Our focus here at Puttylike is on how multipotentiality affects our interests, careers, and confidence. But being this way can affect every area of our lives.
In the Puttytribe we’ve had discussions about everything from multipotentiality and food to multipotentiality and relationships. If you struggle to stick to one way of doing things, how do you maintain a healthy diet? How do you have a successful long-term, relationship?
Recently, puttypeep Heather asked the Tribe how other multipotentialites stay in shape. At first thought, fitness doesn’t seem to have anything to do with multipotentiality (unless fitness is one of your many passions, of course). But multipotentialites face a particular set of challenges when it comes to keeping fit and healthy.
When you’re working a full-time job, writing a novel, learning Japanese, starting a business on the side, and playing in a band, how do you find the time to work out as well?
When you’re someone who eventually gets bored of every activity she tries, how do you maintain healthy habits in the long run? Exercise isn’t something you can just do once and forget about; for it to be effective, you have to do it regularly and forever.
Today I’d like to share some of the pieces of crowdsourced advice the puttypeep in our community offered in response to this question. There’s plenty of advice out there on exercising when you’re short on time though, so we’ll focus on how to exercise when you get bored easily.
Although this advice is about exercise, a lot of these points can apply to other healthy habits you’re trying to adopt.
1) Accept that you’ll eventually get bored of every activity you try
Don’t start new activities with the hope that this one will be your “thing.” As much as your overexcited brain might believe it, you’re probably not going to go for a run every day for the rest of your life and you’re probably not going to have a career as a professional golfer. It’s possible, but unlikely.
Accept that each form of exercise will only be a part of your life for a while, and look out for patterns. Do you find yourself resenting your workout routine when you’ve mastered the basics or is it when you’ve been at it for a few months?
If you can spot the patterns, you can anticipate and prepare for dips in your interest levels. You can then sign up for a pay-as-you-go gym membership rather than a year-long contract, for example.
2) Switch things up regularly
When you feel yourself start to dread your morning swim or skip your weekly Zumba class, stop what you’re doing and do something else instead. There are three main ways to change what you’re doing:
- Do something similar or that has a similar benefit (e.g. stick with cardio by switching from swimming to running)
- Do the same activity in a different way or to get a different benefit (e.g. instead of lifting heavy weights for strength, do more reps with lower weights for size)
- Do a completely different activity (e.g. play a team sport like hockey and then train for a solo endurance event like a half-marathon)
3) Give yourself an out
The quickest way to put a multipotentialite off an activity is by telling them they’ll have to do it for the rest of their life. We’re usually much more likely to succeed if we can see an end point, so it makes sense to build those in ahead of time.
Instead of hoping you’ll keep up your new running habit indefinitely, book yourself onto a 5k or a half-marathon that you can train for. Rather than lifting forever, decide on the squat PR you want to hit, and work towards that.
If you’re still interested in whatever you’re doing by the time you achieve your goal, you can always set another one. But if you’re sick of that activity, you won’t feel as guilty about quitting, because you’ll have achieved what you set out to do.
4) Do something different every day
We’re often told that the easiest way to build up healthy habits is by doing the same activities every day. But for most multipotentialites, that approach will be disastrous!
Instead, we need variety. So why not come up with a different activity to do each day or week? How much more fun would this kind of routine be?
- Mondays: Dance class
- Tuesdays: Bodyweight exercises
- Wednesdays: Swimming
- Thursdays: Exercise DVD
- Fridays: Bike ride
- Saturdays: Spin class
- Sundays: Long walk
5) Learn while you work out
If you can, incorporate your other interests into your exercise regime by learning as you work out.
Puttypeep Doug recommends listening to podcasts and audio books while you’re walking or running, and reading blogs and books in between sets at the gym. I’ve even been known to do a little Codeacademy practice on my phone at the gym!
6) Get an accountability partner
Everyone knows it’s easier to do what you’ve said you’re going to do when someone else is holding you accountable. So find a workout buddy, hire a personal trainer, or bet your friend that you’ll stick to your plan.
Doug pointed out that you might be able to barter with someone in the Puttytribe to get personal trainer tips. Or you could sign up to be matched up with a Puttytribe accountability partner with similar goals.
7) Gamify your goals
Another way to make working out more enjoyable is by gamifying your routine. There are lots of pieces of technology you can use to track your movements, and once you’ve collected that data, you can focus on improving your stats.
I use a Fitbit to make sure I do 10,000 steps a day, and occasionally to compete with my friends who also have Fitbits to see who can do the most steps in a week. I can also see how many hours or minutes a day I’m active, and work to improve that number.
8) Pick a form of exercise that incorporates another interest of yours
If simpler forms of exercise like walking, running, and going to the gym sound boring to you, try to think of a way to combine your interests with movement. Denesa finds that dancing holds her interest because it’s a form of art as well as a form of exercise.
If you’re interested in geology, look into rock climbing. If you enjoy meditation, try yoga. If you’re an animal lover, sign up for horse riding lessons or start offering a dog-walking service. Get creative!
Find what works for you
If you know you have a tendency to lose interest in working out after a while, stop fighting your multipotentiality and forcing yourself to stick to something you no longer enjoy. That approach will only leave you feeling guilty.
You’ll have to accept that this will probably mean you’ll make less progress in any one area, because of the constant stopping and starting. But if it means you keep exercising regularly, that’s a small price to pay.
Accept that if you want to maintain an exercise regimen, you’re going to need to incorporate your other interests into your fitness routine, shake things up every now and then, and get some support from other people – perhaps even other multipotentialites!
I hope this advice helps you to stay in shape and enjoy doing so! Thank you to Heather for bringing up this topic in the Puttytribe, and thanks as well to the puttypeep who contributed their advice.
How do you keep fit? Do you have any advice for other multipotentialites who struggle to keep up healthy habits? Share them in the comments below.
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