The act or action of creating or controlling a situation by causing something to happen rather than responding to it after it has happened
procrastinate |prəˈkrastəˌnāt; prō-|
delay or postpone action; put off doing something
Proactive and Procrastinate….two very similar sounding words yet could not be any more different in meaning.
What causes one person to procrastinate and another person to be proactive? Is it a personality trait we are born with? Does it develop over time? Is it something we learn in our upbringing? Perhaps the same person procrastinates on doing one thing and is proactive in all other aspects of their life.
For example getting in a daily workout ….. if I didn’t need to get up early anyway I would mostly likely be that person who procrastinates exercising. But since I am up at 6 AM and out of the house by 7 AM I typically get my workouts in early in the day. That is not to say that those who prefer to work out late at night are procrastinating- perhaps they are being proactive by getting all other things done during the day and hold the best for last when they have more time. Either way it is all how you identify to it. For instance, if you dread exercising and associate it with the feeling of pain or agony then you will most likely procrastinate and push it off altogether. BUT if you associate exercising with the feeling of pleasure and accomplishment that it provides than it doesn’t matter what time of the day you partake in it- you will certainly be more likely to be proactive about it.
One of my favorite throw pillows on my friends grandma’s couch growing up read:
“Nothing tastes as good as being thin feels”
….such an old hackneyed phrase and yet oh so true.
The FEELING of being fit and healthy far outweighs the pain in being heavy with no energy
What makes us associate pleasure to anything?
Most often it is the feeling we get subsequent to completing it. I am one who enjoys exercising. I love to lift weights. I love to spin. I love to run. I love to swim. I love it all. BUT i only love it AFTER I have done it! That feeling I get when concluded far beats the dreaded anticipation of it as I’m warming up.
Aspiring Olympic athletes spend an average of eight hours a day, seven days a week training their bodies. I doubt any Olympian is excited to wake up at 4:00am to begin the 5 hour morning workout only to return to train again later in the day for another 5 hours. But the response a well trained athlete’s body has AFTER a grueling workout is what they associate working out to….that feeling of PLEASURE derives from the change they see in their progress.
When we associate PAIN to exercise we are only attaching an element of what we associate BEFORE the workout. No matter what your size, weight or shape, AFTER you have completed any form of exercise to the point where you release endorphins in the pituitary gland you will experience a feeling of joy. There is actually a chemical release in the brain. Endorphins are little “electric signals” within the nervous system (known as neurotransmitters) that interact with the opiate receptors in the brain to reduce our perception of pain. In fact they actually relieve stress and act in similar fashion to morphine. (I don’t know about you but as a busy mom I certainly can use a little “natural” high that doesnt make me drowsy during the day ….the “artificial” highs can wait till after bed time!)
When you exercise, the secretion of endorphins leads to feelings of euphoria…hence why you can associate PLEASURE to exercise AFTER you have completed it!
Have you ever felt tired and lethargic and to wake yourself up you did 50 jumping jacks? The act of jumping wakes up your brain by sending out little signals. There is much debate about the actual effects of endorphins that cause the so called “Runners high” but it’s the same concept…..associate pleasure to the feeling you get after a workout and it will become painless.
Bottom line : regardless of how much you DREAD putting on your LULU Lemons and recoil from the thought of yet another Rihanna song in spin class……allow yourself to just go with it because no matter how you associate the BEFORE period of exercise to PAIN you will guarantee to associate EUPHORIC PLEASURE to the AFTER burn.