“If you’ve got one minute, you’ve got time.” Dr Michelle Segar shares this great idea in a chapter of her book titled, “Count Everything and Choose to Move!”
She goes on to say that too often we think that anything short of a full-on, super sweaty 30-60 minute workout doesn’t count as enough exercise, but the science shows that this is quite simply not true.
When we realise that when it comes to exercise and movement that everything counts, we can begin to look for more little ways to move our body throughout the day.
- Take a “Long Cut” rather than a short cut by deliberately parking further away
- Take a long walk to the grocery store
- Walk around while you’re on the phone
- Get on the floor and do 1 press up or sits up
- Jump on the spot during TV commercials
Remember: Everything counts.
Fun Opportunities to Move are EVERYWHERE.
Let’s find more of them.
To help me, and I’m sure it will help you too, I ask myself an “Active Question” throughout the day, “have I done my best to move my body since I last scored myself?” You can find out more about Active Questions in the Telos Lifestyle Revolution program.
The questions asks me if I have done my optimal best to move my body, even if it is just one pushup since I last scored myself. I usually ask this question two to three times per day.
An active question is solution lead and positions me to be accountable and actively responsible for the results. It affects the Motivation Equation (more below) and triggers me to think about my Microgoal related to fitness, exercise and health as much as possible.
By persistently asking the question I’m stacking the deck in my favour to help me maintain at least my Microgoal, a processes which in turn strengthens my self efficacy and determination to start and continue with other habits.
There are three other active questions listed below that are also specific to taking exercise. Together they take you through the four main stages of change and balance each of the four elements of the Motivation Equation.
When you answer the questions throughout the day they stimulate your mind to not just look for ways to just get some exercise done, but also find ways of-
- making exercise time more effective
- get more out of it in the moment
- enjoy the different rewards it brings
Very quickly the Microgoals grow, and what was to begin with a chore, quickly becomes something that can fire you up and give energy.
You could also use them to help you apply Dr Segar’s recommendation for just a simple 30 seconds of exercise done at random intervals throughout the day.
I have created a training video on how to set up your active questions so they are easy to access and answer via your mobile phone in the form of an icon on one of the screens here.
The Motivation Equation
Expectancy x Value / Impulsiveness x Delay = Motivation
Piers Steel discovered the four elements that together decide if you are going to be sufficiently motivated to maintain a habit or reach a goal.
Expectancy and Value
If there is not enough expectancy that it can and will happen, or you haven’t placed enough value on it being important enough to you, then you aren’t likely to continue doing what you need to do to succeed and achieve it.
Impulsiveness and Delay
Likewise, if you don’t manage the distractions that might appear along the way, or if it just seems like any of the potential benefits and rewards you might receive for achieving goal might take forever to appear in your life, then your chances of giving up on your goal are extremely high.
The ONLY way you are going to continue working to reach your goal and achieve success is to get the balance of the Motivation Equation to swing in your favour so that there is a lot more Expectancy and Value and a lot less Impulsiveness and Delay.
Each of the questions you create (I would do this with you if you were coaching with me) should focus on the correct element of the Motivation Equation as well as the correct Stage of Change that you are stuck in.
Balancing the Motivation Equation
Four questions to build a habit
These questions take you through the stages of change – a principle in psychology related to behaviour change that allows you to assess an individual’s readiness to act on a new healthier behaviour, and provides strategies, or processes of change to guide the individual through the stages of change to Action and Maintenance. It includes the following constructs:
Have I done my best to research all the benefits of taking some exercise?
Have I done my best to plan clear achievable exercise goals since I last scored myself?
Have I done my best to achieve my daily microgoal since I last scored myself?
Have I done my best to plan for any obstacles that may get in the way of exercise since I last scored myself?