30 Days: Personalized Rules

It’s almost the end of my 30 Days of Motivation and I’m feeling great (but also kind of bloated today because of my stupid girl body). I can definitely see some improvements in my performance and my attitude so I can already say that this month was effective. The one thing I can’t say just yet is whether or not this month will provide me with enough drive to keep going and continue this journey after I’m done posting about my progress all the time.

I have a lot of personality traits that will certainly slow my progress if I don’t do something to fight my natural instincts. Two traits stick out to me as large problems: I’m lazy and not at all competitive.

I’ve been fighting my instinctive laziness for what feels like my whole life. Ideally, I would live on the space station the people in Wall-e occupied and have all of my meals delivered to me by a friendly robot. Luckily, I’m extremely ambitious professionally so that has helped to keep my laziness at bay. I can’t have all the success I crave by sleeping in and watching TV all day.

My non-competitive nature has not hindered my professional success or academic life whatsoever. I get good grades because I can. I get good jobs because I’m qualified. It doesn’t have much to do with who I’m sitting next to when I take a test or interview for a job. Doesn’t seem like my non-competitiveness is holding me back, right? Well, as it relates to my running: wrong. I never feel the need to beat a friend on the Nike Plus app and I’m not even competitive enough to break my own records. I feel accomplished enough if I get out there and run, so beating someone–even myself–at anything really isn’t a priority. Unlike most runners, I don’t have the competitive nature to keep me going. I just have the desire to change my life. The problem is, I fear that I can’t change unless I become more competitive and less lazy.

Just like I have a list of rules for what I eat (which I frequently break… sorry I’m not sorry that milkshakes and cupcakes are freaking delicious), I need a set of rules for health and fitness. I have had all day to think of said rules, so here goes:

  1. Don’t be lazy.
  2. Keep the shitty food to a minimum.
  3. Stay hydrated.
  4. Keep running.
  5. Surround yourself with motivation.
  6. Be proud of yourself.

If I’m being honest with myself, I need a second set of rules that applies directly to me. The list above is pretty generic and fit for anyone. I need a set of rules designed with me in mind:

  1. Don’t be lazy. No, really. Get off of that chair/bed/couch/floor and put on your smelly running clothes. A run takes 30 minutes to an hour out of your day. You can sacrifice one episode of The West Wing.
  2. Keep the shitty food to a minimum. This means that when you go to the grocery store, you need to physically avoid the potato chip aisle. You can eat some junk when you’re hanging around friends (so as not to look like a health-food eating alien), but no need to binge eat in private or eat french fries every day.
  3. Stay hydrated. Even though your office is a whole floor away from a water fountain (and a restroom for all the pee breaks you’ll need), you still need to drink tons of water.
  4. Keep running. Remember this on the days you are on your period, in a bad mood, swamped with emails and school work, and it’s 90 degrees outside. You have come too far to stop.
  5. Surround yourself with motivation. Find supportive friends who will be willing to push back dinner plans by 45 minutes so you can get a run in. Read stories about other people who share similar struggles. Don’t listen to anyone who sheds a negative light on your progress.
  6. Be proud of yourself. At the end of the day, you are alone with no one around to prove yourself to. Make sure your actions during the day lead to a large amount of self worth and pride.

Day 30 of 30 Days of Motivation is tomorrow. I plan on finishing strong with a 6-mile run in the morning. I’m at 194.1 miles on my Nike Plus app (since October) and I want to break 200 before I start a new month. If I don’t pass out on the track, I’ll post an update on my progress this month so all my adoring fans can gawk at my 0.0003 pound weight loss and 2-second decrease in my running pace.

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