My infallible plan to become a better person: Rule #2

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This could be me in… like, never. Seriously.

In case you are new to my blog, my completely waterproof New Year’s resolution for self-improvement is explained here. But in short: I want to become a better person – healthier, fitter, smarter, more cultured and more ethical – while carefully guarding my beloved laziness.

To make sure I keep it chill, I set some ground rules for myself:
1. No stress.
2. Have fun.
3. Spend as little extra time as possible on it.
4. Keep it positive.

My Rule #2 for becoming a better person is closely related tot Rule #1: Have fun. See, I have a theory about this whole healthy lifestyle thing. Let’s suppose doing some sports could prolong the life expectancy of a couch potato by an average of, say, 5 years. But in order to obtain this advantage, he has to work out in the gym for 6 hours a week. That’s 300 hours every year, considering he lets it slide a bit during the holidays. Over the course of 50 years the said ex-couch potato will have spent 15 000 hours in the gym. That ‘s a total of 937,5 days (at a rate of 16 hours per day in which he’s awake). That’s two and a half years. Or half of the time he has gained.

So what if he hates the gym? Taking in account all of the time he has spent on his transport to and from the gym, washing gym clothes and preparing and devouring lettuce (let’s say he hates that too?), this person has spent pretty much all of the time he has gained by a healthy lifestyle, doing stuff he hates. So far for those benefits.

So my conclusion is: if I hate it, I’m not doing it.

Okay, fine, except for a few necessary evils, like working, visiting sulky relatives, cleaning once in a while and holding book presentations.

But I suppose having to catch your breath after digging the remote control out from under your can, is not such a terrific plan either. So the challenge is to find activities and healthy foods you do like. If you don’t like going to the gym, then maybe you will like karate, yoga, running in the park, basketball, rock climbing, historical bike tours, tap dancing or boxing. Or maybe you just don’t like doing any of those a lot, but you do like doing a lot of those now and then.

Even if the better me lives to be ninety-five, life’s just too short to spend it being bored.

 

My infallible plan to become a better person: Rule #1

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Rule #1: No stress. So this could as well be me, busy becoming a better person.

In case you are new to my blog, my completely waterproof New Year’s resolution for self-improvement is explained here. But in short: I want to become a better person – healthier, fitter, smarter, more cultured and more ethical – while remaining as lazy as always.

To make sure I keep it chill, I set some ground rules for myself:
1. No stress.
2. Have fun.
3. Spend as little extra time as possible on it.
4. Keep it positive.

As with any New Year’s resolution, the biggest trap is ambition. Now, most women’s magazines will tell you it is important to set goals for yourself. A lot of them. And then to work towards those goals, steadily, strenuously, uncorruptibly, until you ‘ve reached them all. But here’s what I think of that: If that approach would work, then why would we need any more magazines? All of those feelgood magazines would have made themselves redundant years ago. Ha!

Here’s what usually happens when I set goals for myself: I keep my efforts up for a couple of days. Sometimes even weeks. I keep focused. I keep trying. Say, for instance, I want to lose 10 pounds. I will make it to at least 3. 4 if I get a little help from a flue or something. And then, for no apparent reason, I stop seeing the 3 pounds I’ve lost. Those 7 that are still clinging on to my bones, holding on for dear life, start to blur my vision. Then, sooner or later (but it’s always sooner and never later, isn’t it) I miss my first stepstone-goal. And I start to feel a bit bad about myself. Then, chocolate (or other comfort food) steps into the game. And I start to feel worse, leaning on terrible. Add more chocolate. I feel miserable now, bordering on desperate. From there it’s just a small step to decide just giving up and eating all the chocolate I please makes me way happier than losing weight. Better yet, it makes me happy now, which always beats being happy later.

And there’s not a thing in the world you can say to convince me that a better me should not also be a happier me.

So rule # 1 is:

No stress.

I have decided from now on, I won’t give a rat’s ass (excuse my french) about goals, targets or ambitions. My tactic is to make small changes that add to a healthy/sportsy/cultured/ecological/ethical lifestyle and don’t demand special effort. And I will share my ideas on this blog.

Since I refuse to invest too much time or trouble, what tools do I have left, you might ask?
– Organizing myself better
– Make small habits changes
– Cunning tricks

No stress. No goals. No sweat.

 

Resist the internet

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I. will. not. get. destracted. again. Not even by a promising prospect like this picture.

I have decided to tackle my debilitating lack of concentration.

A couple of minutes ago, when I sat down to write this blog post, it happened again. I decided to hurriedly, quickly, just a minute, check whether I had any new e-mail (I did not, which was not very surprising, since I had checked it about fifteen seconds earlier). Then I had a really quick glance at my favourite news site, just to make sure nothing huge had happened since my last check (it had not). Then I made the most crucial mistake of all: I decided to have a very short glance at Facebook, to check if I was missing something. I was not. But someone did post a helluvalotta pictures about 2014. And that link featured some interesting articles about training the fat off your tummy. I checked my mail again (nothing). Checked Facebook again (meh). Googled a cute guy I saw on television (I’ll admit: I love my boyfriend but I google other people). Got back to writing my blog post. Decided to start with finding some pictures to go with it (try googeling lolcat+christmas+tree. See you back in two weeks). Checked Facebook again. Well, you get the picture. Continue reading

Learning French while being lazy

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A boring car ride? No, a rocking ‘n’ rolling French course!

I had another brilliant plan to become a better person without putting much effort into it. In this case, it even takes no effort at all. I switched my car radio to a French speaking radio station. I figured this way I will hear French every day, and I will be fluent in it before I know it! Ha! Or, as the French would say: Tiens!

The only effort I did make, was flip through all the French stations until I found one that plays music I actually like. I figured if the music keeps annoying me, this little plan would not outlast the first traffic jam or tailgater.

Even, or dare I say especially, the commercials are turning out to be a very effective crash course. Commercials usually try to sell everyday objects, and they tend to repeat their product several times, which can be quite annoying in your own language, but is turning out to be very useful when you’re trying to remember a word.

An extra advantage, so I have noticed, is that, since the lyrics of the music are mostly in English, my brain has to switch a lot between French and English. This is brilliant, because I have found this to be un peu troubling in ze past.

Of course, this plan only works with a language you already know a little. If I would manage to find, say, a Japanese radio station, I would not understand one iota of what is being said, and so I would learn bupkis.