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.