by Suzanne L. Beenackers
This week I watched a video from Marie Forleo where she explained why the things I find important in theory are so dull and unappealing in practice.
It’s not like these important things are appalling, or in any other way justify my resistance.
The two things I find important:
1. doing yoga
2. finishing my books
But every time I have a daily yoga practice, or get caught up in passionately editing my manuscripts, I drop out just as quickly. I am never consistent, and I was wondering why.
Because important stuff is not urgent.
Urgent and important may sound similar, but they’re not.
Characteristics of urgent things:
– it will get you into trouble (other people get mad at you) if you don’t do them or
– it will give your a reward usually by making you feel accepted, loved, part of a group. This includes answering emails, watching television and all hanging out at social media.
Now let’s get back to important things. Important things are things you do for yourself (like yoga or refurbishing your house) or it’s something that will interact with the world but not for some time. Think of a school project or an upcoming exam which doesn’t get your full attention (if any) until the deadline draws near…. Suddenly it shifts from being important (something you know you should care about, but don’t) to urgent. Think of taking care of your health by watching your diet- you fail every time, until the doctor diagnoses you ill and suddenly you have no trouble leaving out the fries with mayonnaise. Sickness is when your health shifts from being important to being urgent.
Once something is urgent you jump on it, it is often easier than you expected and you wonder why you didn’t start sooner.
Because it wasn’t urgent yet.
Now Marie Forleo has easy to follow advice on how to get the important stuff done.
Do the I (important) before the U (urgent).
Do important stuff first, and the urgent stuff later. Because the urgent stuff will get done anyway.
Now this is great advice! If you’re superwoman, won the self-control tournament, or champion at concepts like mindfulness. But if you’re more like me (and less like Marie Forleo) the tip to do the boring, not exciting stuff before you check your Twitter, read your emails, or write that juicy weekly blogpost – that advice is useless.
So what can we do?
We, the unenlightened, struggling people, whose attention span is somewhere between that of a two year old and a monkey: Transform the important into the urgent.
Create some kind of social reward around your important non-urgent tasks. Let’s take the example of doing yoga. These are ways to make that social:
– commit to yoga classes instead of a home practice
– take your classes with a friend or do the online videos together
– blog about your yoga
– post your practice to Instagram or Facebook
I once read a funny card about people using a Nike app on Facebook:
“Unless you found a dead body I don’t want to hear about your morning run.”
And I understand the opposition against something as nonspiritual as posting your forearm balance to Facebook. But in my opinion? It’s for the greater good!
If you can do without: hail to you.
But if you rebel against sensible, quiet planning and working, you may consider including your inner thrill seeker into your plans.
I’m teaching from Yoga with Adriene for 21 weeks & provide her videos here for home practice. This is week 2. Our week starts on Monday. You ll receive new blogposts every Sunday night.
video 33 minutes with Adriene : Day 2 Stretch & Soothe
Highly recommended if you re new to (vinyasa power) yoga. Introduces how to move through plank pose, low plank (or chaturanga) and cobra/ upward facing dog.
& Utkatasana or chair pose
click here for the pdf with a short comparable routine