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Overcome That Procrastination!

September 1, 2022

It happens to the best of us. The pandemic has changed the way we do just about everything, but what is your excuse to have dropped back on working out?

It helps to “know your enemy”, i.e. Ourselves!

Why do we procrastinate?

  • Personal Trainer not a good fit (or no PT at all!)
  • Not happy with your current gym (or not currently with a gym & struggling alone?)
  • Rewards Lacking
  • Boredom and Lack of Motivation
  • Difficulty of the Workout
  • Personal Meaning Lacking
  • Workout Leaving You Frustrated
  • Lacking in Rewards

Sounding at all familiar?? Although each of us has our excuses and may have become very skilled at procrastinating in our own ways (often completely unconsciously!), it is worth thinking about why the workout you are avoiding is so unappealing. The good news? You can avoid it once you know the trigger!

In psychology, one of the definitions of procrastination is a “temporal gap between intended behaviour and enacted behaviour”. This is about the time frame it takes us in planning to do something – and our actually doing it!

First things first to kicking this habit is knowing when you are putting off a more rewarding activity for another activity (usually one that is not only a lower pay-off but a flat out “time waster”!). Need an example? Think of the last time you were set to workout (you may have even been dressed and ready to walk out the door!) and found yourself scrolling through the internet, suddenly 2 hours have gone by and now you “have no time”. Similarly, the “I’ll just finish this episode” or “this chapter” stretches into a time frame that leaves little or no room to complete more important objectives. If we find ourselves saying “there just aren’t enough hours in the day”, procrastination is most likely the culprit! Now, binge-watching tv or being unable to put that book down, are the most obvious delaying tactics but we also have more concealed strategies. Some of us are unconscious professionals at spinning the simplest would-be quick tasks into hours or even taking the entire day! It can be impossible to stop if we’re unaware of where we are actually spending our time. Journaling can be a very helpful tool. It helps us understand if we are overworked or simply disorganised and assists us in making more conscious choices, refocusing us on more “high pay-off activities”.

Tips And Tricks:

  1. Learn To Forgive Yourself our brains sometimes need a break, it’s ok to go for a walk, clear your head or get a little distance from your undertaking. This can actually help you stave off the frustration and anxiety sometimes associated with more challenging tasks or workouts and ease the guilt that comes from feeling like you are “stuck”, causing procrastination behaviour.
  2. Focus Journal – Just the act of physically jotting down both your goals and the positive outcomes / feelings that will come upon completion, are enough break the stalling spell. It reminds us why we are reaching for that end result and triggers our brains into that most helpful of tools; our own considerable Willpower! It also makes it easier to break it down into manageable milestones (How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time) and define “high pay-off activities”, which give us the motivation to “Get It Done” and continue to get it done!
  3. Start! – Workouts (or any other activities), regardless of motivation (improved fitness or mental health, meeting new people or just engaging with your own body), can seem daunting or even boring if you haven’t got the right mindset. So if you’re struggling on your own, even if you are far from new to a fitness programme, this can numb your mind so that wanting to do pretty much anything else becomes an acceptable option!  The key to getting it done instead of putting it off is just to start it! “Just like building up to your first marathon, it all begins by taking that first step. You won’t necessarily get to the finish line the first time, but making a start with your complete attention is half the battle.” And “Practice by revisiting your high pay-off activities every time you feel yourself drifting into your own procrastination habits.”

If you’d like some assistance with finding the right Fitness Programme to “Get It Done!” You’ll find a Wealth of Knowledge and some Crazy Fun at Fitness Habitat!

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