5 steps to help yourself care, Part 2
Last week I shared two preliminary steps to help yourself want to do things that you don’t naturally enjoy. Following these next three steps can make your task seem much more agreeable.
- Prime your body by doing a few exercises and then some power poses. Long hours sitting at a desk can drain our energy as well as set us up for chronic diseases. In fact, the World Health Organization lists sitting as the fourth leading risk factor for worldwide deaths.
It doesn’t take much to re-energize yourself. My favorite method is to set a timer for 30 minutes and at the end of that working-at-my-desk time, I get up and do 10 squats. Adding 30 seconds of jumping jacks (about 30) really gets my blood flowing. As a result, I feel more enthusiastic and ready to take on the world.
Amy Cuddy popularized power poses. This involves holding your body in expansive, high-power poses, such as standing up straight with your hands on your hips. Her research shows that holding these poses for two minutes changes the way we feel about ourselves and increases our ability to face things we’d rather not.
- Prime your emotions by putting yourself in a happy frame of mind. Even if your normal outlook is pessimistic, you can temporarily boost your happiness (and thereby increase your affinity for your task) by considering the following.
- What are you grateful for? Even being in a situation where you have your task is something to celebrate. (Maybe you have a job, education, necessary food and shelter. Many don’t.)
- Reflect on how relieved/proud of yourself you will be once this task is finished.
- What is your own grander purpose for completing this Task? (Getting it out of the way so you can relax or attend to things you love is an excellent purpose. Seeing your task in the context of a wider goal is even better.)
- Involve someone else. Exercise with them. Create a friendly competitive game around your task, even if you compete with yourself.
- Set an intention. Make a commitment. Setting an intention for how you will go about achieving your goal or doing your task can get you through the rough spots when you really want to quit.
My next post will discuss the differences between goals and intentions and how to make them work for you. See you then.