Do you ever procrastinate over exercising. Have constant conversations with yourself that you ARE going to swim, ride, run, walk, go to the gym or spin or pilates this week only to get to the end of the week and have done only one or even none!
I have spent the last two years procrastinating about exercising. I was trying to find the happy place where I didn’t need the challenge of an event to maintain motivation and keep training, rather I was relying on the natural endorphins to keep me eager to turn up to my next training session.
Then the other week at the X adventure I had an epiphany. I didn’t enjoy swimming the race because I wasn’t as fit as I knew I could be. I hadn’t really made it to any training sessions as I always had something else I felt I needed to do or should have been doing.
With excuses to be elsewhere and a long list of jobs at home and work it was taking all the will power I had to get in the pool and train. So after feeling so dismal after the X adventure I managed to make time to swim four times the next week and guess what…… everything I had to do I still got done, in less time, I was happier, more productive and probably nicer to my family.
I realised that what actually drove me to exercise when I was training for an event had been routine, and I had lost the routine without a major event to train for, resulting in the need of a fat dose of will power when I wanted to exercise.
Reducing Procrastination is possible. We can lessen the volume of its voice, when you hear those familiar refrains-
• I’m tired, I can go another day.
• I don’t feel perfect today, so let’s start tomorrow.
• There is so much stuff I should be doing right now, I’ll start back swimming again next term.
How to do it:
Setting up routines and habits are the most powerful way to beat procrastination. Habits, routines and systems take away the need to apply willpower each time you need to act.
I find my willpower is a finite resource. Just like a muscle we can only use it so many times before it becomes fatigued. Having those systems in place takes that never-ending “should I or shouldn’t I” argument out of the equation.
So book yourself in for a swim session you will have set up a commitment, a routine to help you take the decision away when the time comes to go to the pool.
Plus after your swim session you will most likely feel more productive, still get all those things done, and with a spring in your step, as you did something for you first.
This has been such an epiphany for me, I hope it helps you when you find your energy waining and you just aren’t getting to the pool when you would like. Routine, Routine, Routine….it really does help and you can save that willpower for something …..else
With a new term starting soon, work out how your routine could look and lock in your swim sessions now. I know I am going to.