Blog entries tagged with "motivation"

180 days

Thursday, June 4th, 2015 at 10:32pm

It is almost half a year since I decided that things had to change. I’ll just put this here:

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Time for a change

Sunday, December 21st, 2014 at 07:16pm

Very few people know this, but for a number of years I have had a gym membership, the last few of those also including a weekly PT session. Recently I came to the realization that I was wasting my money, for the simple reason that I have not been motivated enough to make proper use of it. Something needed to change.

When I first started it was right in between my home and work, but then after I bought my place it was a bit (not much, but enough) out of the way so that it required a conscious decision to go. Now that I work in the CBD, it is in the opposite direction and required more pre-planning if I was to go after work.

I had a thought, what if I reset what I was doing and started going for walks around my local area? As well as being free, I don’t need to travel anywhere to go for a walk, I just go. I could also mix it up by going different ways, sometimes hilly or sometimes flatter, sometimes through parkland or sometimes past houses…

Over the past two weeks I have gone out seven times, I am going to cancel the gym membership and see how this goes. Things can always change in the future such as getting back into cycling to work or even finding a closer and more convenient gym.

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A public announcement

Monday, September 26th, 2011 at 10:19pm

A few weeks ago I ordered some books online. While the trigger was Paranormality by Richard Wiseman, I also ordered two other books of his: Quirkology and 59 Seconds.

Quirkology was quite an interesting read, but it is 59 seconds (which I am currently halfway though) that surprised me. Most of this was because I didn’t fully realise that it was a self-help book, albeit a self-help book that is backed by peer-reviewed research. This should be the only kind of self-help book.

Take motivation for example. Research from large scale scientific studies found that techniques such as focusing on a role model, thinking about bad outcomes of missing the goal, trying to supress unhelpful thoughts, relying on willpower or fantasizing about reaching the goal are not effective.

On the other hand making a plan, telling other people, thinking about good things of achieving the goal, rewarding progress, and recording progress all signifigantly increases the likelihood of achieving the goal. Most of these involve writing, which other studies have found to be considerably more effective than simply talking or thinking about something.

So here are parts of a plan that I am sharing with the world to achieve a current goal of mine: losing weight.

  1. Reclaim the habit of cycling to work. I will allow three exceptions: it is raining enough that I would be soaked through, I need to head somewhere directly from work (ie not enought time to ride home to get the car), or mechanical issues that make the bike unsafe.

  2. Exercise every day. At bare minimum this is the above cycling to and from work, but on the weekend this means at least a 30 minute bike ride or going to the place mentioned in the next point.

  3. Going to the gym (yes, some would be very surprised to know that I know what one of those is) at minimum three times a week.

  4. Eating better. This fairly broad and covers avoiding take away and soft drinks, cooking for myself (but avoiding fats and sugary sauces) or resorting to healthy frozen/prepackaged meals.

As an aside, finding appropriate frozen/prepackaged meals has been an interesting journey. Many pasta type meals include parmesan for that delicious aroma while heating, but are actually passable. I would say that those that include rice are preferable. But then you get to those with “potato”, while not hard, I would consider these to be dwarf bread.

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