A plain fact about myself is that I am better when I exercise. I feel physically healthier; I am more optimistic; I am more proactive in other domains of my life; and I am more productive at work. Why this is so, and how these different positive consequences are related to one another, is not up for contemplation here. Instead, the issue is that despite all these benefits, I continue to be very easily thwartable in terms of establishing good exercise habits.
Well, I am done bothering around.* Exercising regularly is important to my well-being, and important things are worth drastic measures. So: I am not going to start 2008 with a resolution “to exercise more.” I know, some people can make public resolutions of the “be more X” form and carry them out just fine. Bully for them; antibully for me that I don’t trust that I’m one of them. Likewise, I’m not going to start 2008 with a resolution “to exercise four times a week every week.” Some people can make public resolutions of the “do X every day” for and carry them out–again, good for them, but I want more accountability.
This is what I am going to do. 2008 has 366 days. With this blog post, I hereby commit to exercising on 200 of those days. If I do not do this, then: for every day less than 200 that I exercise, I will give $25 to some entity that I prefer not get any of my money. Exactly which entity will be determined later–perhaps by a poll on this blog–but nothing that would provide consolation comfort as a “good cause.” There will be some weasel room on this if I am seriously injured or hospitalized for something, as to be determined by a fair-minded but stern official arbitrator.
The sheet above will be used to keep track of my progress. There are 200 numbered spots, and each day I work out, I will give myself a gold star. (Yes! A gold star! Lucy made some positive changes in 2007 using virtual gold stars, and as it worked for her, I’m willing to try the old-school counterpart using gold star stickers.)
Yes, $5000 is a lot of money. Having to fork over any significant proportion of that would not just sting. It would hurt. That’s the whole bothering point! I will keep you updated on how this goes.
* BTW, I continue to have modest, although by no means complete, success with my resolution to use “bother” instead of certain profanities.