How does one break their afternoon coffee break? That’s what I had been wondering a few months ago when I was doing some serious brainy work in a little office. Well – here’s my personal story on how I did it…
On average I used to drink one to two cups of coffee per day. I’d usually buy a coffee first thing in the morning, and then often times, depending on how I felt, I’d grab another in the afternoon. I was noticing however, that when I drank coffee again in the afternoon I was becoming very dehydrated. Coffee is dehydrating on its own, and, the double whammy is that if you’re drinking coffee, you’re probably not drinking much water during that time.
I began to ask myself, “what’s motivating me to grab a second coffee in the afternoon?” Aside from thinking that I needed that second coffee to give me energy, I realized it was simply a habit. What was truly motivating for me was the physical act of getting up and going to purchase the coffee. This often involved a nice walk outside, and stimulating energy from the outside world. What I was really craving was a way of leaving my work and desk behind. However, because a lot of us associate taking a break with coffee, we have the status quo coffee break!
And so, I decided to experiment with new ways of taking breaks – the first being the walk break. Instead of walking to go purchase a coffee, I began walking for 10 or 15 minutes outside around the university grounds. It gave me just what I really craved – a chance to leave my desk, to move my body and to have some new and positive stimulation such as fresh air, watching people and taking in the beautiful scenery around me.
When I returned to my desk I simply resumed drinking my water and never noticed that I didn’t have my second coffee. In fact, walking was much more energizing and refreshing than drinking a second coffee in the afternoon.
The key to taking a satisfying break for me, was to be able to move my body and engage in something stimulating that wasn’t mental. In the end, I avoid my coffee, drink water instead, save a few bucks, get some exercise and feel more mental clarity than if I had carried on with my status-quo coffee break!
That’s my story on how I was able to break my afternoon coffee break. What about you? How might you experiment with a walk break to break your afternoon coffee break? Where will you walk? What time will you go? What will you need in place to make sure you try this?
Just remember – try it once or twice and if you don’t like it, you can always go back to drinking your second cup of coffee in the afternoon. I’d love to hear what works for you!
Author: Noah Lam
4 years later, I find myself excited to find out who will make it on the United States Olympic Marathon Team for the 2012 Olympics in London. I was on Google and searching the internet for live coverage only to find that they will be airing a recorded version at 3pm EST. 4 years ago and a few days, I would never have known how far a marathon was. I definitely did not know anything about walking or running. If you saw me running, it was to catch the ice cream truck that just drove by. The furthest that I have ever run voluntarily was in high school, and that dismal display of flailing legs and arms ended my career of running.
Speed up closer to present time, for over a decade, my runner neighbor, would run by the kids bus stop, house and around the neighborhood almost every day. I thought to myself, I think I should do that. As usual, I would put it on the backburner like the rest of my good intentions. They usually end up gathering dust on the “Could of” shelf of.
As I get older and watched the kids get a little bigger, every day. The thoughts of my own mortality started to creep into my consciousness. The thought of not being around for my kids for frightened me. It’s not fair to them if I had the ability to shrink my belly, and be more active with them. Heck for a midlife crisis, I could have bought a convertible! Thank goodness running is a little more in my budget range.
Pumped up on motivational and inspirational courses and book, I stopped to watch Forrest Gump run across America, again. With Jackson Browne’s “Running on Empty” sound track playing in the back of my head, I did not hesitate to signed up for the New York City Marathon. Starting from zero running and zero physical fitness, I completed the 2008 New York City Marathon a year later. The motivation to do a marathon was a gradual process for me. However, once the trigger was pulled there was no stopping it.
While I did it for myself, it never occurred to me that I would motivate or inspire others to run. After the race, my wife says to me, “I want to do it.” Since then we have done 2 marathons together, my kids are now doing races. And more and more of my friends are starting to run. While the motivation to run was for personal reasons at first, it has grown to include everyone I know so that we can create a healthier world.
