Efficiency 101: It’s Easier To Maintain Than Rebuild/Redo

Okay so maybe this is a little peripherally related to efficiency, but it’s on my mind this morning, so I’m gonna make it work.

Back in the spring, I picked up a copy of New U Yoga and Pilates for my Wii.

I know, you’re just waiting with baited breath for me to explain what the heck yoga has to do with efficiency.  I’m getting there.

So I picked up this game and I dove in whole hog, plowing through levels and getting my pretzel on.  This was back when my Goddess in Training (GIT) program originated, when I was doing a pretty darn good job of keeping to my health and fitness goals.  There are eight different programs of multiple levels on New U, so it was a constant challenge to my body, which is a great thing because I have a tendency to stick with a game until I beat it and my body gets used to it, then it’s no longer really effective as a workout.  I hadn’t hit that point with New U.

Then came June and the beginning of the Summer o’ Lousy Work Travel, which had me on the road, eating out, and ensconced in hotels with floorspace not actually big enough to pull off much in the way of a yoga routine.  But that was okay because I totally made use of the hotel gym and their exercise bike.  Then there was a crapton of AWESOME books released, so I kind of stuck to the exercise bike so I could read more and yoga fell by the wayside.  I kept meaning to get back to it, but there were always excuses for why I didn’t.  And finally about 2 months have passed with no yoga.

Well yesterday I decided that I was gonna get back into it.  On a rational level, I KNOW I feel better when I’m actively practicing and my brain works better (which, incidentally, helps with efficiency in other areas of my life).    I’d originally thought I’d wait until this morning since I like to start stuff on Mondays, but no…I thought I’d better try out the beginning of a new program as a means to figure out where I stand.  When I left off, I was at the Expert level on the Weight Loss Program, and even higher on a few others.  But yesterday I started at Flexibility: Novice.

Holy.  Crap.  I have lost ALL my endurance and most of my flexibility in the last two months.  I can box and bike and do many other things, but none of those use the same muscles in the same way as yoga, so I might as well have been doing NOTHING the last two months.  Which brings me to my point:

It is far easier to maintain than to rebuild or redo. 

If I had just come home from those work trips and done the yoga, just thrown myself back in whenever I WAS home, I’d have been able to maintain my gains in flexibility and endurance and probably kept up my weight loss instead of shooting back up five pounds (I blame the peanut butter ice cream among other things).  So now I get to essentially start over with that again.  Bleh.

The same thing applies to other areas in our lives.  Let’s talk about housework.  Say you’re starting with chaos in your house.  Laundry’s not done.  Floors are a wreck.  Stuff is everywhere.  It takes forever (or at least a way bigger chunk of your weekend than you’d like) to dig out.  But you do it.  Then how you deal with things over the next week makes a difference as to whether you’re gonna be pulling a repeat the following weekend.  If you make an effort every day for a few minutes to maintain the Big Clean (and this is something we’ve been striving–and largely failing–to to as our house has been on the market), then you suddenly have a bigger block of non-cleaning time over your weekend.  But if you just ignore it, letting everything pile up and the dust bunnies accumulate over the course of the week, then you’re right back where you’re started.  And probably a lot crankier about it.

I have become convinced that procrastination is hard wired into our DNA.  If we lose our momentum or our habits for doing something, every last one of us has a hard time getting back to it–whatever “it” may be.  We keep finding excuses and putting it off until we’ve made it exponentially worse on ourselves.  Depending on the “it”, we might not ever even get back to it.

So my challenge to you today is to pick something in your life, some habit or thing that you want to continue and establish a habit to MAINTAIN it rather than let it slack.  I promise you’ll feel better for it.

14 thoughts on “Efficiency 101: It’s Easier To Maintain Than Rebuild/Redo

  1. I like this:

    I have become convinced that procrastination is hard wired into our DNA.

    Man, is that ever the truth. You ought to have coins printed up with that one sentence on them. If you ever stop doing, getting the momentum to get started again is a real booger. 😀

  2. Kait, this is oh so true, and it really hits home for me. I TELL myself things will be easier if I keep up with them, but then….

    I’m definitely picking exercise as the habit to maintain.

  3. So true!

    I find that when I write, even just a little bit every day, it’s so much easier to dive in the next day… But if I slack (I do this a lot LOL I blame the procrastination monster!) then…uh. Yeah. Not so easy to jump in, and I bellyache to my family the whole way through. 😛 They’re like: “Just go DO IT already!” Yeah I definitely need that momentum.

  4. There should be an organization for all of us out there: Procrastinators Anonymous (or something similar). Great points, Kait, and right on target. Best of luck with the renewed direction.

  5. This is so true. I used to do P90X. It’s an absolutely brutal program, but I’d gotten to the point where I was so excited about my progress and I felt great afterward that I didn’t mind how hard I worked during the workouts. Then I went away for three weeks, didn’t get much exercise and put on weight. I slacked off when I got home. It’s been murder trying to regain my fitness level since I realized the weight gain had to stop. And now that you’ve explained it this way, I can see how it relates to a whole bunch of other areas. Great post 🙂

    1. I thought about P90x but I don’t really have enough room in my living room to do it and, frankly, I can’t move like that when I first wake up, which is the longest stretch of workout time I’ve got. 🙂 But hey, more power to you, sister!

  6. I am major procrastinator. I’m trying to get into Yoga, too. I did it for a while a couple of months ago and pulled a muscle. Now I just keep putting it off. Every day there’s a new excuse. Yesterday I did get back on the exercise bike, and I’m determined to try the yoga today. If I have time …

  7. That is so true. I have let myself stop running and going to the gym and this is the 3rd time I have to rebuild my exercise routine and each time it takes more will power more effort and so much longer. So keep your eye on your goal and stay focused and remember that you need to always be a GIT.

  8. It is so true. I totally agree with it …putting it in practice – especially when it comes to fitness goals – is a whole another thing! But hoping, and striving (though maybe instead of hoping, I just need to DO IT) *sigh*

  9. Very wise. And it’s always good to get a reminder.

    “I have become convinced that procrastination is hard wired into our DNA.”

    This sentence made me laugh and sigh and nod. Well said.

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