I hate exercise.
Or at least I did.
Something changed this year, but I’ll get to that.
At the beginning of 2020, I couldn’t do a single pull-up.
I decided to approach pull-ups in the same way I approached weight loss. Making and tracking microscopic progress, slowly, but consistently.
At the beginning of the year, I started just hanging from the bar, and could only hold on for about 20 seconds. Eventually it built up to over a minute.
When that happened, I started to do pull-up negatives. I was only able to do 3 to start, but eventually brought those up to 10.
I was able to then do an actual pull-up! First just one. Then 2, then 4, then eventually, 10.
Now at the start of 2021, I can do 15+.
I didn’t enjoy this process at first. But when I didn’t want to do it (and believe me, I REGULARLY did not want to do it), I did it anyway. I set up my environment and the process for success: the pull-up bar was in my bathroom, and the workout was less than 5 minutes.
Many times I would be brushing my teeth, not in the mood whatsoever to exercise. But staring at the bar, knowing the exercise routine was only 5 minutes, I felt guilty enough to just do it right before going to bed.
The process became more fun, though. Why? Because I was seeing progress. Because I was now good at it. I had to force myself to do 5 minutes of strength training once every couple of days at the beginning of the year. Now I am doing 30-minute workouts 6 days a week, and it takes a lot less to motivate me to do it because it’s actually enjoyable.
As we start 2021 many of us are probably reflecting on the things we should be doing, but aren’t. We may even decide to start a New Year’s resolution, to start doing this thing that sucks to do.
And because it sucks, and fun things are more fun to do than sucky things, most of us will stop.
Change that! Whatever you’re trying to improve on, try these three things to make it stick:
- Try to make it fun. But if it’s not gonna be fun, at least set yourself up with a microscopic < 5-minute activity that progresses you towards your goal. Make it so microscopic that you have no excuse to not do it, and set your environment up to promote doing it.
- Find a way to track even small progress on that goal.
- Reflect on your progress over time and realize that you’ve changed for the better. You’re now good at it! And stuff you’re good at is fun, or at least sucks less.
When you become skilled at something, it becomes fun. And fun things can become habits easier than sucky things.
Luuze Makes Weight Loss Fun
Here’s a chart of the beginning of my journey:
Getting the green bars that Luuze uses to show you that your trend weight is decreasing can become addicting when you are on a trend weight streak. With every green bar, Luuze basically is telling you that you’re kicking butt.
I remember as I was losing weight, I started to enjoy weighing myself in the morning as the numbers went down. So don’t hesitate to go slow so you can start a trend weight streak, to make weight loss fun!