I bought a spin bike last week. I already have one and bought another to stay at my parents house and propel me through workouts as long as I’m here. I was finding that my master plan of walking longer distances everyday just wasn’t cutting it. I have a knee injury that’s persisted for quite awhile and my thoughts of “I’ll just walk it out” became thoughts of “dang…walking is killing me,” and after weeks of just hoping for the best, I realized I had simply just stopped moving which…no bueno.
The thing about this spin bike that’s so interesting is that it compels me to use it. It sits there in front of me all day and I know it’s on my schedule so…I just do it. It’s nice to have that be an accepted, non-negotiable part of my day. And I’ve strung together more days of doing a spin workout than any other kind of physical activity since I’ve been quarantining. So there’s something to making whatever needs to be done as part of a schedule and removing the negotiation and watching it happen. I’m a little giddy about it.
There’s also something to be said, I think, about evaluating its importance to you. Consistency ultimately comes from a commitment. For me, though, checking things off the list is not nearly enough. That doesn’t motivate me to keep it front-and-center. I need to dig farther. With the physical activity, I’ve observed how much worse I feel when I don’t do it. So I’ve had to remind myself that that spin class is for me and not just something I need to tick off a list. With wanting to write more, I need to remember why that’s something I’m chasing…and also remember that the output sometimes can be enough. It’s okay if my writing is partial or fragmented or not a book…for me, that’s the goal is to put cogent words on a page…so that’s enough to propel me there. Part of that process will reveal bigger goals that will come together in real time. I just need to remember to be aware enough to notice with the “output” kinds of goals the point at which the output is no longer enough and I need to evolve that goal to point toward something bigger.
I work in evaluation for a living. It’s not awesomely exciting but what it has taught me practically is that data or goals for their own sake are a totally pointless venture. There needs to be almost continual evolution of those projects…sometimes they’re the end…and sometimes, they’re the means to a bigger, more involved end.
My mantra this week is consistency: add nothing new…just produce. It might not be next week’s mantra. But for now, that activity will balance me just enough…and that’s the ultimate goal.