Whatever your goals maybe, find your motivation, find your why and you will figure out how to reach your goals. Nothing will get in your way, because everything that you do will be for the goal or you will move obstacles out of the way to navigate to your goal.
Don’t be afraid to weigh yourself even if you know you’ve gained or lost too much weight. People who have lost weight, and kept it off admit to weighing in either daily, several times per week, or on a weekly basis, and recording this information in their workout journal.
What you write down becomes more real, and increases your awareness of your current state or conditioning. The act of writing information down forces you to pay attention to those details. Keeping an exercise notebook demands that you become accountable, and act on the information you record.
Use your notebook to track any of your fitness and dieting goals! It’s a great place to brainstorm any of your ideas. Whether you need motivation for working out every day! or even if you are in need of early morning exercise motivation, your workout journal can help you!
The Workout Journal Demands Your Accountability!
Writing things down in your notebook prevents you from becoming ignorant. Ignorance is of no use. Imagine if you did this with your bank accounts? Ok, ok, – we’ve all done this with our bank accounts too. But what happens if you avoid checking your bank account balance for too long? You lose control of how you are spending your money, and before you know it, it’s gone!
When you live in ignorance, you lack control of that which you are ignorant of!
The same thing applies to knowing our weight, or tracking our progress with our workout routines.
If you are not tracking, you are probably slacking!
Use your notebook to pay attention to those variables (e.g., weight, body fat, muscle, food eaten, amount of water drank, etc) that are important to you. People who achieve their muscle gain or fat loss goals, track the frequency of their workouts, weight lifting repetitions, sets and weight lifted. Remember, those goals which you focus on, and track your progress with, will manifest themselves much easier.
Use A Fitness Template to Keep Track of Your Exercises
Your workout journal can take many different forms. You might create a 3 ring binder, and create your own sheets, or download a fitness tracking template, – many of which can easily be found by doing a search on Google.
You could also use a pocket-size notebook that you can easily bring with you to the gym when you go to workout. Or, you might even want to record information on a large calendar. Whatever works for you. The key is to find some system that you can put in place and rely on.
A Workout Journal as Your Fitness Coach / Mentor
When you ‘fall off the boat’, your notebook is something that you can go back to, to remind yourself of what worked in the past. Having said this, use your notebook as a place to jot down what you prefer, what is working versus not working, and so on.
The more you capture about your evolving fitness journey, the more you can learn from your workout experiences. Use your notebook to work through your fitness goals, which will help you with all the barriers you encounter as you achieveg and maintain your fitness and dieting goals.
Recording your progress and experiences in your notebook is very motivating, as you can return to it, over and over again, and rely on your own personal, insights that have worked for you.
By having a workout journal, you will have a concrete record with detailed documents of your workout history. When you return to this workout journal, it can be quite comforting having a tangible piece of your previous experiences with you.
This is especially reassuring when you have dropped the ball on your workouts, or if it’s been a long time since you worked out. Having a notebook to remind yourself of what worked, is motivation, BIG TIME!
It’s a great place to keep track of powerful perspectives on fitness motivation, and a great place to create your own perspectives that develop over time.
Think of your workout journal as a personal map. It is a map that you can return to, time after time again, that will show you the way toward your fitness goals.
You’ve ‘been there’ in the past perhaps, or close, and you darn well better keep a record of how you got there, in the event that you need to get there again, or should you want to improve your methods or routines.
Your workout journal is similar to a repeatable system of instructions for how to achieve your fitness goals. It is a journal that offers hope, workout inspiration, and comfort. Our workout journal instills in us the confidence and courage to continue on with our goals.
Keeping a notebook with our ideas is like having a mentor or coach who knows us well, and can provide us with a nudge as we need it. I used my journal to create several different motivational perspectives that have enhanced my weekend workout inspiration! And now, I can return to this part of my journal over and over again to stay motivated with my weekend workouts!
