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If I write a blog, maybe that will help me get stuff done.

I’ve noticed that I’m having trouble accomplishing things I honestly want to do.  Like meditating or exercising regularly.  Or cooking healthy meals.  Or doing laundry.

I have plenty of excuses.  Solid excuses.  Pain, illness, anxiety…

I know that the best thing I can do to improve myself, is to literally get moving.  Pain, health, mood…all of them benefit from a little bit of regular exercise.  They are each also the excuses I use to avoid exercise.

I escape working on getting stuff done, by finding something else that “I must do first.”  Today I went to the library and checked out a stack of books.  I looked for books about exercise for people like me.  You know, wimps.  Charts, instructions, encouragement, science, psychology, everything I could possibly need to know to start an exercise program.  You know, so I’ll feel better.

Driving home from the library, it hit me.  “Wow, I’m really good at escaping.”

Five months ago, I set up my computer to pop up a screen and read out loud a reminder to do a simple breathing meditation for five minutes each day.  And a second screen, six minutes later, to congratulate myself.  So far, I remember to breathe two or three times at the reminder, and again at the congratulatory message.  (How embarrassing.)  I realized that if I haven’t managed to take the time to breathe for five minutes a day, even when I am reminded and have no good excuses, what makes me think that anything in any of those books is going to result in my doing exercise every day?

Why don’t I do these things that I really, truly want to do?  One reason is that I find them boring and irritating.  Somehow, they feel like a waste of my time.  And my inclination to avoid those negative feelings is stronger than my inclination to do things that are good for me.  I successfully escape those boring and irritating tasks, which results in escaping accomplishment, too.

On an average day, I spend maybe an hour or two watching TV or reading novels or looking at entertaining websites.  I spend a lot of time taking care of family needs.  I do not have a regular job, but I do spend some time with clients.  I spend a reasonable amount of time taking care of the unavoidable activities of daily living like showering, eating, and cleaning the kitchen.  And I spend an unreasonable amount of time reading and writing.

I am certain that I could apply an hour a day toward getting things done that I am presently not getting done, like exercising or meditating or laundry.  But I’d be so bored and irritated during those sixty minutes.  Clearly, I feel like good health and clean laundry are things I should just be entitled to, not have to work for. (See this article about entitlement and boredom.)

If I felt better, all that knowledge running around in my brain could be put to good use.  I’m going to figure out how to get things done.  And I’m going to write about it here.  Success is a good thing.

Escaping success just isn’t working for me.

I can do this.

Courage,

Shulamit

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