The law of diminishing intent

The longer you wait to do something you should do now, the greater the odds that you will never actually do it.

There’s a high likelihood that you’ve had that experience in the past 24-48 hours. I’ve had that just this morning.

I’m training with barbells just four days for the next few months as i want to focus on kettlebells and bodyweight training more (I’m trying to lean down to 75 kilos again). So, today was supposed to be kettlebells and bodyweight training. I woke up feeling way foggier than I usually am on Saturday mornings. Made myself a stronger version of the French Press (you let it brew for 6 minutes instead of 4 before pressing the plunger it all the way down), reclined into my chair and started to read my book.

The plan was to finish my coffee, read a chapter and then begin my workout. That last bit never happened. Minutes slipped into hours and before I knew it, the clock struck 2! Time for lunch. I had it, worked for a while, took a nap and woke up at 5:30 pm. Decided to make myself another strong cup of coffee and train at 7 pm sharp. I took my cup, reclined into my chair and started to another book.

By 9 pm, I was through… my day and I still hadn’t freaking trained! Damn! I had the best intentions but then there’s a difference between deciding and doing. I know. It’s my fault. Totally!

But I’ve had a revelation too — I think it’s the best to take action when you’re fresh. If you training in the mornings, it’s probably because your willpower is at it’s peak. You’re habitual of pushing yourself physically at a particular timeframe. And that’s fantastic! Because you know exactly the best time you will have the energy and desire to train. That’s so useful when you’re training at home or a gym just isn’t accessible (particularly when you’re traveling).

Ignoring those signals is a bad idea as your body interprets the exceptions you make in a different way. It’s aware of that window of time when it needs to kick into a peak-performance level. Outside of that it tries its best to operate normally so as to preserve and expend energy efficiently. So, chances are if you’re a morning person like me, by late evening your body is not in a state of peak-performance. And you can’t possibly will it to get into that state.

Nonetheless, the law of diminishing intent is for real and carries over to almost all important aspects of our lives – health, finances, career and/or relationships. We just wait for things to happen or wait because we’re just not ready when the only chance that you have is slipping away. Never to come back. The result — you lose an opportunity.

You don’t have to make a big deal out of it because it’s totally normal to procrastinate or do it ‘later.’ But that doesn’t mean you ignore it, address it head on. Because the sooner you do the better. Else, you’re just keeping falling into the trap again and again until it throws you into a downward spiral. That’ll be painful. Believe me.

By Sunil Nair

Nurturing leaders of tomorrow.

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