What box are you in?

When we talk about thinking outside a box, lots of people have the tendency to say we should not have a box.
I used to think I was very open minded and I did not think inside a box. That in itself is “a box”.
The last years as a coach, my questions are more around helping people realizing they are always inside a box. (or actually more boxes)
Once they know that, we can work on finding the boxes.

When I was reading Personal Kanban, I read about a pedometer. A small device that tracks my steps and helps me visualize how much movement I make (or not make).
When I read it, I was convinced, which is funny as I gave that to my brother-in-law a few years ago as a (requested) gift and I was not convinced at the time [box 1]

When I had mine, I quickly realized that my movement was even worse then what I assumed. (the biggest value of Visual management) as the problem is always worse then what you think of.

When I realized that, I started looking how I could move more.

I could hardly find any:

– I work full time for my clients
– I have a company to run
– I have 3 young kids
– etc etc

>> Yes: all kinds of excuses. Easy to see from a distance, but when you are in the situation, they all look valid. (And they are valid.) [Box nr 2]

So I shifting my coaching question to myself.
The internal conversation went something like this:

Why do I try to coach myself? Why don’t I wait to ask my personal coaches, to help me on this one?
Nah, I am waiting on a train, I have some time to think about that.
True, but with my coaches, thinks might go faster
Mm, I feel some resistance here. Let’s drop the resistance. [Removing box 3, that says I need a coach to change myself]
Ok, if I can do this myself, let’s see what box I am in.

After a while (no idea how long) I found a box:

One box, is that I can’t move more with my current life. [Box 2]
Part of that box, is that all these movements need to be large movements. [Box 4]
Haha, but that is why I have the pedometer, to see the total of the day.

– I already take the stairs instead of the elevator at work as much as possible.
– I go by foot or bike to the trainstation.

What else can I do?
And then it struck me. I was standing at the train station and I was waiting already 10 minutes.
Instead of standing still like everyone, I might as well walk while waiting.
And so I did.

More important, I did this the last 6 months every day I took the train.
Every morning when I arrive at the train station I walk in circles/ellipses while waiting.

side effects:
I don’t rush to get my train anymore.
If I arrive a few minutes earlier, it’s no longer a loss. It’s a gain.

Still left to improvement:
I don’t have the same habit in the evening. I do it from time to time, but not as regular.

Update: Other options would be to have a treadmill desk. Read a diary of one user here.

So what box are you in?