Most people procrastinate every now and then when faced with unappealing chores or activities, but the persistent procrastinator regularly allow this habit to get in the way of achieving their goals. When it comes to trying to loose weight, the first step is not trying to find motivation to take action, but to understand how this habit is holding you back from success.
1. Pick one healthy behavior that you keep consistently and consciously avoid.
One of my goals this year is to spend one day a week doing yoga for at least 30 minutes. So far I’ve done two yoga sessions.
2. Create a list of the benefits of the behavior you are trying to avoid.
I enjoy yoga. It relaxes me and helps manage my back. Most desk jockeys, end up with tight hamstrings or hip flexors, resulting in back pain for some people. I tend to wait until I start feeling some mild pain in my back to start my stretching routine. Usually with daily stretching the pain will go away within a week or two. I know a regular stretching schedule is beneficial to me, but I just cannot seem to make myself do it.
3. Create a list of the efforts (or trade offs) required to carry out the behavior. Evaluate whether or not the effort or trade off is worth it.
I am trying to loose 20 pounds. When I exercise, I want to make the effort count towards burning off the excess calories stored in my body. Yoga burns less than 200 calories an hour. I do not want to spend 30 minutes of my 40 minutes allocated exercise time stretching, even for just one day of the week. The trade off is one extra day of calorie burning. But that is really no excuse since stretching helps manage my back problems in the long run. I am trading my long term health for a short term gain (isn’t that how people get into credit debt?).
4. The trick to overcome procrastination? Make it manageable.
Break it up to small manageable pieces. Instead of dedicating one whole exercise day to stretching or yoga, I should try to fit in 5-10 minutes during the cool down of my workout.
5. Leave reminders all over the house to encourage yourself to do what you have been trying to avoid.
Give yourself extra help by leaving reminders to prompt yourself to overcome your procrastination. I leave bottles of Advil at visible locations in my living room and bedroom. The message the Advil is telling me: ‘If I do not stretch, my back is going to hurt.’ The bottle in the living room is in front of my workout dvds, hence prompting me to look at it each time I exercise. The bottle in the bedroom is front of the light switch on my vanity table, as a reminder at the beginning and the end of each day to work on stretching at least my hamstrings and hip flexors.
Maybe I should have set a more realistic goal of stretching every other day for 5 minutes instead of trying to schedule in a block of time for this activity in the first place.
Until next time and thanks for stopping by.
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