How to get moving/getting off the damn couch
I have a weird voice in my head.
It’s constantly trying to talk me out of stuff that I really want to do. I really don’t think I’m a crazy person (maybe I am), but this voice isn’t the kind of voice that’s encouraging. It’s not like it outright tells me what NOT to do; it just kind of comes up with ideas of stuff to do instead of doing the things to get on track towards the goals I’m trying to achieve.
If I’m trying to get to bed early, it’s this voice that somehow gets me to surf Facebook until the clock is far past midnight. If I set aside time to clean the house, it’s this voice that thinks right now would be a great time to catch up on Game of Thrones.
Do you have that voice too?
I think everyone has that voice. Everyone has that challenge to some degree. I’m sure you’ve even found some ways to either combat that voice, or at least keep him (her? it?) at bay. I’ve found that one thing works better than any other for me.
I call it doing “more than nothing,” and since I’m the fitness guy here at PaleoPlan, we’re going to use fitness as an example of how I get myself to do my workouts, even when I REALLY don’t feel like it.
SOMEthing is better than NOthing.
The issue for most of us and our grand, purposeful plans, is that the task at hand seems, and honestly feels, overwhelming.
Here’s how it might sound in your head…
“Lose 30 lbs? Damn, that’s gonna be a LOT of sacrifice and uncomfortable-ness.”
“Going totally Paleo? That’s gonna mean throwing out half of the stuff I just bought.”
Don’t those goals seem big and bothersome? Honestly, they kind of are, and THAT’s the problem right there!
You don’t have to lose all that weight right now, you don’t even have to make it through a whole day of being “Paleo.” You just have to want to be better than you were yesterday.
What if, instead, your goal was to lose 1 pound? Or to have a totally Paleo snack? That is MUCH more manageable, right?
Let’s apply this simple approach to your workouts.
How many push-ups did you do yesterday?
Zero? So drop down, right now, and do one, yes ONE push-up, right now…we’ll wait…
Now you’ve done one more push-up than you did yesterday! In that way, you’ve done better. And honestly, it wasn’t all that tough to do one push-up. Now you’re 5 seconds closer to a better you. Totally worth it.
It’s kind of a double negative way to look at things. Basically, you want to NOT do nothing. And literally SOMEthing is better than NOthing. That one push-up is surprisingly motivational. I mean, after that one, didn’t you feel like doing another couple? I mean, you’re already all the way down there on the ground, you may as well do a couple more!
Staring ahead at 100 push-ups in a workout can seem darn near impossible, impossible enough that maybe you won’t even start. Doing one push-up, on my knees? Heck, that’s so easy that I can literally do it at ANY time during the day. When I first wake up, during a lunch break, even right before a shower or bed.
I don’t care HOW busy your schedule is, or how much stress you’re under, you have time for 1 push-up, and if you’re honest, you probably have time for 5, or maybe even 10. And that’s WAY better than nothing. Heck, say you weigh 150 pounds, and you do just 10 push-ups. You’ve effectively lifted 1500 pounds that day. You’re awesome!
Of course, there are fun ways you can incorporate extra little fitness things into your day. You just have to start thinking a little more like the little baby workouts are puzzles looking to be found, instead of work, trying to be avoided.
Walking to the fridge? Why not lunge instead?
Putting your shoes on? Maybe you could do a couple squats too!
Looking under the couch for your kids’ Legos? Throw in a few push-ups–you’re down there anyway!
Just do SOMETHING. Even if you’re not following the sweet workouts that we provide (they really are awesome), there’s SOMEthing that you can literally do every day. Even if it’s one push-up.
Small Goals = Big Success
We all want to be successful in reaching our goals, right? Some of us have wonderfully lofty ones. But those big awesome goals, just by their nature, must be broken up into smaller tasks. Your job is to try to come up with the absolute smallest task that gets you towards that goal. As in, it’s so small and seemingly infinitesimally small that it would almost take more effort NOT to do it.
These super small tasks lead you on your way to that nice, big goal, until that big goal is not just within reach, but the next logical step, instead of something big and threatening. I’m going to give you an excellent example and invite you to follow along. We’re gonna make a goal so awesome & so doable that you’re going to be able to cross it off your list every day no matter what. That’s right, no matter WHAT. Regardless of schedule or stress level, you’re going to feel good every day knowing that you’ve accomplished one fitness goal every single day!
A caveat. You’re going to feel good about getting this little thing done every day. It’s enough effort that you can feel good about it, but you probably won’t feel the need to celebrate with champagne. That’s kind of the idea. The celebration of getting the thing done is that sweet feeling that it’s not hanging over your head anymore. THAT’s your celebration.
So here’s my thought for you super-beginners/uber-procrastinators. I propose 100 days of 1 push-up. That’s right, 100 days, 100 push-ups. 1 push-up every day for 100 days. So at the end of the 100 days, you’ll have done 100 push-ups total. That’s the basic. Any more just adds to your awesomeness. Who’s in?