Top Tuesday: Stop Arguing With Yourself!

I decided some posts are just good enough to read twice 🙂 So I am carrying on with my “Top Tuesdays” where I will re-post some of my older posts that were popular, well liked, or that I thought were particularly awesome.

This post fro October 2011 was my second most popular post of all time, bringing in a whopping 107 views or so. It’s a far cry from the 1,687 views that my Treadmill Desk post has received, but I’ll take it! 🙂

Awhile ago I wrote a post about mastering your arguments with yourself to ensure you do your workouts.

In fact, to quote myself, I said:

I think the biggest difference between those who are regularly active and those who are not is that those who are active have mastered the arguments they have with themselves, so exercise wins most of the time. They have had – and won – the ‘but it’s so much nicer sitting here…’ argument so many times that it is a habit to win it. But I must tell you, they still have that debate in their minds.

These last few days I feel like I have been arguing with myself and losing all too often. My Lazy Brain is quite adept at making great excuses and arguments. It can make a lot of sense. It can make plenty of good points. It has won me over a few times. (My Active Brain is cute, but not so bright.)

So, today, I tried a new method.

I decided that I was going for a run and then I stopped arguing with myself.

My Lazy Brain started going on about not having time and maybe sweeping and mopping the dining room floor and prattled on about being really tired after a long week, and shouldn’t we stop for groceries and feed the cats?

And while it went on-and-on I just ignored it.

It said something about that new shirt maybe chaffing. I got changed anyway.

It thought maybe we should check our email. I put on my shoes anyway.

It went on about maybe not being hydrated enough. I just kept going through my routine until I was outside and running.

And then the Lazy Brain shut up for a while. I mean, there I was, running and nothing about it sucked. So what did it have to offer at that point?

Ah, but then it started to go: “That’s enough, you’ve been out of running for a while, you should probably take it easy.”

So I decided that I would keep running until I couldn’t or felt at risk of injury. And that’s what I did.

As I was pulling up from my run, my Lazy Brain said, “Good Job! That’s enough for today isn’t it? Let’s go inside and drink and blog about this and then we’ll do something else active tomorrow.”

And I was tempted.

But I decided to go for a bike ride instead. And on my ride I decided to just keep going.

And I didn’t engage my Lazy Brain in these pointless arguments. It said all kinds of things, and the thing I didn’t do was respond back to it.

What I listened to instead was my body. I made decisions based on my physical health, comfort and limitations. I made decisions (aka choices) and just followed through on them.

Could this be some sort of trick I missed out on? Could this be the secret formula for success?

Make a decision and stick to it. Make good choices and follow through. And then don’t argue with yourself about it.

Maybe! 🙂

It would seem to me, now, that by engaging the Lazy Brain I was only giving the bad decision, the poor choice, the opportunity to prevail. By not having the argument in the first place, I have essentially create a situation where I have decided that “this is the only choice I am going to make.”

Thoughts? What works best for you – having the argument and winning, or just making choices and then ignoring the Lazy Brain arguments? Or do you not even hear the Lazy Brain? (And if you don’t hear it, how can I get your non-Lazy Brain mind!?)

Updates: I don’t really have a lot to add to this one. I think it’s a pretty well written post, genuinely reflecting the process and mind chatter I had going on. And though I don’t practice this as much as I should, perhaps I will now that I’ve been reminded about this technique. 🙂

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