Posted Under Self-Help & Personal Empowerment

Being Physically Active: Plan for Success by Planning for Failure

Shoes for Exercising
"It does not do to leave a live dragon out of your calculations, if you live near him.
—J. R. R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

Creating a new habit can be challenging, and the best-laid plans will falter as life unfolds on a daily basis. What are the dragons that will disrupt your best-laid plans for being physically active?

  • External dragons: What challenges will work and life offer you? A hectic and inflexible work schedule? Your boss? A friend who means well, but...? Car accidents?
  • Family dragons: What challenges will your kids, spouse, parents put in your way?
  • Internal dragons: What obstacles will you put up in your own way? What are you afraid will happen if you accomplish your goal? What rationalizations will you give yourself about why it's okay not to meet your goal? What will you do to meet your goal when life isn't working out exactly as planned?


  1. In your journal, consider the following question: What challenges will you face in being physically active every day? What will you do when you encounter an obstacle? What do you need, where do you need it, and how do you need to be reminded to complete your daily physical activity?
  2. Set yourself up for success. Put what you need where you need it. Put your reminders in place. Know your backup plan.
  3. Increase your minimum daily physical activity to six minutes. If you want to do more than six minutes of physical activity, you are welcome to do so. Just do at least six minutes.

Excerpted from 365 Ways to Live Generously, by Sharon Lipinski.

About Sharon Lipinski

Sharon Lipinski (Loveland, CO) is the founder of the non-profit Change Gangs: Virtual Giving Circles, which helps people make small donations that make a big impact by pooling their small donations with the donations of ...
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