It’s the start of the New Year so we are all supposed to start exercising, right?
Planning to exercise
Like many others, I don’t like going to the gym and working out. Or staying at home and working out either. I have purchased exercise equipment in the past and used it to hang articles of clothes. I’ve donated exercise equipment to Goodwill and other charitable organizations in the past. I’ve also make impulse purchased from fitness infomercials, determined that such-and-such a product is the very thing that will cause me to succeed in establishing an exercise regimen. Over the years I’ve purchased gym memberships and used them for a time; now there are times that I don’t like driving past my local gyms ‘cause the guilt pangs are just too much. And yet “exercising” is a constant life goal that never sees to get past the “planning to exercise” stage. And yet there is now a fully inflated exercise ball sitting in front of me on my desk as I type this in my home office.
Path of least resistance
Reading Shawn Achor’s wonderful book “The happiness Advantage”, he gave several examples of how human nature is to take the path of least resistance when we encounter tasks that you either “have” or “need” to do. Although the task may be desirable (playing a guitar as a form of relaxation was one example he gave) the steps involved in actually performing that task may seem prohibitive (the guitar was located in a closet in his example) or involve more work than the path of least resistance (which involved staying seated on the couch watching tv in his example). To address the situation, he purchased a guitar stand, placed the aforementioned guitar on said stand, and positioned both beside the couch. Then he removed the batteries from the tv remote and placed them in a drawer in his bedroom. By doing this, he changed the path of least resistance – it was now easier to pick up the guitar and engage in some recreational strumming than it was to retrieve the batteries for the remote control (or even walk to the tv and turn it on using the manual controls).
Hence the inflated exercise ball
So I decided to mimic his example, purchased an exercise ball this morning at my local Ross store, inflated it, and placed it on my desk. I also taped the brochure illustrating the sample exercises on the door of the closet, close to where I will be using the ball. I use my home office at least once most evenings so, rather than having a path of least resistance that leads me to falter on the “planning to exercise” stage I now have the equipment I require within arm’s reach. It’s not a foolproof approach, but at least I’m closer to reaching my fitness goals than I have been, and that’s a start in the right direction.
Have you started an exercise program this year or are you still building up to one like me? What is your path of least resistance? Comment below and let me know.
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