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Why You Should Sign Up for Your First 5K Race

Why You Should Sign Up for Your First 5K Race

If you are someone who is interested in finding more motivation to do your workout sessions and also wants to boost your cardiovascular conditioning level at the same time, one of the top things that you should be focusing on is finding a reason to get the sessions done. Many people enter their workout program without much more than a body weight goal in mind, and while this will help motivate you to an extent, it’s often not enough to keep you pushing along when times get hard. That is why signing up to participate in your first 5K event – or longer, depending on your physical condition and what you think you can handle – is such a wise move. When you sign up to one of these events, you’ll instantly see a soar in motivation as you now have a clear reason to keep working hard towards each workout you do. Let’s go over some additional reasons why signing up for a 5k race can help you see greater workout success.

You’ll Meet Like-Minded People

The very first reason you should consider signing up for a 5k race is because it will give you the opportunity to meet a number of like-minded people. Having people around you who are active and support your goals is one of the number one ways to stay committed to the fitness lifestyle. If you don’t have many friends at the moment who are into working out and eating right, this could prove to be rather disastrous on your own program plan. Therefore, it’s time to meet others who share your interest and will help to keep you motivated and inspired. Your 5k race is a perfect way to do this.

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You’ll Push Yourself Harder Every Step of the Way

The next reason why it’s a smart move to sign up for a 5k race is because it’s going to help you push yourself harder every step of the way. If you’re just exercising to lose weight, your primary purpose for a session will be to burn calories. However, you can accomplish a calorie burn working at 80% effort or 60% effort – it doesn’t really make a difference as long as you exercise long enough. When performance is the primary goal because you need to run for time now, you will be giving a higher level of effort because it now becomes that much more critical to your success. If you are someone who often finds yourself giving half effort in the workout sessions you do, this is a very smart way to trick your mind into working harder – without you really even realizing you are. Whenever you give someone a performance oriented goal, their effort will typically go up.

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You’ll Bring Out Your Competitive Spirit

For many people, this spirit hasn’t been worked since grade school when they may have participated in a team sport of choice or some other competitive event or race, yet it’s still an important part of you that adds excitement to your fitness regime and can help increase your performance as well. In fact, some may find that this competitive spirit is one of the most enjoyable elements of being physically active and after you complete that first 5k race, you are hooked and hungry for more. For certain individuals, it’s one of the top ways to help them stay committed to fitness for life as they now feel like they have a superior reason for training rather than just being healthy and maintaining a goal weight.

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You’ll Gain a Sense of Accomplishment

Finally, the last reason to consider signing up for your first 5k race is because it will help you gain a sense of accomplishment. As far as keeping your motivation levels higher go, this simply can’t be beat. The more accomplished you are as you reach goals you’ve set, the more you will believe in yourself that you can go on to reach any other goal that you set into the future. This is referred to as self-efficacy and can make a big difference on your ability to succeed long term. If you’ve set goals in the past that you’ve failed at for instance, you know very well that this may cause your motivation to take a turn for the worse. But, if you set goals and reach them, you now feel like you can achieve anything you set your mind to, so you’re far more likely to keep setting goals and pushing on towards them. This translates to far greater results over the long haul. There you have some of the top reasons why you should consider joining, training for and participating in your first 5k race. Even if you aren’t a runner, there are plenty of other similar races out there that you can do that will spark your interest and get your fitness level up. Check out what’s available in your area or if you really want to make an event of it, look into travel options so that you can take a mini-holiday as you participate in the race as well.

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Last Updated on September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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