You know you love it! You wake up every morning thinking about it. You get in the car fantasizing about the time you’re going to spend with the only thing that truly understands you. You finally get there, lay eyes on it and sigh. Yes…the treadmill. You love it when you’re done with it but dread what it represents before and during your time together: effort, time, change (hopefully)…and sweat. It’s uncomfortable to say the least, and yet your relationship keeps getting stronger and stronger.

Until one day you look around and realize the treadmill has now become your life. You fought getting on it, but you put one foot on then the other, hated it but persevered, finally got comfortable…and then never got off.  To change things up a bit you’d increase the speed every now and then.  When you were feeling really risky you’d increased the speed AND the incline!!  Whew!  The excitement was exhilarating!  But occasionally you grew weary, and your pace slowed so much you felt like you were literally crawling.

But you still couldn’t bring yourself to end your relationship with your beloved. The two of you had become so intimate you wouldn’t recognize your life with it. Regardless of how fast, slow, high or low it was, you knew  what to expect and could function together just fine. You knew it was unhealthy, but you were so caught up in the dance of dysfunction you couldn’t even find the button that makes it all stop. So what do you do when you’re finally ready to redefine your relationship with “Millie”?

  1. Make a choice. The first step to making any kind of change is to decide what it is you’d rather be doing or have. That’s it. You can either stay on that blasted treadmill for the rest of your life or you can do something different. It’s really that simple.
  2. Call in back up. Thank goodness your treadmill had a charger because you’re going to need to use your phone to call or text your best and most supportive friends. Let them know you’ve made a choice and are going to need them to lean on until you’re used to walking on stationary ground again. They’re not going to mind you’re calling them. In fact they’d be hurt if you didn’t. So make the call and have them on stand-by.
  3. Make the next best choice. Now that you’ve decided you want off the perpetual looping belt machine, think about the easiest and most comfortable action step you can make next. Maybe it’s quitting cold turkey and pulling the emergency stop cord or maybe it’s just slowing the speed down a few miles per hour at a time. Whatever it is you need to do to be able to start the process, do that.
  4. Take your time.  The universe will bend time for you once you begin to make small — or large — changes, so there’s no need to rush or even feel guilty about the length of time it may take to readjust to your new lifestyle. Honoring yourself and doing only what you can do in the only way you can do it is all that’s expected of you. Tune out all the external as well as internal critics and make this the beginning of building your solid foundation with a solid new outlook.
  5. Dream a little dream…or a huge one! For so long your focus has been on your relationship with the treadmill, but now that you’re free from the bondage of that connection you’re also free to dream about the life you have the opportunity to create. Do you want to travel? Would you like to start a new career? Do you never want to work again and just spend time with the ones who mean the most to you? Whatever it is you desire, dream it…and then repeat Steps 1-4 as necessary.

Regardless of what the treadmill represents in your life, and regardless of how little strength you have left in you, you will ALWAYS have the power to choose. Breaking big events down into littler pieces will make defining the choices easier, so simplify, simplify, simplify. At some point you will run out of excuses or perhaps your sacred treadmill will break down. Either way, however, the power to choose how your life will unfold is always just one thought — one choice — away. You might as well start now. We all know what happens when a treadmill suddenly stops moving…with someone still on it.