A Workout Journal Captures Your Ideas
Your workout journal is a great place to capture your ideas for how you want to improve your workouts or exercise routines. By writing down your ideas, you are telling your subconscious mind that those ideas are important, and you are more likely to act on those ideas / plans.
Capturing your ideas will only give you even more workout inspiration, as you begin to solidify a program or routines that work for you.
Are you tempted to end your work week along with your workouts when the weekend comes? Don’t confuse the week-end with the end of your workout efforts! You can raise your standards, and create new choices today, to keep your weekend workout motivation in full gear!
My Personal Weekend Workout Inspiration
I work full-time like most people. I regularly work out during the week, but there are often times when my weekend arrives, and I find myself feeling resentful to that part of me that is berating myself to get to the gym. Given that I only have two day weekend like most people, the spontaneous side of me wants to just do as it pleases, in a spontaneous manner.
A workout can be seen as an interruption, an annoyance, a chore, a dull routine, or even worse – a punishment for not looking the way one wants to look. A weekend workout can feel as though it stalls your day from getting started. It can even feel as though it steals the better part of your day, especially if you have slept in.
I would often mentally plan the evening before to workout first thing in the morning, but when that morning came, the part of me that was being called on to ‘step up to the plate’, felt uninterested in the workout. Have you ever experienced this cognitive dissonance before? “Argh”, is how it feels!
You feel torn between two values – the desire to be free – to roam about your day as you spontaneously feel, and the desire to stay disciplined, and engaged in a routine that you know will give you a great return on the investment of your time! In fact, this latter point is key to your workout inspiration whether it be for the weekend or week!
The Return on Your Weekend Investment will Increase your Workout Inspiration
Just think of how much vitality and goodness your weekend workout gives you. Don’t think of it as a hassle that eats up the prescious time of your weekend. Once you get in the routine of working out on the weekends, this will act as positive reinforcement and increase your workout inspiration, simply because you will love how great you continue to feel on the weekends.
Just after your workout on the weekend, take note of how great you feel. Ask yourself if you wish you’d rather not have worked out. I guarantee that you will never regret the choice that you worked out on your weekend.
As The Traditional Advice Goes…
To increase your workout inspiration write a list of all the unique benefits you’ll enjoy as a result of continuing your workouts on the weekend. Remember that everyone wants to move toward pleasure, and move away from pain! So, the second list you can write is a list of all the discomfort you will experience if you don’t exercise on the weekends.
Let Gluttony Drive your Weekend Exercise Motivation Inspiration
Most people end up living a little on the gluttonous side when the weekend comes. If you are going to be indulging in fancy dinners, and sipping a little extra wine or booze, then use this as workout inspiration, to keep you in action with your workouts! You can’t afford to not keep your metabolism in high gear, so you’d better make sure you continue to burn those calories!
Weekend Workouts Make You Eat Healthier!
If you do workout regularly on the weekend, you are more likely to make healthier eating choices on the weekend. When you feel confident, fit, healthy, strong, and when overall you feel good about your body, you are more conscious about what you eat. Nobody wants to dump garbage in their body around the time that they’ve finished a workout!
So, let this knowledge be your weekend workout inspiration! Working out on the weekend will most likely reduce the amount of unhealthy foods you eat. You’ll come out on top by having worked out, and eaten healthy.
Don’t Let the Weekend Steal Your Workout Inspiration and Momentum!
If you don’t workout on the weekends, and if you do indulge in unhealthy foods on the weekends, then overtime, you will slowly but surely begin to counter all your workout efforts from the entire week!
If you don’t consistently bring your workout routine into your weekends, then when Monday comes, psychologically, you might be at greater risk for not heading back to the gym, or back to your regular routine. Here’s how this goes based on my personal observations…
If you haven’t worked out on the weekend, and if you overeat, then you’re probably not going to feel as good about yourself. As a result, as you forecast your week ahead, your dismal attitude may cause your workout inspiration to ween.
