You build willpower primarily when you don’t feel like doing something but do it anyway. In the case of working out, it means going to the gym and lifting weights (or doing your sprinting/swimming high-intensity routine) despite a lack of energy or motivation. Each day I feel tired, weak, and generally not ready for a workout, I remind myself it’s the most important workout day for me. That’s when my discipline is truly tested and when it strengthens – if I win against my weaknesses.“Daily Self-Discipline” by Martin Meadows
When I was living in South Delta, I gave myself the excuse that I’d be rowing towards my goals full force once I moved. It was harder for me to eat healthy because I know my Mom gets stressed out whenever she sees me on my diet. It was harder for me to workout because I no longer had easy access to a gym. And commuting anywhere for anything took forever.
I moved to Coquitlam in February, and it was a pretty good month with regards to progression on my goals. I jumped back into my meal prep and lost a bunch of weight. I was back in the gym everyday, and doing a short run every day to boot. And commuting was much better (although, still far by what seems to be most people’s standards).
And then COVID19 and social distancing happened.
Now my gym options (both in building and the one I have a membership at) have closed down. I’m avoiding commuting because I feel like it would be irresponsible right now. Not commuting also means I don’t have a set time every day to read anymore. Everywhere I used to play volleyball and badminton has shut down, so I’m not getting my regular mental resets. The lack of physical activity means my afternoon energy lows have been hitting me pretty hard at work. And a couple of times when I felt stressed, bored, or anxious, I’ve caved in and bought junk food because I have a bad habit of eating my feelings.
But like Meadows points out, these days are the most important days for me to be working towards my goals.
So I’ve been doing some body weight exercise routines with the help of my coach. I don’t feel like the workouts are as effective as the ones I was doing at the gym, but they’re definitely better than nothing. Doing them, my momentum is not as fast as before, but it is still forward momentum. If I wasn’t doing these workouts, I’d definitely be experiencing negative momentum.
I’m thinking about starting a remote book club (or two) to keep myself accountable to my reading, as well as to provide some structure to others who may be looking for something to occupy their social distancing time.
I’m starting to run outside more often now, though I also need to be careful not to get injured seeing as getting to my physiotherapist or RMT right now would be difficult. Not doing particularly well on that front–I continued to run 60% of my run on a super tight calf, probably because I did a spontaneous 18km road run on Sunday.
I’m working on mediating more often right now–I’m aiming for two sessions a day. I’m also thinking about trying to teach myself how to volley in volleyball, or taking some online dance classes. I’m hoping that these things will help with the mental reset a bit.
Everyone in my company is currently working from home. Because I hit my energy low in the early afternoon, I’m thinking about throwing the idea of my taking a diphasic work schedule starting next week. Then I can do some physical activity in my low energy hours in the afternoon, allowing me to both continue working towards my goals while at the same time ensuring I’m setting myself up for success at work.
Whenever you feel that adversity is too much to handle, remind yourself that “this too shall pass.” Every challenge in life is a temporary thing. You can handle more than you believe if you remind yourself that things will soon get better.“Daily Self-Discipline” by Martin Meadows
At first, the whole social distancing thing was really concerning me.
Losing volleyball and badminton was a big loss because I’ve been leaning on those to help clear my mind.
Not being able to commute anywhere feels like a loss of freedom. It’s not quite like I’m chained to my apartment or anything, but options I once thought I had are no longer options.
And I had these moments of terror about how long social distancing will last. (A vaccine appears to be at least a year out before widespread use. There’s currently no drugs that appear to be super effective in treating viral symptoms or preventing transmission. And the rate of transmission appears to be pretty high (ie. look at how quickly a country jumps from one known case to one hundred known cases). So I’m not going to be surprised if social distancing lasts a lot longer than most people are expecting. I wouldn’t be surprised if a year goes by before they stop encouraging people from avoiding large groups.)
But I think I’m finding ways to adapt and continue to do things I want to do in these times of social distancing.
It’s interesting to see how quickly the mind can change.
Like, earlier today, I looked out the window, and everyone I saw walking outside was a couple. I had my moment of feeling sad and wishing that was me. But it wasn’t long before I swung the other way and was content that right now I have the most freedom to work on all the things I’m trying to juggle.
As a random update…
I’m pretty much behind on all of my goals at this point, but so far, the progress I’ve made includes:
- reading 16 books
- getting my fasting blood glucose back into a normal range
- losing about 1.6% body fat
- running 216km
- working out 45 times
So it’s not going as planned, but it is going 🙂