I have had back and neck trouble ever since my teenage years. Typical for me I stubbornly ignored getting it treated until about a year ago. For the last year I have been seeing a chiropractor and have had seen very positive results. I recently had my one year check up and my doctor asked me how my exercises at home had been going. You see, part of the treatment plan is performing some stabilizing exercises at home each day to lock in the improvements from the adjustments.
I paused a moment but answered him truthfully that I had not been doing them regularly as I had been told to. My doctor appreciated the honesty but wanted to come up with a plan for these exercises to become a habit of mine just like brushing my teeth or taking a shower each day. What we came up with was for one month I would text my doctor each day letting him know I had completed the exercises. If he did not receive a text he agreed to question me and hold me accountable. Since my meeting with him I have not missed a day of exercising. What I discovered about myself was the fear of letting him down was greater than my dislike of doing these exercises.
As I thought about this more I began to think what other things in my life should I be doing but I am making excuses for because I am not being accountable to complete them? From this situation I can tell that if I really want to do these things I need to put some kind of accountability in place. That could be having my wife or a friend keeping tabs on me to make sure I do what I have committed to doing.
My larger point is this. We all have things we know we need to do but can’t seem to find the motivation to do them. Maybe having an accountability partner would not be motivating to you, but there is something that will make you respond positively. Don’t be afraid to perform “experiments” on yourself to see what you respond to. Maybe it is some kind of reward or punishment system, whatever it is remain curious and figure it out until it becomes an ingrained habit so you can move on to the next improvement you need to make.
J. Matthew King, Co-founder