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Shoring Up Your Discipline


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Shoring Up Your Discipline

I am by no means an exercise junkie. After struggling during the first few months of the pandemic to peel myself away from the news and too much doom scrolling on my phone and Netflix, I have found a decent rhythm that seems to work for me (except when I am travelling!). However, it is still not something that I relish everyday.

 

A case in point was a few days ago. I was scheduled to hit the treadmill and the home gym. I woke up at my usual time, but I had zero motivation to get out of bed and work out. I procrastinated for a bit (or maybe more than a bit). When I finally got up, I saw the workout clothes that I had laid out the night before. Despite the laziness I was feeling, I had guilted myself sufficiently that I made my way down to the basement and got my workout done. It was a slog. I was tempted to skip some of the weights that are part of my normal routine, but I pushed through.

 

As soon as I was done, I felt great. In fact, I realized that “mentally” I felt even better than I did after a normal (where I wasn’t trying with all my might to convince myself to skip) workout. I think it was because I really hadn’t wanted to do it in the first place, and I was able to push through. Instead of feeling guilty that I felt like slacking off, I actually felt better because I was able to push through.

 

In whatever roles that we play in the world, there are always going to be things that we have to do, that we are not motivated to get started or complete. These are often the things that we put off and avoid. Assuming that the tasks are important (like exercise), the next time you feel the dread of having to do the task, try reframing it and “think of how good it will feel when it is done”.

 

We have two choices, we can resign ourselves to the guilt of procrastinating on important tasks (deciding what is important is the subject of countless business books and articles), or we can see to the other side and use the pull of that extra strong feeling of accomplishment that comes from doing something that was both important and difficult (at least from a motivation standpoint).

 

What have you been putting off at home, at work or for yourself? Shore up your discipline by looking to the end result and the extra feeling of accomplishment that will come on the other side.

 

Managing people is hard. Managing yourself if downright brutal. Good luck everyone!


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