Second Day Syndrome
Last week I was going to the gym pretty regularly and I could tell that I was feeling better. It was the usual batch of progress: more energy, less stressed, looking forward to my next trip. Then something happens and I’m moved to take a day off from the gym. It could be I stayed up too late and a morning gym trip is unreasonable or the afternoon was busy and I didn’t have time to go then. The really interesting thing happens the day after the day off from working out which I’m calling Second Day Syndrome (SDS).\n\nLike I’m constantly trying to convince my wife, my memory is terrible. I can pretty well remember yesterday, sort of recall the day before, but beyond that it’s a good thing I take notes well. During SDS the memory of going to the gym and not going to the gym are both fresh in my mind. Not going to the gym is a slightly fresher memory so I’ll say that a workout has about 40/60 chance of happening. On the next day the odds drop to 30/70. Add that to the guilt of not having gone now for 3 days and you have a recipe for disaster.\n\nSo what do we do about the dreaded SDS? If your memory is as bad as mine you might want to follow a steadfast rule of "no more than one day off in a row." I’m going to give it a try and see how I do. If this is all I needed to do to stay consistent I’m going to be relieved and upset I hadn’t done it sooner.
Malcolm Gladwell teaches "Get over yourself and get to work" for Big Think Edge.
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- At Big Think Edge, Malcolm Gladwell teaches how to check your inner critic and get clear on what failure is.
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- Give yourself permission to say "no" to things. Saying yes to everything is a fast way to burn out.
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- If you really want to say yes but can't manage another commitment, try qualifiers like "yes, if," or "yes, after."
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