Today most of us are faced with habits that we either begrudgingly take part in, or have purely no desire in doing. Whether it be exercise, eating healthily, getting enough sleep, or simply waking up at a certain time, there are plenty of small tasks we perform each day that all in all add up to quite a lot. What makes these tasks either boring or enticing is entirely up to you. This thinking is similar to the Shakespeare quote "...for there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so." which really just means that no single event is good or bad. How we perceive it, and with what lens, is when that event can be seen as either good or bad. In short, all of these small, boring, tasks that we have to carry out each day are neither one thing or the other. They simply are.
A little esoteric for getting the little things done, I know, but the idea is to look at these small things as they are, not as we make them out to be.
So how can we get past this way of thinking? Well, there are plenty of methods and practices that have been suggested time and time again, but I want to approach this issue not with more tasks for you to add to your daily routine, but with a way of thinking that can make these tasks seem easy, and easy to keep completing consistently.
Many of us see the word philosophy and immediately turn away from it. This is unfortunate because all a philosophy is, is a way of thinking. It can be applied to all different aspects of life, from the kind of food you choose to eat, to the ideals you choose to uphold, but I want to look at it from the perspective of one particular philosophy.
Again, do not shy away, I am not saying that the philosophy of CrossFit is something that everyone needs to adopt. CrossFit is a great example of a philosophy that is non-intrusive, and carries on to all aspects of life. The philosophy of CrossFit is to build functional fitness that betters your performance in any moment in life. The reason why this kind of philosophy is so powerful, and why it has become so popular, is because it focuses on creating a higher quality of life.
Turning the idea and practice, that if you show up once a day for an hour a day you will see results, into a practice that can be applied to everything, is why this form of exercise has become the fastest growing franchise.
However, there is only one thing that I want to take from CrossFit, and it isn't exclusive to sport.
Consistency is the one thing that can separates us from achieving and falling short.
So what is it about consistency that makes the difference? The answer is simple. If you do the same thing day after day, it will become second nature. It's as simple as that. Do something over, and over, and over, till you almost don't notice that you are doing it.
This seems like a no-brainer, but trust me this isn't going through peoples minds as much as you would hope. It even took me a while to get around to the very basic idea that if I keep doing the things I don't really have a desire to do, they will get easier over time. That isn't to say that exercising or being disciplined is going to become easy all of the sudden, but if you implement discipline day after day, you will find it much easier to stick with it.
Brushing your teeth in the morning is a good example. Everyday since we were kids we've had to brush our teeth. As children we had no desire to do this. We may have even put up a fight over it, but years and years later, it has become second nature. In the morning we get up, and brush our teeth. We don't really think about it, we just do it.
This is the goal with the activities that hold us back from day to day. Exercise being the prime example of this, can be turned into an activity that you hardly have to think about. Just like brushing your teeth, after completing the task day after day, at a certain point we won't have to even think about it.
We just do.
This mode of living is extremely hard to come across in a day and age where all habits, practices, and ideas are being expressed to us with a false importance. The minute we find a healthy habit to fall into we are led astray by the possibilities of some new stretching routine, or some new diet. So before we can even settle into a habit, we are already thinking about trying to create a new one.
Now variety is extremely important to maintaining a healthy and balanced life, but having too much variety and no consistency can be detrimental. Before turning to a new habit to add to the routine, make sure that the one you are trying to work on currently, has either worked for you, and you were able to make it a part of a routine, or that habit didn't work for you allowing you to search for a new one. Too often do we try some new trend for a few days, only to drop it as soon as we hear of the next one.
We have to have the ability to stick with something until it works or it doesn't. The strength and advantages that comes from having the discipline to make these habits a reality is more than valuable. Take the time out of your day to think about the habits and routines that you want in your life. How do you makes these habits stick? Which habits are worth keeping? When can I add a new habit to my routine? These are the questions that we want you to be asking yourself. Challenge yourself to try and adopt new habits while questioning the ones you have. Take on a new philosophy that you have created through the decisions and discipline you employ in your life.
Implementing philosophy into everyday life is easier than it sounds. We don't expect you to become the next forward thinker on health and fitness or the secret to happiness, but we do expect that you will feel a weight lifted off of your shoulders. Too often do we stifle ourselves in indecisiveness while trying to figure out what feels right. Rather than waiting for the moment where everything feels great and fits together, use your own philosophy to take charge of your actions and make headway to a new lifestyle that you know works best for you.