My infallible plan to become a better person: Rule #4

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When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.

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.

You were proabably expecting some optimistic feelgood motivational speech when you clicked to read this post. But fear not, because you’re at the home of the lazy theory. And the whole point of this exercise is I won’t do anything that needs any extra motivation.

This last rule I have deduced from a simple principle: it is easier to do an extra effort (especially a small one, as explained in Rule #3) than to avoid doing something you want to do. That’s why it’s feasible to stick to doing ten push-ups every day but it’s very hard to quit smoking for instance. Continue reading

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.

 

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.