Fake It Until You Feel It

Some days, I don’t feel it.  I don’t feel like eating healthily.  I don’t feel like cooking.  I don’t feel like going to the gym.  I don’t feel like moving to the point of getting even 5,000 steps.  I don’t feel like doing yoga.  I don’t feel like meditating.  Today is kind of one of those days.  The cloud of a nasty cold is hanging over the apartment and I really would have liked to just stay in bed all day and eat takeout or other fast food.  But I didn’t, and I’m glad.

For me, one of the best ways to start “feeling it” is to fake it.  Just eat a vegetable, start to cook something, go the gym, get out of the house (which necessarily involves getting out of bed).  Even if I really don’t want to.  Because a majority of the time, that’s enough to make me start feeling it.  Eating something healthy reminds me that I feel better when I take the time and effort to do so, which, in turn, makes me feel like doing it.  Getting out of the house and going for a walk reminds me of how much better I feel when I do those things, which makes me do them more.

Going to the gym can be harder to do, but it’s the same.  Sometimes you just need to get there and fake it for a few minutes.  Make yourself do 10 minutes on a bike or treadmill (or whatever it is that you do at the gym) and, chances are, you’ll keep doing it once those 10 minutes are over.  It’s not a magic bullet but if you’re still not feeling it after those 10 minutes and decide to call it a day, that’s OK too.  Because 10 minutes of exercise is better than zero!

For me, by faking it, at the very least I modify my behavior so that I take at least one healthy action or make one healthy decision.  And frequently, doing that one thing is all it takes to make me feel it.  The way I see it, there’s nothing to lose by faking it**, because either you’ll start to feel it and that’s great or you’ll at least be a little healthier than you would have been otherwise.  Do you do this?

**Note: I am ONLY talking about making healthy decisions here.  I am not advocating that you “fake it” in other situations (although faking a good mood or confidence can certainly be really helpful in making you feel better or more confident).  This approach does NOT work in all aspects of life and is probably not a great guiding principle for your life in general.  It can, however, be a useful tool when appropriate.

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