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If at First You Don’t Succeed, Try It Some Other Way

My ‘life hack’ for getting stuff done.

Photo credit: Nina Uhlíková from Pexels


I’m back at the gym… Again, and, I’m going to stick with it this time!

This time I’ve got myself my workout kit, my bag, and my electrolyte drink. I’ve worked out a plan for when I’m going to go, I have my diet plan sorted, my pre/post-workout snacks.

I am excited!


No, really, I am! I swear this time I’m going to make it work…


Photo credit: JESHOOTS.com from Pexels.


I don’t really like the term “life hack”.

It’s a term used to describe the simple act of having a cool idea to do something more efficiently, something we humans have been doing since the day we picked up that stick and poked a nice tasty bug with it. It’s a very natural part of being human, and most so-called “life hacks” aren’t new ideas at all. But hey, we all love a new fad name.

I was however asked to talk about my ‘best life hack’ (and by asked I mean I read it on a blog prompt, which is, I suspect, where most writers get ‘asked’ things), which I guess is akin to being asked your best piece of life advice though directly related to problem-solving, at least that’s how I interpret ‘Life Hack’.

Well, I thought, the only thing really that I do when I can’t solve a problem is to come at it a different way:

If there’s something you’re trying to do, and you can’t/ don’t want to ditch it; don’t keep trying the same method that didn’t work. Find Another Way.

I hate cleaning, I hate the washing up, and I particularly hate being forced to do something I don’t want to do. But I am a big girl now, who wears big girl pants and everything, and that means that I have to clean my flat… sometimes. However, the traditional “just get on with it and do it” approach, really doesn’t fly with me and I just can’t bring myself to do it most of the time, so I found a way around it:

I like to sing, it’s a real outlet of emotion and expression for me, so my singing time is while I’m cleaning or washing up. Now that I have combined those 2 activities I find it a much more tolerable task that I’m actually happy to get done. I also like to invite my partner over a lot, I like him to think of me as, you know, not a disgusting scumbag, and that is also quite motivating to make me clean.

So that’s how I motivate myself, I don’t bother with just trying to make myself do it just ‘because’; I combine it with something I enjoy… and the fear of lover rejection.



 


Now, I hear what you’re saying: “That is the dullest and most obvious example ever. Everyone does that. Are you actually going to tell me anything useful in this blog post to make my click worth it?” Ah, life hacks… This may seem obvious, but is it? Do we really throw out methods that don’t work for us immediately? Or do we come back time and time again to the same method because it worked for ‘that guy on TV’ or for your mum?

The relevant stuff

Ok, seriously. Think about how many times you’ve tried to do things and no matter how often, and how hard you tried, you just weren't able to do it.

Going to the gym is infamous for the stop/start/try again culture, and I would wager that the reason so many people fail at keeping up a gym habit is probably because the gym isn’t the right way for them to keep fit and healthy. That’s been my personal experience.

So what’s the answer? Keep throwing yourself into that brick wall until you eventually punch through it? Sorry to break it to you, but you will be pulp on the floor before you’ve even made a dent in that brick wall.

The answer is to find another way.



 


I came to the eventual conclusion that I just couldn’t do the gym because I found it boring. I had no motivation to lift a weight for the sake of lifting it, regardless of how toned I wanted to be. No motivation to run on a treadmill for the sake of running on it. I just couldn’t do it.

So what did I do? I found something fun!

I do pole dancing now, swinging around a pole is great fun and is good exercise as an added bonus, this is my workaround. Also, rock climbing, another activity that is just fun to do, and the exercise is an added bonus.

Work around the problem.


It’s the method that’s the problem, not the activity.

Ok fine, some activities are crap, (like cleaning, ugh!) but there is always a way to make the method better.

Start with the end in mind

What is it that you’re actually trying to accomplish? Is it being fit & healthy? Well, the gym isn’t the only way. Is it a clean home? Lots of ways to get that. Are you trying to study? Well, what is getting in the way?

I get distracted very easily when I’m at home. Home is my leisure place where I mess around, scroll Facebook, play games, etc, I can’t study there. So I just don’t do it. I stay late at my college library which I associate with doing work. That way I can always save home for chilling out.

Don’t torture yourself with a method that doesn't work for you, come on, you know it won’t work and you’ll just feel like crap for inevitably failing at that task yet again.

Save yourself the pain, and try it some other way.


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