Monday, January 25, 2021

Changing from “Have to” to “Get to

April 22, 2010 by  
Filed under Body Image

I recently read this great article by Kristin Armstrong (ex of famous cycler Lance Armstrong) in the May edition of Runner’s World magazine.

It was a great message to everyone, that Armstrong applied to both running/working out and her life.

Basically Armstrong said that in a world where most of us feel the weight of our responsibilities pressing down on us, we find ourselves saying “I have to do this” or “I have to do that”.  She realized that there are people who are sick or struggling in some other way who would love the opportunity to do the things we feel we have to do.

So Armstrong decided to try to tweak her thoughts a bit.  She said that instead of thinking or saying, I have to finish this project or I have to pick up my kids, to instead think – I get to work on this assignment, I get to pick up my kids, I get to help them with their homework, I get to buy groceries and make dinner for my family.

She said that at first it felt a little forced and silly, but after a few days it became more natural to her.  She felt freer, more thoughtful and more aware of why she does what she does.

Armstrong said that “Perhaps I had become so encumbered with my to-dos that I forget to be thankful for the opportunity to do them.  I realized that it’s possible to have a reawakening about the beauty in our lives, to understand that we are so damn lucky to be healthy, to have people to love and the ability to care for them.”

She went on to say that gratitude is contagious.  It’s the smallest thing, but it has the power of something big.

I found this to be quite moving.  I am someone who is always rushing and multi-tasking to check things off my to-do list.  I feel like I have to get everything done now, because surely something else I have to do will be added to the list tomorrow.  I often feel stressed and overwhelmed because I feel like I have so much to do.  I can honestly say that I don’t feel the gratitude in all the things that I feel like I have to do.

But Armstrong is so right in offering this great way to look at things.  I am lucky that I get work to do, have healthy children who I get to schlep to their sporting events, that I get to go the gym, that I have options of what foods to put in my body, and that my body is able to carry groceries, cook meals and do laundry.  These are all things that I’m grateful for.

To take it a step further… for many of us, we feel like we have to look a certain way or be a certain weight / size based upon what society expects of us.  We get caught up in what we feel we have to do based on something that doesn’t even come from within ourselves.

We perhaps should strive to be grateful for all the great things that we and our bodies get to do.  We get to keep trying to make good choices in what we eat and we get to excercise when we want to.  We get to indulge in pampering or treats when we can or want to.

Each day we get the opportunity to make changes to better ourselves, to improve our health and our lives.  We get the choice to improve our body, mind and spirit.  We don’t have to, but we get to make those choices each morning when we wake up.

Anything in your life that you can change from a “have to” to a “get to?”


One Response to “Changing from “Have to” to “Get to”
  1. tammy says:

    This mindset change can actually work. I read this same kind of article somewhere else and I’ve been using it to motivate myself to hit the gym when my alarm goes off at 5:00am. I just start my self talk with “you’re so blessed you can afford the membership”, “you’re really starting to see a difference, and you want to keep going” “so many other people wish they could work out in such a nice place”, etc.
    Somehow it’s working and the routine is starting to really stick. I would never have believed it, but it can help motivate you.

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