Ah, boredom…

We’re coming up on the second week in “water month”.  The value of the month is Flexibility and this week’s theme is Prevention.

Now, when people say the word prevention, a lot of activities come to mind that can be, well…. boring!  Taking your vitamins, doing gentle morning exercises, budgeting, looking before you leap, yawn!  All these things can help us have so much more fun in life – later, down the road, in the long run.    But, prevention can also be so incredibly delicious in the moment.

Below are Sensei Nesta’s 3 Simple Tricks for Making Prevention… Fun!

  1. Plan out new habits that you can see yourself really enjoying.

These habits you’re cultivating, the ones that will prevent all the negative stuff down the road you don’t want (like going through life stressed and rushed, feeling sick, tired and rundown, financial ruin, premature death, you get the idea) – these habits won’t stick in the long run unless they are fun and joyful for you.

You don’t have to do everything perfectly and be some superhero version of yourself.  Just think about living a fulfilling, joyful, healthy life and some regular habits that you would be doing, that you’d actually like to do every day or week.  Habits I enjoy:

  • Taking my vitamins with a comforting tea each morning.
  • Putting on great music and moving my body organically each day.
  • Taking martial arts classes with awesome people a few times each week.
  • Lying on a foam roller at night while listening to a relaxing guided meditation.

2. Expect a grueling period and plan in some rewards to keep you going.

No matter how much you enjoy something, doing it regularly, day in and day out, can be kind of annoying at first.  Humans are creatures of habit.  This fact will be awesome once you are regularly doing the habits you really want to be doing.  But transitioning out of habitual patterns that don’t serve us can be a pain in the beginning.

Once you get through it, it’s gonna be awesome.  Just hang in there and don’t give up.  I’m a big fan of celebrating yourself when you stick with a habit.  What I do is make a chart to check off each habit I’m working on for a certain number of days, say 21.  And then I try to get a certain number of checks in a certain number of days.   For example, 15 checks in 21 days.  I try to be just challenging enough to make it stick, but not so much that I get defeated.  Here are some things I like to do when I’ve accomplished my Habit Goal:

  • 3 hours to myself downtown – lots of this is spent in tea shops and bookstores 🙂
  • Take a journal and a picnic and have a relaxing lunch in a beautiful spot.
  • Go out to dinner with a dear friend.

3.  Once you realize you’ve got the habits down, be sure to let yourself go and get into the flow.

At some point, you will realize: I’m actually doing this habit, without too much effort!  It will finally become natural.  At this point, it’s time to just sink into the joy of it.  I don’t know if this last point is necessary to make for everyone, but if you tend to be a perfectionist or a dissatisfied striver, this one’s for you.   When we’ve put in the work, it’s time to just feel good about it.  We do not always need to be seeking our next improvement.  Part of preventing all those unhealthy things I mentioned earlier is learning to relax into the moment and be thankful for all we have done for ourselves.

Spring is a great time to start new things.  Current students, I invite you to check out the Wellness Section of our member’s site for ideas to get you started.  We’ll be exploring this idea of prevention, and how it relates to life as well as training in the dojo.  Our techniques of the week are:

  • Front Rolls and Break Falls
  • Uke – Tori Balance Drills
  • Wrist Escapes
  • Omote Gyaku
  • Rokushaku Bo Kamae
  • Rokushaku Bo Strikes

Thanks for reading!  I’ll see you in the dojo,

Sensei Nesta

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