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In Mary Poppins, the lead character gives some sage advice to the kids she is in charge with who have a great disdain for doing household chores:
The message from Mary Poppins must have left an indelible mark on my psyche as I often find myself using its mystical powers to help me power through any tasks I feel unappealing.
I will be the first to admit it but I really do not enjoy working out.
I mean I REALLY do not enjoy it at all.
For me working out is a necessary evil because I know if I do not workout I will quickly balloon up in weight (as I am a huge fan of the gastronomical wonders that abound and me and gluttony are often partners in crime).
I typically try to do an hour’s worth of elliptical 3 to 4 times a week (each session burns around 620-650 calories).
What makes this hour pass much more quickly and makes the workout that much more tolerable is I always pair it with a guilty pleasure of mine.
In this case the guilty pleasure of choice is typically reality TV shows.
I am almost hesitant to admit this but I am a bit of a reality TV show junkie.
My favorite shows are Amazing Race and Survivor.
I also get hooked on other “lower brow” shows like Big Brother and The Bachelor/Bachelorette.
I usually record the full season of a show in its entirety before I start incorporating it into my workout program.
That way I can condense months of material into a few weeks straight while getting healthier at the same time.
The workout itself seems to go by much quicker as I get distracted by what is going on on the screen.
Sometimes it is hard to avoid spoilers to a particular show but so far, knock on wood, I have been pretty fortunate in this regard.
The desire to watch the next episode in the series serves as motivation to get on the elliptical and complete a workout.
Getting a concurrent workout in also lessens the guilt of watching these types of shows that typically do not challenge the intellect.
It is definitely a win-win situation in this regard.
I absolutely love how my property looks after it is freshly mowed (it honestly looks like a golf course with the hills and creek/waterfall as a boundary.
However the act of mowing the grass itself sometimes gets pushed back as there are things I sometimes rather be doing.
Although mowing the lawn is a chore, once I am in the act of doing it I feel at peace.
This is typically because I combine this activity with one that I love but often don’t have much time to do so in a normal hectic day, listening to music.
Part of my mowing ritual is hooking an old iPod to a pair of nice noise canceling over the ear headphones.
For the next 90 minutes or so I have uninterrupted listening access to whatever music I feel like at the time.
Being in this zen-like state while mowing and lost in music has also led to financial epiphanies.
It is certainly not at the extreme level of synergy I get from combining reality shows with working out, but it certainly makes the chore go by more quickly while adding enjoyment throughout the whole process.
There are certain activities that we do not enjoy doing.
Maybe its doing a monthly financial checkup for your household.
Maybe you are like me and hate working out and try to avoid it all costs.
The key is to find something that can be done in conjunction with the undesired activity or at the very least something that can be undertaken as a reward at the completion of said activity.
You will be surprised that soon you will develop a sort of Pavlovian type association that can actually have you looking forward to the next time.
After all, Mary Poppins was a pretty smart cookie and really whipped those kids into shape.
If you are in search of financial help, please consider enlisting the service of any of the sponsors of this blog who I feel are part of the “good guys and gals of finance.”
Even a steadfast DIY’er can sometimes gain benefit from the occasional professional input.
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