I have never been the type of person who enjoys exercise for its own sake. Now, don’t get me wrong. I love being strong. I love pushing myself physically. And man do I love to sweat. BUT, I have always struggled with workout routines because I much prefer exercise to be incidental (like from dancing) or functional (like training for sports) or me-against-the-course (like competing in Tough Mudder), than for it to be something I just do.
Because boredom is the fastest way for me to quit something – and I don’t want to quit on my health – I’m always on the look out for ways to keep exercise interesting for me. So when my personal trainer posted a challenge to do 500 skips (ie, jumping rope) every day in May, I was all in.
And the sheer satisfaction I get from doing it, the mental anguish I feel until I complete it, and the thrill I get from ticking it off my list got me thinking. In so many ways, I prefer to live and work the way I eat: tapas-style.
I like to have a little of a lot. I get bored easily. (And damn, do I get food envy!) And I need visual, physical, and mental variety. Everything that I have ever been consistent with in my life has scratched this itch. But it wasn’t until I started jumping rope that I realized how much this is true.
My career has always involved multi-functional roles. The businesses I started have me doing lots of different things each day. My schedule is anything but, and varies day by day with predictable unpredictability. If I tried to do the same thing every single day, I would go brain dead.
But maybe you’re different. Maybe you love consistency. Maybe you love predictability. Maybe you want to know exactly what you will be doing at 8:43pm on Thursday 13 July. And that’s okay too.
Because once you tune into what YOU need, and what works for YOU, it’s important to hack the hell out of it and work it to your advantage in life, work, everything.
For the magpie in me, this means doing 500 skips and then doing a ballet class later that day so that exercise stays interesting. It means writing for a few hours and then doing financial analysis later that day so that work stays interesting. It means having yogurt and honey, one piece of toast, coffee, a smoothie, and fruit in the morning instead of a huge bowl of cereal so that nutrition stays interesting.
Doing lots of things does NOT mean multi-tasking – which is a terrible waste of time – but it does mean doing a variety of discreet things one-at-a-time to make the most of my personality. And instead of wishing I were different, trying to force myself to be someone I’m not, I’m finding new ways to leverage my tapas-style tendencies so that I stay consistent with the things I want to stay consistent with (exercise, business growth, nutrition).
And the reason I’m sharing this, is because if you want to make a positive change, accomplish something important, push yourself higher – and make the change, accomplishment, or growth sustainable over the long-term – you don’t have to change who you are, you have to be MORE in line with who you are.
If you’re a planner, make a plan before you get going. If you’re intuitive, tune into your intuition before you get going. If you’re a worrier, work through all your worries before you get going.
Use who you are as an advantage, instead of as an excuse to stay fused in place.
And if I can help you get there – wherever “there” may be – you know where to find me.