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Self-deception for fun and profit [Mar. 13th, 2014|10:55 am]
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Yesterday's weather was abysmal. All the schools around us were closed because snow was ... not so much falling as being hurled vertically across the landscape like tiny ice bullets. The wind velocity combined with this punishing precipitation inspired me not so much to go to the gym as to climb back into bed, pull the covers over my head, and refuse to come out until April.

Plus, it was a swimming day. Which meant getting WET in a non-home location. It just sounded terrible.

So I promised myself that I could just go to the rec center, climb in the hot tub, and marinate for half an hour. After all, I only committed to going TO the gym every day. Not to working out every day.

Of course I was lying to myself. I knew that when I got there, I would at least get into the pool first and paddle a couple leisurely laps.

That was also a lie. I went, and I swam a mile freestyle, then an additional 5 laps of backstroke just to finish out the hour. Then I finally went and sat in the hot tub for a little while.

It's useful, at times of low motivation, to break things down into baby steps and to tell ourselves that we only have to do the first step. Right now my kitchen is a mess, and I'm telling myself that when I finish this entry I only have to put the dishes in the sink into the dishwasher and start it. Nothing else.

Sometimes we really do just complete that one baby step. There may well be a day when I go to the gym and just get in the hot tub because I really need a day off. But most of the time, it's just a little lie, coaxing us on to the next part of what feels like an overwhelming task. Just one mile on the bike, just one time around the track, just one load of laundry, just one errand.

And with a little luck, we will finish the day feeling quite smug about all the things we lied ourselves into accomplishing.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: bunny42
2014-03-13 03:22 pm (UTC)

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Oh, my! If I've learned anything from this year's commitments, it's that the hardest part of the task, no matter what it is, is getting started. I don't care if it's walking or scrubbing the bathroom or ironing or mopping floors or sewing or lawn care, doesn't matter. It's NEVER as bad as the anticipation. And it's SOOOO satisfying when you can look at it and say hey, I did that! Just getting off the freakin' couch and DOING it is the toughest part of all.

The question, of course, is why has this revelation taken so long to appear? As a member in good standing of the Lazy Ladies' Club, I can only say better late than never and hope this aha state of mind prevails.

Again, thank you for the vicarious enjoyment of your accomplishments. May we carry on the whole year through!

If it's any consolation, they're predicting an El Nino current this year, which should seriously moderate the coming storm season as well as next winter's severity. We can hope.
[User Picture]From: ba1126
2014-03-13 03:25 pm (UTC)

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Been there, done that!!You described it very well! I do much the same with a timer; "I'm only going to clean the kitchen for 15 minutes. When the timer rings, I'm outta here!!" Of course it rings and I say "well, there's only a few more dishes, I might as well finish while the water's hot." Sometimes I really do quit, but I still did more than I WANTED to do!!
[User Picture]From: reikirockerchic
2014-03-13 04:52 pm (UTC)

YEP Baby Steps

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I have so much on my plate I start with.. OK if I call them today, at least I called... which like you inevitably leads sometimes not always... Oh they gave me this information... I should be able to do that too...

Love that... do this one little thing, and it's ok if that's all that get's done, but holy cow if I get more done because that one step was all I needed for Motivation... (Or my sweetie getting PO's at me... to kick my ass in gear... that usually helps.)
[User Picture]From: naath
2014-03-13 05:31 pm (UTC)

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Yessssss.

Right now I'm thinking "well, I'll go to the gym; I don't have to run". When I get there I'm pretty sure I'll be "well, here now, better change and go try the treadmill".

However last time I got that far I started and went "shit, foot hurts, home time". Bah. Humbug.

But if I keep *going to the gym* then at least I won't lose my gym-going habit.
[User Picture]From: halfmoon_mollie
2014-03-13 07:57 pm (UTC)

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It's useful, at times of low motivation, to break things down into baby steps and to tell ourselves that we only have to do the first step

Yes. I've just recently gone back to the workout room - Oh, I WISH for a gym, with a pool and a hot tub. Today I kept telling myself "come on. five more minutes and then you can quit." Five more minutes added up to 30 minutes and a LOT of sweat.

I messed up my knee on the treadmill, end of last summer, but the elliptical is my friend, anyway.

Go you.

Edited at 2014-03-13 07:58 pm (UTC)
[User Picture]From: belgatherial
2014-03-13 10:21 pm (UTC)

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Heh. I do this exact thing all the time. Some days it's the only way anything gets done.
[User Picture]From: elbiesee
2014-03-13 11:22 pm (UTC)

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I need to remember this. I have to skate 27 laps in five minutes in order to make the derby roster. During practice I think "okay, three laps of speed sprinting", which turn into four before I need a breather. Then I do it again. Next week, I may add a fifth lap. It's one step closer to my goal.
[User Picture]From: noshot
2014-03-14 01:31 am (UTC)

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for me it's, just one or two beers.

From: anonymousalex
2014-03-14 01:39 am (UTC)

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So I just need to do what I normally do, but in reverse.

-Alex
[User Picture]From: becca_maru
2014-03-15 03:58 am (UTC)

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I've just recently been realizing how well this works and putting it into practice more. Thanks for the validation!