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Friday, August 8, 2008

0 Exercise Psychology Tip #12: Stop Talking, & Start Moving!


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I'm sure everyone's heard of the cliché, "Underpromise & overdeliver." It's often used in the context of work-related endeavors. But for many of us, the part where we seem to get stuck is at the "promising" stage. ;-) It's the grand psych-out.

Of course, we all can having the most amazing intentions, but if we don't follow through with action, then what good has promising or talking about it really done for us? (Of course, right about now, I'm sure some of you are just waiting for me to rattle off that tired old cliché about "the path to hell...", but it's just too obvious. And I'm not going do that!)

However, what I do want to talk about, is how we need to stop making promises to ourselves & to others -- to stop living solely in our minds -- & instead, begin to inhabit our bodies & focus on the action part of the equation. We need step outsides ourselves & become aware of where our thoughts are leading us. We need to stop talking about what we've going to do, & just start doing it! (Yes, now please restrain yourself from uttering the Nike tagline. I know you can "just do it"! Hahahaha.)

I'm sure we've all been guilty of dwelling in our minds for too long, over-thinking, overanalyzing, & perfecting our plans, & "talking the talk but not walking the walk." And sure, we might like to hear ourselves talk & make grandiose plans, but if we make a practice of doing these behaviors, what frequently happens? We often over-talk it, intellectualize it, & then just stop dead in our tracks at the sheer scale & magnitude of the plans we've laid out before us.

So yes, size matters. And that train of thought is not going to end up where you might think. ;-)

What I mean is that in order to get to where we want to go, we usually just need to downsize our goals, table our expectations, & just begin by imagining our very next step. If we do these things, we might actually lace up our sneakers & get out the door.

Let's atleast give ourselves a fighting chance, eh?!

Let's set ourselves up for success, instead of failure. Instead of making big puffed-up plans, & then getting overwhelmed, & easily discouraged when we don't achieve our impossible goals (i.e., a recipe for a self-fulfilling prophecy of self-sabotage!), what we really need to do instead is focus on one or two things that we can accomplish right now. START SMALL!

This is why, if you look on the left sidebar of this blog, you will see weekly goals, short-term goals, & long-term goals -- all with very specific, clearly delineated time periods. This way, I track not only the goal itself, but keep myself accountable to a realistic time-frame for achieving these goals. I also track percentage-to-goal figures & use other such metrics as a way to track my progress & keep myself accountable to my goals. If, for some reason, I know I'm not going to meet the target dates, I reassess & re-evaluate the time-frames for achieving those goals. At first, I found the experience (of trying to determine how long it'd take me to achieve my goals) to be a bit hit-or-miss, but then after I actively participated in many of the training programs & nutritional plans, I got a lot better at gauging timelines. You'll probably find the same thing to be true for you.

Even if a training plan has a target number of days & weeks in the plan, you'll often find that you might need to allow yourself an extra week or two or allow for scheduling discrepancies or the existence of other factors in your life. That's why I usually like to allow myself a week or two of wiggle room on my target dates. That way, I'm being more realistic, & building in a cushion of time; when I make realistic plans, it certainly gives me a more positive, running start right out of the gate. I give myself the chance to succeed, & a real possibility of meeting my goals in a timely fashion.

Enough said, so just get out there & take the very first step! Because there really isn't any other way of getting from here to there.

"You must begin today what you would like to accomplish tomorrow."

And yes, Vik, in case you were wondering, this post is dedicated to you. ;-)

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