Friday, December 18, 8:02 PM
Motivation level = low
Laziness factor = high
Discipline quotient = negligible
It’s Friday evening. I was supposed to have gone to the gym between 3 and 5 today. I took a nap instead (I haven’t slept well these past 2 nights). I’m feeling tired, and lethargic, and the truth is it’s most likely because I haven’t worked out since Monday.
When I work out, I sleep better. I feel better. I work better, I’m more productive, you name it. I know this. You know it for yourself. We all know it for ourselves. But sometimes, even the coach just doesn’t wanna do it. Period.
So I’m digging down in to my bag of tricks, and I’m going to use #17 tonight. What’s #17? It’s simple: “Set your expectations LOW.”
Sounds like it goes against every positive thought philosophy you’ve ever heard, no doubt, but give me a minute here. I think you’ll see it’s actually the opposite. Here’s where this trick came from.
Years ago I used to periodically go for a 10km run in the neighbourhood. One day I started out and I realized I was tired, and anxious, and was worried I wouldn’t feel like finishing the whole route. So I gave myself permission to quit at the 5km mark. I, for some reason, was able to overcome my perfectionism and agree with myself that I could do LESS rather than MORE.
Something strange happened, though. When I hit the point that I had to turn around to make it a 5km run, I said to myself “Why don’t you just keep going a bit further? Maybe we’ll make it a 6km run?” And so I did. What happened was interesting. I ended up continuing on to finish the entire 10km!
Since that time, I’ve used this little ploy with myself when I don’t feel like doing something. It can be used for anything, not just exercise. For example, when I don’t want to do my business expenses, I tell myself “I’ll just do 3 of them.” And I usually end up getting them all done.
Can you relate? It’s perfectionism, folks, that’s the killer. It gets in the way and sabotages more weight loss programs than you can shake a stick at. Why? Because – if you’re like me – you believe that “If I can’t do it perfectly, I won’t do it at all.” And what a terrible way to live that is, because none of us is perfect.
Shoot for excellence instead of perfection. Excellence means we try to do at least something that brings us closer to our goal, rather than doing nothing.
So, myself? Tonight I’m going to be excellent. My plan on paper is to go to the gym and start by deadlifting 385lbs for 12 reps, 5 sets worth. What am I going to do? Warm up with 225, move to 315, see how I feel and if I’m feeling it, I’ll move on to 1 set at 385, and allow myself to quit there. Then I’ll do some lighter upper-body stuff.
We’ll see what comes of it…I’ll report back later. Remember, BE EXCELLENT, not PERFECT. SET YOUR EXPECTATIONS LOW and the paradox is you MIGHT JUST ACHIEVE MORE!!!