New Habits, Fatigue and Perspective
So this is Day 5 of my 21 Day Exercise Plan. It was also my fifth day back at work after a three week holiday and boy am I tired!
In my usual way, I gave myself some guidelines of the type and amount of exercise I would do this week. However, I underestimated the level of fatigue that comes from jumping back into work and exercise at the same time after being a bit of a blob.
I’ve done exercise every day this week but not as much as I planned. It started off pretty well, Monday went to plan, Tuesday was a bit trickier. It took so long to get my younger daughter to bed, I had to wake my geriatric dog up to get her to come with me for a walk in the evening sunshine. In the end she didn’t take long to build up some enthusiasm, more than me anyway. It’s a confronting thing when your elderly dog has more energy than you do.
By Wednesday, things were heading downhill and frankly, last night I could barely roll myself off the couch to do my upper body workout so I did the bare minimum before I crawled back among the cushions.
Last night, I felt like a bit of a failure but this morning, the lessons that I’ve learned from quitting sugar helped me to change my perspective on success or failure. I mean, what am I trying to achieve here? Do I want to perfectly tick off some exercise checklist I made in a motivated moment or am I trying to establish a habit of exercising daily? Also, this is not a short term thing. This is a long term, forever kind of plan so who cares if it takes me weeks to build up the stamina to do the whole exercise plan as long as I do something every day. This is a big mindset change for me but I know this is the only way to sustain things going forwards.
James Clear, the author of Atomic Habits, tells a story about a guy who went on to lose 100 pounds by changing his habits. He started off by going to the gym four days a week. However, when he got to the gym he was only allowed to work out for five minutes then he had to go home. Sounds crazy right? However, what this guy was trying to do was to create a habit of ‘going’ to the gym four days a week. Once that habit was established, working out was easy. That’s where I’m going with this plan. Just start exercising every day, even if its just 5 minutes. If I do this for long enough, I can’t help but succeed.
How are you going with your plans for personal improvement in 2020? I’d love to hear about it in the comments.