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Refrain from Doing These 3 Things as You Begin Your Running Journey

Refrain from Doing These 3 Things as You Begin Your Running Journey

    The decision to become a runner can be very much like a New Year’s resolution. It is always made with the best of intentions but then withers away gradually as life’s many distractions get in the way. However, there are some distractions that one can consciously avoid which will prevent the withering of both your money, as well as your reasons for wanting to run.

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    1. Frivolous Spending on Running Apparels/Gadgets

    Some people make the commendable decision to start running. Instead of doing just that, they then channel their energy on what is the latest technology footwear or the foremost-advanced calorie-counting watch to buy. Such extravagant outlays not only put in doubt the true motivation for running (with obvious implications for its longer term sustainability), but are downright wasteful.

    Irrespective of the multi-billion dollar industry catering to his perceived needs, all a runner really needs is a pair of joggers which is not in tatters, an old T-shirt that you were planning to donate to charity and a genuine desire to also donate something worthwhile towards your own sense of well-being.

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    2. Subscribing to Running/Fitness Magazines

    For those who truly believe that being a runner requires so much more than just going out and putting one foot in front of the other, feel free to seek advice from appropriate sources. However, I urge you to think twice about paying good money subscribing to any of the running or fitness magazines out in the market. While most, if not all, of them do indeed provide sound tips, these are readily available on the Internet without costing you a cent.

    Furthermore, refraining from these publications allows you to distance yourself from the temptations of frivolous spending mentioned above—after all, who could resist those glossy advertisements featuring the latest Garmin GPS watch which can not only measure your pace in 16 different ways, but has enough computing firepower to launch you into space!

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    Most importantly, avoiding these well-intentioned magazines minimizes contact with influences which distract you from what running is at its core—a simple and natural act performed by man (and woman) since the dawn of time.

    3. Committing to Long Term Gym Membership Contracts

    Being a gym member is great for both general fitness and even social reasons. However, committing to an expensive long term membership contract so that you can begin running is akin to uprooting to Brazil so that you can begin learning Portuguese—admirable but not even close to being necessary.

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    There may be countless reasons to commence your journey as a runner in the gym e.g. treadmills are better for the knees, safer than being on the road, opportunity to cross-train, a motivating surrounding, etc. In reality, though, they are mere snippets of canned wisdom from those glossy magazines that I have already advised against subscribing to above. If you want to start running, just start running. Don’t complicate what is essentially a very primitive form of exercise by throwing your hard-earned dollars at it.

    Final Thoughts

    I’m not advocating a monk-like abstinence to the above-mentioned temptations when starting your runner’s journey. By all means, leaf through an occasional running magazine, browse the odd Nike catalogue and entertain some casual visits to the gym.

    However, keep this mind: running for joy usually begins with an innocent single step, motivated by an emotional yearning (health, solitude, mental clarity), and quietly builds from there. It rarely starts with a materialistic splurge, driven by superficial desires because, rather than building from there, it invariably descends into an “all form, no substance” chore. And as every passionate advocate knows, when it comes to running, substance trumps over form any day of the week, and twice on Sunday.

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    Last Updated on December 2, 2018

    How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

    How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

    Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.

    The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.

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    The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.

    Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:

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    Review Your Past Flow

    Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?

    Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week.  That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.

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    Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern

    Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.

    Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.

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    Account for Big Picture Fluctuations

    Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?

    We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.

    Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?

      Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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