I know for myself, if I let too many weekends go without exercising, I begin to feel sluggish, and this sluggish feeling begins to affect my self-discipline when Monday morning arrives. I have often thought, “Oh, I haven’t worked out all weekend, – what’s one more day?”
Or, if I haven’t exercised on the weekend, and if I haven’t eaten healthy, (and therefore I’m operating out of a “unhealthy mode”) then I am also less likely to plan on getting things ready for my early morning workout. This usually presents itself in the form of not getting to bed early, and therefore not making it to my early morning workout.
Weekend Workout Structure Increases Productivity
Having some sort of structure in your weekend, i.e., working out, will actually make you a lot more productive. The items on your ‘to-do list’ that once seemed like hassles, will now be a lot easier and more enjoyable to tackle. You’ve begun your day or weekend with a great investment in YOU, and now you are ready to give energy to the world, to your relationships and any necessary tasks that present themselves.
Good Technology Will Increase Your Weekend Workout Inspiration
Invest in a good iPod or MP3 player, and be sure to have some great, upbeat music handy. Just knowing that I have good music to look forward to listening to, really increases my workout inspiration. If you need to spend 200 dollars to buy this equipment, then so be it. Can you really put a price on your fitness and health?
Learn from Role Models to Increase Your Weekend Workout Inspiration!
Think of the thin, fit, and healthy people that you know of. What mindsets do they hold to increase their weekend workout inspiration? Would they allow their workout inspiration to ween on the weekends? We both know the answer is no!
Fit people workout weekends or week-middle. Rain or sunshine. Hot or cold. Feeling lethargic or not – they are willing to do whatever it takes, and you need to be the same!
So, will you still confuse the week-end with the end of your workout efforts! No! Keep it going! You can do it!
Here is just a small collection of my favourite affirmations for healthy eating and exercising. These are some good examples of healthy affirmations, however the goal is to create your own. State your affirmations in the positive tense, i.e., of what you want to happen. Once you have a list of affirmations, you should read them every single day, either early in the morning or right before bed. Ideally, you should try recording them so that you can listen to them as an audio recording.
This might sound a little crazy to some people, however, if you haven’t tried it, you’ll be surprised at how it can make a difference. Think about advertisers and how cannily and repeatedly they present their messages to us. And, over time, we start to believe that we need their product. So, why not advertise your own beliefs to yourself? Create your own personal advertisements for how you want to live your own life!
Here is a list of 20 affirmations. Adopt, adapt or create your own affirmations!
20 Affirmations for Healthy Eating and Exercising
- I always eat small portions when I am dining out.
- I always take the time to prepare healthy dinners because it makes me feel full of vitality.
- I always take the time to prepare healthy dinners when I arrive home from work because it makes me feel on top of my world.
- Even on weekends, I love sticking to structured meals and snack times, always choosing healthy foods because it makes me feel good about myself.
- I limit my indulgences to special occasions.
- If and when I am tempted to snack after dinner I always choose fruits or vegetables.
- I am always in bed by 10:00pm so that I can wake up for an early morning workout.
- I always exercise five times per week for at least 30 minutes for each session.
- Exercising always makes me feel happy, healthy and alive.
- Exercising keeps my energy, confidence and positive attitude strong.
- I am addicted to exercising, and I always find time to exercise.
- Exercise keeps me lean and trim and allows me to wear fitted clothes that make me look and feel like a million bucks!
- My muscles are strong, lean, defined and sexy.
- I work all of my muscle groups at least once per week and this keeps my figure tight and defined.
- I change my workouts every month to ensure that I’m having the most fun and that my muscles are being challenged to the max.
- I never give up on my health goals. There is no such thing as failure for me.
- Every day I am moving closer and closer to my goal.
- Every day and every week I am constantly learning new tips and tricks to enhance and protect my lean figure.
- Eating healthy and exercising nurtures my heart and soul.
- Being health conscientious gives me a competitive advantage in my career and life pursuits.