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Trick Yourself Into Change

Updated: Jan 20, 2022

I struggle a lot with exercise, especially in the winter. It’s cold outside; so I don’t feel like getting out there and gardening, hiking, or doing home improvement projects. I find I have to trick myself into certain behaviors. I leave physical objects in places that I know will remind me to exercise.

It took me over a year to figure out my routine. First, I stopped travelling for work. Staying at home helped me to develop a regular routine. I knew I wanted to practice yoga. I put my rolled up mat out on the living room floor as a reminder. Leaving a large physical object out to remind myself to exercise does tend to make my house look a little messy. I thought this permanent reminder would help me to achieve my goal of doing yoga and stretching. It didn't work.

I had envisioned myself doing yoga in the morning; but I never could get up and do it first thing in the morning. Evidently this is not the best time for me to exercise. I had to try something different. I enjoy watching hockey; so I decided to stretch while watching TV. It worked! Once I started my late night exercising, I added in comfortable yoga pants and cozy shirt and haven't stopped since. I really enjoy it! This is the secret to real lasting change; enjoyment.

You see change isn’t just about changing what you are currently doing or starting a new behavior. It's like writing a good article. It answers several questions: what, who, where, when, why and how. If each answer adds a pleasant aspect to the task, it becomes easier to achieve.

  • The what is the goal you are trying to achieve... Keep the goal small to get started. If it's to loose weight, keep it to 5 to 10 to start. Remember we don't want an intimidating goal. We want an achievable goal.

  • Of course the who is usually you. If it is someone else, you must make sure that the person really wants that goal for themself. Then you must get them to answer these questions for themself, not tell you what they think you want to hear.

  • Where depends on the activity. Indoors may require that you carve out a small space in the house for your activity. If it's outside, you may want to find a back up location for when the weather turns bad. The local community gym or YMCA may be an option to explore. I even change some of my activities with the seasons.

  • Figuring out when you’re going to do it around work, family and chores can be challenging. It needs to be dedicated time for you. You may even have to get some support from your family to leave you be to do your fun activity. An even better solution is to get them to join you!

  • What’s your motivation or why are you making a change? Are you changing because of another person? This may not last. If you don't truly desire this goal, you won't do it. On the other hand if you really want it, nothing will stop you!

  • How are you going to do it? Move more maybe through walking, dancing, or yoga. The answer will be personal to you. Walk around the block or up and down your stairs three times. Just find a way to keep it achievable and fun! Add music or a great yoga instructor and you may find you're off to the races on your own personal health journey!

It’s great to be able to exercise indoors since the arctic winter storms have arrived. I crank up the heat. It keeps my muscles warm while stretching. As I transition into yoga, I can takeoff my socks; so I don't not to slide onto my face while doing certain poses.

I’ve gone crazy with tripping myself into extra exercise recently. In addition to housework, very good exercise, I've added roller skating and ballroom dancing. A small group of us started roller skating to get into better shape and meet weekly on Wednesdays at Roller Coasters in Chattanooga, TN. I tripped myself into going dancing by finding a fun dance partner. We may not be great but we mask up and laugh our way through the USA Dance group lessons. It really does help to find someone or a small group of friends to go do things.

This doesn't just have to be for exercise. It works for any type of habit change... A friend of mine wanted to start taking daily vitamins. He really wanted to achieve this goal; so getting him to make a change wasn’t hard. It was a matter of working it into his current routine. In the beginning, he decided to take them at night. He kept forgetting to take them. He decided to change to taking them in the morning. We talked through it. He always has tea first thing in the morning. By putting his vitamins by his tea kettle, he automatically started taking his vitamins on a regular basis.

Now that you've got more exercise in your life, you may need some more protein to help build more muscle. I've found an excellent healthy version of beef tips on rice. The cauliflower rice recipe is from the All Recipes app. The beef tips recipe is all mine. See what you think....

Beef Tips


- 1 lb. stew meat

- 1/4 cup Bragg's Soy Liquid Aminos

- 1/4 cup Bragg's Coconut Liquid Aminos

- 1/2 cup water

- 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce

- 2 garlic cloves, minced

- 1 large red pepper, diced

- 1/2 large yellow onion

- 3 tbsp. coconut oil


  1. In a plastic container, mix the Bragg's Soy and Coconut Liquid Aminos with water and stew meat. Allow it to marinade overnight.

  2. Sauté the onions and garlic in a large skillet over high heat,

  3. Add the stew meat cooking it for 3 to 5 minutes to brown it on the sides.

  4. Mix in the marinade, Worcestershire sauce, spices, and red pepper. Bring the mix to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover and cook for 30 minutes.

Cauliflower Rice


- 1 large head of cauliflower, cut into large chunks

- 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

- 1/2 tsp. salt

-1/4 tsp. black pepper


  1. Put the cauliflower pieces into a food processor and pulse until you get rice sized bits.

  2. Heat the olive oil up in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the cauliflower and spices. Cover and cook for 3 to 5 minutes. Lift the lid and stir once or twice. Fluff with a fork.

Garlic and red peppers are known to help boost your immune system. The cauliflower rice will help keep your blood sugar in check. The protein will give your body the nutrition it needs for muscle growth. The liquid aminos are soy-free and gluten-free with less salt making it an allergy friendly substitute for soy sauce.

If you still struggle with exercise, you may find a health coach is the answer. We all struggle not to doubt and criticize ourselves after a lifetime of negative feedback and harsh cultural standards. Remember no judgement, just curiosity like a scientist or even better the wonder of a child. I would be more than happy to be your health coach and help you stay positive while finding fun personalized solutions to become a healthier version of yourself. Feel free to contact me on this website.

Now I'm off to work on my indoor hydroponic garden. It just makes sense with the rising cost of food. Eventually, some of these greens will make it into a future recipe. Meanwhile, please comment, like, share, and come back next week for more recipes, ideas, and tips. Subscribe to the website, if you would like weekly email reminders to add more recipes to your recipe book.

Disclaimer: This is not medical advice, but a compilation of research from medical sites. Make sure to see your doctor and have up to date lab work.

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