Should vs Want

Daily Movement Prompts, Friday, June 30, 2017 edition: Should vs Want

I am amazed sometimes how pervasive the “old voices” can be in our heads. I witnessed an unusual exchange online this week. A fitness professional was being very encouraging and sharing a message of how we can start with the body we have right now. And someone responded with a list of, “I need to do XYZ…” and “I know I should do XYZ…” remarks.

Need. Should. Lots of old voices. And I could completely recognize those old patterns in my head and in my history, too.

And in thinking about it, rather than, “I need to…” or, “I should…” I like to ask myself, “Do I want to?” Because then it makes more sense when I expand the conversation to include the wants. “Do I want to climb stairs without pain? Yes, therefore I will do my knee PT exercises that I hate. Because I *want* knee improvement.” Or, “Do I want more dance stamina? Yes. Therefore, I will dance one more drill because it will keep building my stamina.” Do I want to run? Someday, yes. But right now I want to walk without a limp. And I am okay that my current practices *do* have me almost completely limp free. I can set my next goals!

Have you found yourself making plans for exercise, movement, or activity based on a sense of obligation, “I need to do XYZ… I should do XYZ…” and it’s not something that you have a paired interest in? You’re only doing it because you think someone told you that you NEED to do XYZ? You have the freedom to have any motivation you want, please let me confirm this. But some pressures are not rooted in evidence-based medical research. I love to promote non-scale goals: Stamina for an activity, increased flexibility, improved mobility, or continued strength building. Or maybe you have a medical number that you want to influence, and your movement habits can affect those lab results.

Is there a goal that you *want* and can you define it with a non-scale measure of success? Is this a want that can help you avoid old pressures from shame or “needs” imposed by others on you?

How did you move today? How will you move tomorrow?