I find that when people complain about mundane things like the weather it’s usually to cover up for something else that’s really bothering them. Does the lady in my early morning spin class really need to complain every day that it’s too cold in the room? She can wear another layer like the rest of us but instead she chooses to complain instead. What’s really bothering her? Everything! People like her just like to complain. It’s a distraction from what really bothers her in her life.
In school we referred to the kids who complained as tattletales and in life they are just – well, distracting. These complainers are discontent about some or every aspect of their life that they find it easier to complain aloud about it to anyone who will listen.
Sometimes I am that person. I complain in a way that it’s almost therapeutic to release my discontent. I have learned to control or at least limit my complaining and if I find myself getting annoyed about something I think twice before saying it out loud and decide if it’s worth repeating the obvious. We all have the potential to be winjers (pronounced “win-jer”: a British friends word for whiner that I picked up and just adore how it sounds) mostly because we are so used to having our way or at least having the ability to control what we can that when something goes wrong we immediately demand retribution and make a big stink about it. But what would happen if we all worked on keeping the discontent to ourselves? Maybe by not complaining we will set the tone that it’s ok to accept that which we cannot change and just go about our business anyway. We may even accomplish something great this way.
I’ll take it to the next level….what if instead of complaining that we are too tired to exercise or too busy to (fill in the blank) we just stopped ourselves from saying it aloud and (next level) stopped ourselves from even thinking it? Maybe, just possibly, we would be more productive?
Here’s how I’ve learned to deal with my inner winjer. Without fail, on Monday mornings I wake up tired and groggy and very unmotivated to face the work week (just like the rest of the people on the planet do). Instead of complaining about having to get up because I’m too exhausted to go to the gym, I play a little mind trick on myself. I tell myself that if I get up and go to the gym just for 20 minutes and do a little warm up and a half routine then I will go after work and finish the other half of the routine more effectively. I convince myself to just go and get a half work out in just to feel like I’m doing something and it’s a bonus to my day. I lead myself to believe that I will do my “real” workout later but say to my inner winjer, let me just go get in 20 minutes to break a sweat. Sure enough once I’ve gotten on that bike (or yoga, or weight training – whatever I choose) I push myself to wake up my body enough to just do it a little bit longer – after all I’m there already I may as well listen to one more song on my playlist. Once I’m there I play even more mind tricks and tell myself that if I stayed just 15 more minutes then it’s a complete workout and I can go out with friends after work instead of coming back to the gym. Before I know it I’m done and I got through the hardest day of the week. I praise myself that I did it! (Another important mind game that is essential- praise yourself for small accomplishments! E.g.: You drank 8 glasses of water today- praise!!)
Tomorrow will be a cinch I tell myself as I drift off to bed at night only to start the mind games all over again on Tuesday when I wake up just as crabby. But hey, mind tricks work! Stop complaining and try it.
Bonus tip of the day: If you are really too exhausted to get up in the morning try “30 Day Shred” by Jillian Michaels. She offers a fast paced 20 minute “no joke” workout at 3 ddifferent levels that really gives you a bang for your buck. Pop in the DVD after work or before bed and you will get your moneys worth!
(Jillian if you are reading this: call me!)