Hey there, all of you awesome 20+ who are participating in the #SisuPlank March challenge!
You are: Rebecca, Luke, Heather, Nico, LuAnn, Katarina, Saad, Kirk, Milla, Elina, Merja, Eija, Tammy, Katja, Anneli, Sari, Tuuli, Lotta, Merja, Ed, John (I added you here) and several others who I know are participating off-line.
I just wanted to give you a little friendly shout-out. We are almost 1/3 done. Keep up the good work!
However, now that we are moving on to planks which are 1 minute (and way beyond for some of you) the stuff gets real. Remember that keeping consistent will keep you moving forward, and ultimately that is what this willpower practice is all about.
“What if I find the plank too hard for me?”
If you find yourself not being able to hold the plank for a minute you can always be creative and tweak the exercise to let’s say 3 x 40 seconds (or you can lower your knees to the ground while still keeping your back straight and strong, and keeping your core tight). It’s all about staying true to this goal you chose to set for yourself (stay FOCUSED) while also listening to your body and giving it appreciation (be FRIENDLY toward yourself) for the fact that it is willing cooperate with all of our crazy stunts. It has got you where you are today – what a magnificent, strong thing.
Approach the challenge with perseverance infused with friendliness toward yourself (hold this intention as firmly as you hold your plank), and you are letting your nervous system work with you, not against you
“Nah, I signed up but haven’t been doing the plank. I think I’ll try again next month…”
If you have skipped a few days, just pick up the practice today. You have not lost anything. The only loss here is to be tricked to think we have already crossed some magical point of no return, or lost the potential for further benefits (a typical error of human thought processing and problem solving btw). Loose that thought. It’s a trick.
Come back with no regrets and pick up where you left. In doing so, you are in fact making the most of this exercise and reaping the biggest possible benefits.
By continuing after kind of quitting, you are tapping into the most powerful thing we have to change our lives, become more resilient and achieve our goals: you are activating and reinforcing your ability to keep persistent despite of setbacks or hiccups along the way. In fact, that is the whole point here: to practice this particular ‘willpower muscle’. Your actions mold our brain. What you choose to do gets ingrained on your neocortex and the actions we keep on reinforcing become our habits. Having an action mindset or being persistent is ultimately a habit and can be learned (no brain surgery, magic or genetic superiority required).
It’s all very simple in the end of the day. Take it from Dr. Seuss who said:
All of the major developments of modern civilization (and personal triumphs of individuals just like you and me) have depended on our ability to prospect a possible future and then keep going persistently toward this goal. Plain and simple: that is what we are practicing here with the aid of a very basic tool called the plank.
So, if you have taken a few days off (or even like -umm- seven) take a minute (or 30-40 seconds) and hop on your elbows. If you are discouraged because you have found the exercise hard, you can absolutely do it on your knees and/or chop the exercise into smaller bit (still keeping it a bit challenging).
It’s all about relentless forward movement – even if it’s slow, who cares! The things is that you surpassing your yesterday’s self.
Good luck and thanks so much for all the lovely updates and feedback. Suck a joy you are! : )
“In the realm of ideas everything depends on enthusiasm… in the real world all rests on perseverance.” -Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
W/Sisu and Smiles,