Why put off until tomorrow what you can do today?
I came across an article the other day about procrastination and possible solutions to always putting off less enjoyable tasks until the next day. While reading, I couldn’t help thinking about all the people who say to me with regard to exercising, “Oh yeh, I really must start”. Why put off until tomorrow what you “should” do today?
The human being tends to only do activities that promise instant reward. “I’d like a new iPad; I’ll go out and buy one.” “I can’t be bothered to cook a meal; I’ll order take-out.” “I don’t feel like doing my homework; I’ll do it later, I’ll go check Facebook first.” So, in a nutshell, we always prefer to do the things we enjoy first and postpone the less pleasant ones. “I’d like to drop a few pounds.” Oops! Not quite as immediate: “I have to eat better and exercise every day!” So the effort required for gratification in the long term is harder to accept! Everyone seems to agree though that they always feel a strong sense of pride and accomplishment after completing a workout or a job on their “to do” list. They never regret the effort, quite the opposite, in fact!
Excuses to put off an activity are easy to find. You have to stop merely thinking about doing it and just get on with it. Let’s take as an example the contestants in our I’M TAKING CHARGE challenges. From one day to the next, they fit at least four exercise sessions a week into their daily routine, and change their eating habits, while continuing to cope with their family, work, school, etc. How do they do it? By making it a priority, period! The decision to start training must be followed up with an action plan. When will I go and work out? Which days of the week? At what time of day? Adequate logistics should leave no room for feeble excuses!
Why wait for that panic attack?
On the other hand, procrastination always leads to a “moment of panic”. You know, when time is up! Stress takes over when we rush to finish a task that we’d allowed two weeks for! The problem with exercise is that you never know when this panic attack will hit, or how serious it will be. Will it be when you’re diagnosed with high blood pressure or diabetes? Or the day your body mass stops you from bending over to tie your shoes? Or when you get out of breath going up stairs? All the literature and studies show that to improve your quality of life and help protect yourself against the onset of many diseases; exercise should be an integral component of our daily routine. So why wait?
One thing’s for sure though, each person must find their deep-seated motivation to take charge of their health and add exercise to their day-to-day life. Once the reasons for getting in shape are well defined, just go ahead and get on with it! You’ll realize before too long that exercise has become part of a new, healthier lifestyle!
By Karine Larose