Tuesday, December 1, 2009

One Tip for Staying Motivated

One of the things I've discovered about myself is that I can stay motivated if I make sure I do the activity every day. And I mean EVERY day.

When my doctor told me that I absolutely had to do 40 minutes of physical activity every day, I was highly motivated...at first. But day after day, that 40 minutes sometimes feels like 40 hours. One thing I haven't done, however, is skip a day. I know that if I skip even one day, it will make it easier to skip the next day and the next and the next. Before you know it, I'll be right back into my old habits.

I know this about myself because of dieting. Even though I know this, I still have a problem in this area. It's easy to diet every day when things are routine, but throw in Halloween (candy) or a birthday (cake) or Thanksgiving (stuffing) or Valentine's Day (chocolate), and I immediately shift into "today's special, one day won't hurt" mode. Next thing I know, I'm back to my old habits and have gained 15 pounds. And believe me, 40 minutes a day on the treadmill will not burn up those "celebration" calories. So, even though I know this about myself, I still continue. Why? I'm not sure.

That's also one of the reasons I blog everyday. There are days I would rather do something else or can't think of an idea or really don't have the time, but I blog anyway. Again, I know that if I skip even one day, I'll end up skipping two or three or more.

I believe this is true of students in school, also. If a student never missed one day of class or never missed turning in an assignment or never missed a test, they would stay motivated. But as soon as a student misses one assignment, it makes missing another one easier. One missing assignment almost always leads to more. It's much easier not to do something, regardless of the consequences (as evidenced by my dieting habits).

So my tip of the day is to stay motivated by making whatever you're doing a habit. Do it EVERY day. NEVER skip a day. It's a little harder, but the results are definitely worth it.

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