'll be coming back to it in the future as a reminder.

hope you & your husband enjoyed your run! congrats on hitting 9 miles!

The un-Zen Runner said...

I used to totally psyche myself out before running to the point where I did not enjoy it. This was mostly due to me timing every run and expecting myself to get some kind of PR each workout. Eventually I got rid of the watch and focused on just enjoying my surroundings. A couple years later I still enjoy (almost) every run. :)

Julie said...

You nailed it on the head there Anne!! Nicely put...sometimes we need to just go with the flow:)

Will said...

Agreed, we are only as good as what our minds will let us be.

Shellyrm ~ just a country runner said...

Great post. If you change the way you look at I often remind myself when "things" become a bit overwhelming.

Enjoy your Easter holiday!

Amy said...

Great advice Anne - I think we runners can sometimes be way too hard on ourselves! Happy Easter!

Jennifer said...

I LOVE your post this week! It is so inspirational and way true! I am going to try and remember all you have said when things get tough this week!