In addition to the obvious health benefits of an exercise program, one of the most important skills I can help my clients understand is the rule of agreements. The rule of agreements simply means that we are constantly making, breaking, or keeping agreements with ourselves and others. The skill comes in knowing when to make, break or keep an agreement, and learning how to do each well.
For example, you may have volunteered to serve on a board, or with an organization, but you dread the meetings and resent the time you have committed to be there. You might stay doggedly committed out of some sense of obligation or decide just to gut it out, but a better solution might be to break the agreement. After you’ve made a decision to do so, you can navigate how to do it in a way that honors yourself and others.
Learning to keep agreements is important, too. People who keep agreements earn our trust. People who are able to keep their agreements with others have first learned to keep agreements with themselves. This is why exercise is so important. Your ability to take care of yourself physically is the foundation of your ability to make and keep agreements with yourself.
When you are able to exercise consistently, not only are you getting healthier and experiencing the benefits of endorphins in your brain, you are also strengthening your integrity with yourself by following through on your commitment. Having this kind of integrity with yourself, you are more likely to have integrity with others, and better results and strong partnerships come easier.
That’s the big picture – of course you’ll also be feeling more empowered and confident as your overall health improves. I don’t tell my clients how to exercise or even recommend a specific plan, but I do ask them to make an agreement with themselves regarding their physical health and it becomes an important part of our coaching work!