The fun theory

This short video expresses exactly why I think good intentions can work out swimmingly if you set about them right.

This video is part of a commercial from a couple of years ago, sure, but it’s still genius.

Motivation is the key. Good habits are way easier to keep up when they’re fun. And that’s exactly what this becoming-a-better-person-plan of mine is all about: finding ways to become fitter, healthier, less polluting and more cultured without getting stressed, bored or frustrated.

 

My infallible plan to become a better person: Rule #3

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Life is stressy enough without a dozen ambitious plans.

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.

Rule #3, spend as little extra time on this self-improvement plan as possible, is not so much driven by laziness (fine, maybe a little), as it is by common sense. Why do most resolutions fail? Because they’re unrealistic. Most of us have got jobs, families, friends, hobbies, and a certain need of sleep. Those take time too. So, and this may come to a surprise to the very optimistic among us, if you have all or even some of the above, you don’t have three hours to spend randomly every day. So unless you are lucky enough to do it professionally, who ever stuck with a brilliant plan like playing the piano for at least one hour every day, or working out every day?

Maybe I shouldn’t speak for everyone, but I have not (tried about a trillion times though).

That principle especially plays a role if the plan is not only to become fitter OR learn to play the piano, but to become fitter AND healthier AND more cultured AND live better… If you plan an hour every day on every goal, I’d give this plan about a day and a half. Maybe two in the holidays.

I think little improvements can make a huge difference over time. Especially when you can make a structural change. And they are easier to stick to. I will share some practical examples shortly.

 

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.