Enjoyment is the key to maintaining change

Enjoyment is the key to maintaining change

Whenever we can, Dreamy and I walk the Blue Lake. The lake is mostly surrounded by countryside and the length of the walk is perfect for us. Dreamy is always excited as we near the lake in my car. I open the window so he can stick his head out. When we arrive, he leaps out excitedly, and he begins sniffing. Together we slowly circle the lake, taking in the surrounds as we walk.

For me, this walk is not just about exercise. It is also about taking Dreamy for a walk and connecting with nature and myself. The regional area in which I live has its advantages. This is one advantage; I can walk my dog away from crowds of people and enjoy nature.

A while ago realised that if I was to continue walking, my motivation had to be more than mere fitness. Yes, it is important to walk to maintain my fitness, but this has become a benefit I get from something I love doing rather than the motivating factor.

Over the years I have learned that the only way for me to maintain a change in my lifestyle is to find a way of enjoying it. Exercise without enjoyment is no fun. Enjoyment makes the change easier to integrate into our life.

How have I made walking enjoyable? I use it as time for me. It is a time to take in my surroundings, to walk off my frustration and enjoy the fresh air. I use it as a form of meditation. A time to share with friends, but mostly as solace. It just happens to be good for my health.

If you want to change your habits, make it pleasurable. Don’t expect yourself to make a permanent change to a behaviour you do not like. If you want to exercise more, choose a way which gives you gratification.

In love, Jenny

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