Yesterday, we explored the concept of how you can utilize willpower to get to where you want to go, but that’s not the only pathway. I shared this example:
• If I “hate working out” => it will take willpower to do it
• If I “love working out” => no willpower needed
If you can get into the latter category then you bypass the need for willpower (at least in this one case).
The caveat here is that it is not easy to get there! Seldom can you simply flip the switch in your thoughts and feelings…though it is sometimes possible.
For me it flipped when I switched from poorly attempting the commercial gym bodybuilding thing and got into bodyweight exercises and started to see real results. Even so, I can’t point to a single defining moment, and that doesn’t mean it’s never been a struggle ever since. It has, but seldom in the grand scheme of things.
Back them, I got excited about the thought of doing handstand pushups, later on kettlebell juggling, feats of strength and more.
Not only that, but I got excited to learn more about the subject, experiment and, later on, teach others.
I’m guessing maybe half my readers are on the same page. The other half just wants to lose some weight, get fit and healthier.
So, let’s move onto another bypassing route…
If you can’t flip the switch from hate to love…maybe you can flip the switch from working out to doing something else.
An easy route to get into a habit is to make something so short and easy that, once again, you don’t really need any willpower or mental toughness to do it.
Thinking about going to the gym, exercising for an hour, can be exhausting. I’m not talking about the workout itself. I’m talking about THINKING about it. For many, this alone is demotivating enough to sap all willpower and stop them from doing it.
(Or being hit and miss, some days doing it when they have more willpower, some days skipping it, when the don’t.)
Let’s make it easy.
Drop and do pushups for just one minute.
No where to go. It only takes one minute. Bing, bang, boom. And your done. Very little to no willpower involved.
(The fact is that many people couldn’t even sustain repping out pushups for a full minute…which speaks to how easy you could progress with something like this!)
It is the STARTING of things that is often hard. Once you’re doing something it is much easier to keep going.
The start can be like a mental hurdle that many people use mental toughness to overcome. Just think about having to drive fifteen minutes to the gym and working out for an hour. That’s a BIG mental hurdle.
And it’s the frame of having to “work out” that is actually a hurdle in an of itself. It’s an idea…and not even a true or very useful one. Sadly, many don’t recognize this.
Compare this, how you think and feel about it, and that of doing one minute of pushups. There might still be a mental hurdle but it will be tiny.
So tiny, that even those with the weakest of wills, ought to be able to overcome it.
And you build from there. Yes, ultimately you need to do more than one minute of pushups. But you really don’t need to do more than 10 minutes a day of exercising on the whole to have amazing result.s
Fitness is self-reinforcing. Once you see results, you want to do more of it. This route of taking things from hard to easy can, in time, take you from I hate to I love.
And that’s a beautiful thing!
Once again, more on these concepts in:
Tomorrow we’ll dive into how mental toughness needs to be thought of in relation to time.