Friday, May 21, 2010

Maintaining Good Habits

I’ve never been good with developing positive habits. I could never get into exercise, for example. I had a few years’ worth of traumatic experiences with team sports as a kid, and I guess exercise is too closely associated in my mind with gym class. I just have no positive associations with the actual act of exercise to go on.

I have, however, started going to yoga. And, against all likelihood, I’ve started going at six in the morning. (I’m not a morning person either—did I forget to mention that?). At first I had to drag myself. This is the type of thing I would do once or twice, usually, and then quit. But I’ve been dragging myself every morning for two weeks. And lately I’ve discovered a strange thing.

If I skip a day, my body feels stiff and out of sorts. It’s not so hard to get up anymore, as long as I get to bed early enough. And my body feels really good when it makes those shapes. Is this how it always is with exercise? Is it only just because I never stuck with an exercise regime before for longer than a fortnight that I always hated it? Am I just now discovering something fitness nuts just instinctively know—that exercise is fun?

More to the point: is regular repetition really all it takes to develop these good habits? Does it really get easier?

I could see how this could apply to something like marketing. My marketing routine generally goes something like this: I do it for two weeks, get either the result I needed at the time or lose interest, then I wander off and do other things. Maybe if I stuck with it past that point of boredom, it would become a necessary routine—and not something I feel forced to do.

Maybe I’m learning this relatively late in my life. Maybe persistence really does pay off.


Unknown said...

I love the transition from yoga to marketing. :))

It's discipline. And I think once you find that discipline through yoga, you'll be able to apply it in a lot of areas.

First time I sat down to meditate, I was able to connect to all sorts of dormant spirituality. This is easy! The second time I sat, I managed to reorganize my shopping list, obsess about a writing piece, and generally wander everywhere but where I was supposed to be. So much for easy. ;))

Maybe you never found the exercise or practice that fit you until now. I can't run. I've tried. I've wanted to. I've longed to be that person who runs a marathon and hosts a dinner party the same day. If I can walk 45 minutes at a brisk pace without hating every song on the iPod, I consider that a victory (note I said walk, not run).

But I'm a fan of kickboxing these days. And that damned Wii Fit.

Kathy@TheFlawlessWord said...

One thing I've noticed is that discipline in one area spills over into others. I tend to slack off in the winter with my exercise regimen and my work motivation and concentration decline as well. Now that I'm getting back into warm weather daily exercise mode, I find my professional productivity increasing as well. Maybe yoga will prove the solution to your procastination problem!