I think we’ve talked about the fact that my fitness and nutrition emphasis has moved from stabilizing my depression (success!) to losing the 20-30 pounds of extra weight I’m carrying around. I can’t remember if I mentioned that one factor contributing to that is my upcoming 20 year High School Reunion.
[Random Aside: As we are now all pushing middle age, it sorta makes our school battle cry, “Go, Cougars!” even more fitting. Particularly for the single/divorced ladies among us. But I digress.]
I had a little epiphany this week. I am not willing to get up at the butt crack of dawn for extrinsic rewards.
First, a brief review of the difference between extrinsic and intrinsic rewards:
- Extrinsic rewards are sort of second-hand rewards. You do something because you like something that results from the activity.
- (Overly) Personal Example: Getting my hiney to the YMCA to work out, so I do not embarrass myself at my upcoming 20 Year Reunion.
- Intrinsic rewards are more like mainlining enjoyment directly to your veins. You enjoy the thing itself, and don’t need additional incentive.
- (Unnecessarily) Specific Example: Hanging out at Bean Street with my lappy and a latte, pecking away at blog posts and short stories and sketch scripts.
The last couple of weeks have taught me that extrinsic rewards, no matter how compelling, aren’t enough to roust me from a really comfy bed extra early…
… BUT… here’s the thing I realized this week:
Getting up at the butt crack of dawn for an intrinsically rewarding activity (writing/coffee shop “me time”) AUTOMAGICALLY builds in extra time to also do the stuff tied to extrinsic rewards (working out). The point of the “getting up early” thing is to add another hour or two into my day.
Dave Navarro has covered the benefits of waking up early way more completely than I can in this post on Rock Your Day, (he has a whole category devoted to it) so if your ears perked up at the thought of getting more time in your day, toddle on over and check it out.
This post was just intended to be a quick case study. When I switched from “getting up early to work out” to “getting up early to have coffee shop time”–I actually navigated my butt outta bed. And I’ll have sufficient time to work in a workout as well.[Additional Important Note: I also recruited my spouse to help me with my “getting up early” effort. If getting up early is a battle, recruit allies.]
Any epiphanies, large or small, to share? Drop ’em in the comments. Feel the love.