So yesterday I gave you a good reason why you shouldn’t feel guilty about not running marathons, today I’ve found a trick that might help you (okay, me) stick to the shorter workouts we should be doing instead. It’s a tip I spotted in December Men’s Health mag from a book called The Chimp Paradox: The Mind Management Programme to Help You Achieve Success, Confidence and Happiness.
The tip reads,’if you’re not making progress with something today ask yourself; If you were offered one million pounds to do it by the end of the day would you do it? ‘If the answer is yes,’ says the book’s author Dr Steve Peters, ‘Any reason as to why you are not doing so is just an excuse.’
I figured this not only works to tackle procrastination, but it’s also a handy tool to determine what should come first in my days right now – exercise, or the million and one other things I’m supposed to be doing.
Not surprisingly with that Christmas thing coming up, I’ve got a lot on and when this happens my gym sessions are likely to get pushed to one side. If however, someone offered me a million pounds to go and do my workout I’d be up and on the treadmill faster than you can say ‘what’s your bank account details’.
Of course, the tiny flaw in the Chimp Paradox argument is if someone gave me a million pounds I could afford to blow my work off this week – so I’ve come up with a new test. And it is ‘if someone was going to pay me £100 to work out, would I go – or is what I’m putting it off for more important to me right now.’
I chose £100 as I figure that’s a good amount – it’s a lot of money, but not so much that it could always replace the stress release I’d get from finishing everything on my to-do list or the recovery I need from just spending an evening on the sofa. Your figure might be more or it might be less – depending on how much you like to exercise. But try and calculate it, then if you’re wavering from working out, ask yourself the question.
It’s already changed my behaviour today. I was going to skip my workout, but instead, come 4pm I will be trainered up and running hills on the treadmill. This is even more impressive if you know quite how much I hate hills.