The Phil Wells Dot Com

I Got A Big Mouth

Tag: procrastination

Things I Tell Myself When I Want To Skip The Gym

It’s too expensive. But, really, it isn’t.  I got a great deal because my membership is transferred from my friend Jen, who is a genius because she registered in Nanuet where it cost about half what it should have.  Long story short, my gym membership is cheaper monthly than my booze intake.  You tell me which one makes more sense to give up.

I can reach my goals without it. Could I reach my fitness goals without exercise at the gym?  Of course the answer is yes.  But hitting the gym formalizes it for me.  On days when I don’t want to go to the gym, it’s almost like saying to myself that being healthy is just too hard.  Really the goals get in the way sometimes, because if I can just double my broccoli days and never hit the gym again and still get to my goal, then the goal itself is skewed.  This is about adding years to my life, not reaching an arbitrary number by end-of-year.

There isn’t enough time. I say this as if I’ll fill the hours with something more productive.  Or as if 4-5 hours at the gym every week has limited what I’ve been able to get accomplished otherwise.  Neither of those are true.  There is enough time.  I’m just loathe to use it to improve myself.

I’m not making any progress. Another blatant lie.  I’m trending downwards.  It may not be as fast as the milestones I’ve set up, but that’s reason to redouble my efforts, not to throw in the towel.  Progress, which is a goal-oriented vain statistic to begin with, takes time.  If I get impatient with myself then I’m going to give up eventually.  This nagging voice has to be silenced.  Progress isn’t important, and anyway I’m making plenty of it.

I’m already in good enough shape. Ha.

I can only fit so many goals in my life at once. What is the point of thinking like this?  Why say this to myself?  I only want to complete so many good things within a year?  Taking on fitness as a project lengthens the deadlines of other projects, that’s true.  This is a matter of prioritization.  Living a healthy life and getting stronger and leaner are high enough on the list for me to extend the next book or the DBA certification or the 14-hour Civ III marathons.

I never have any downtime anymore. Really, I do.  The gym is my downtime.  Casting exercise as opposite to leisure is a mistake made by a lot of cynics in my generation.  If I don’t like it for the moment, I enjoy its effects when it’s time for real leisure to begin.  Fitness enhances the downtime.  I’m not going to lie to myself and say running intervals is fun.  But I will credit it when I can take my shirt off in August without worrying about people judging how doughy my torso is.

Cause, man, it’s like Bisquik right now.


I am a procrastinator, and I get the feeling most of the people I know are the same way.  In this day and age it’s easy to assume that this is brought on by some chemical imbalance in my brain.  It’s become hip to self-diagnose as “ADD” or “just a little autistic” or “actually so smart it makes me seem kind of slow”.

Whatever.  I know that here, in real life, procrastination can be overcome with a little discipline and a lot of caffeine.  For the discipline, I turn to (10+2)*5.

I set aside an hour, give myself a list of at least an hour’s worth of work that needs to get done, and plow through it.  I’ve actually tweaked the formula to (12+3)*4 because I like longer breaks.

  • Work for 12 minutes, no excuses.
  • Break for three minutes, no excuses.
  • Repeat 4 times.

And there you go: you’ve completed an hour’s worth of stuff.  Now get out your stopwatch and a task list, and get back to work.