Psychological Tactics for Getting Off of the Couch

(I’m working under a similar principle: will workout for new toys).

Consequences don’t work for me.  What I mean to say is, regardless of whether my actions are going to end with lousy results or not, I proceed as my silly heart desires.  I’m not very good at precautionary corollary reasoning.  But that’s just fine, because I’ve developed a new system that could work just perfectly.

I’ve been thinking very much about how to motivate myself.  Small tasks – flossing, taking out the garbage, cleaning the tub – are easy to incorporate into my routine and thus not terribly difficult habits to acquire.  Tasks that require more of an effort or upset to my schedule are очень трудно – very hard – for me.

So here’s what I did:

1) I bought myself a gym membership.  It’s the first I’ve ever had and I don’t feel particularly great about it.  I would rather get my exercise outside, engaged in meaningful physical activity.  However, my life simply does not allow for that option for the time being, as time constraints will have me rushing to workout between classes.  I’m willing to work within the framework of my circumstances, however, and thus am now a card-carrying Planet Fitness member.

2) I made a list of items that I’ve been waiting to purchase for myself.  These include a Vitamix Blender, a satchel from the Cambridge Satchel Company, new jeans, and a mini-trip to visit a friend.

3) I have set up a system of rewards based on how many times I go to the gym.  If I make it there five times, I’m going to splurge on a Vitamix.  If I go five more times, I’ll order that satchel I’ve been wanting.  And so on.

To prevent this from becoming an exercise in needless spending, I’m trying to focus on rewards that will prove useful.  To eliminate a rusty and barely operational set of food processor and blender, I will work to earn the aforementioned Vitamax Blender (complete with seven-year warranty!).  A satchel will also come in handy, as I’ve run out of decent means of carrying my books to school – two book-bags have been broken in the past year and a half of college and I think I need something a bit more sturdy to transport my academic supplies.  I could continue with my justifications, but y’all get the picture!

I’m hoping this method of motivation will not only help me incorporate working into my life, but also prevent me from buying frivolously.  If I want to purchase something, I’ll have to earn it first!

This entire process has me wondering: are there other tricks folks have for self-motivating?  This is something I struggle with often – I’m quite prone to spending my free time recumbent, consuming various forms of media in my pajamas (the couch seems melancholy when I neglect it for too long…).  Am I particularly lazy, or do other people have this trouble as well?  If so – what do y’all do to kickstart yourselves into action?  I’d love to hear your tips!

2 thoughts on “Psychological Tactics for Getting Off of the Couch

  1. That pic of the mouse hilarious! I also prefer doing things outside but there is something motivational being around other successful health people who are busting their butts. That’s a great idea to reward yourself for going to the gym. Thanks for sharing!

    • I’m certainly hoping that being around others helps motivate me. I think that I’ll initially be a bit self-concious, but I’m sure I’ll enjoy myself once I’m better acquainted with the gym. Thanks for your comment, Mike!

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