I started caring for myself after a very long time of complete abandonment 3 years ago. During this time I have related how I workout with how I work, getting a better understanding of myself. Read on to see some of the discoverments.
A little bit extra
You have seen this on LinkedIn or some other social media, but it works. I regularly row and join challenges like rowing 100 km in a month. To do that, I plan 4 km per day which gives me 6 days and one to rest. If you count, that makes 24 days of rowing for a total of 96 km and 4 days of rest for a total of 28 days. That leaves me 2 days to do the last 4 km. What is interesting here is that instead of doing 4 km, I do 4250 meters. I use those 250 meters to cool down. Now, 250 meters per 24 days gives me an extra 6 km! Yes, 6 km, so I am done with two more days to rest.
I have used this same approach my whole life. I tend to do an hour or more of work every night. Once the long day is over and all the house and family chores are done I sit down and do another hour or so of work. After many, many years the difference is significant. Very significant, not only because of the knowledge and experience obtained but also with the impact that has on your personal life. You disconnect from family, from friends, and your social life slowly dies there night after night.
So, yes, that works, but be careful.
Aligned with the previous point is consistency. You've heard it before: "Consistency is king". That is how the human mind and body work, if you do or say something (positive or negative) consistently your brain and your body will believe it and learn and adapt accordingly.
I found that once I got over the first month or so of consistently working out, my body wanted me to repeat, it felt good to be able to move again, but my mind was not convinced. Every day I had to fight with my mind to workout, I still do!
That is what I learned from this. Your mind is, for some reason, playing against you, it constantly tries to convince you to not follow the plan you have designed. Consistency is about managing your mind and forcing it to do what you think is right. It is a constant battle against yourself.
The best trick that works for me is to make it easy: reduce all the excuses that your brain is going to give you. If you can workout from home, do it, better than having to prepare the bag and drive somewhere, those are excuses that are going to get in your way. If you want to learn some programming language, join or create a project you are passionate about or that has some important goal for you.
The next thing to do is gamification: convert it into a challenge, with numbers and scores or goals to achieve, that motivates your brain, especially if the goals are reachable.
90% is enough
This is the most important thing I learned about myself: I do not finish projects.
The first time I did the 100 km challenge, it was new, a real challenge at many levels. The second time I didn't finish it, leaving it at 90 km. I knew I could do it, I knew I could finish it, so there was no need to finish it.
The famous phrase: "you didn't come this far to get this far" in my mind is understood as: "Hell yes I did! getting this far is already amazing and I see that I can get farther. Satisfied."
Relating this to my work, I see so so many projects that died in the magnetic structure of different hard disks. Projects that had more or less potential and that I converted into reality just to leave them at that 90% sitting on the backups forever.
The conclusion is that I must collaborate with people that can take that 90% and finish it and sell it. If you are that person, reach out ;-)
Thanks for reading.
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