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Leaving Something to Be Desired

Leaving Something to Be Desired

I have to admit that I haven’t done a great job at staying in shape while writing the book. Spending so many hours sitting still made my body feel lazy, which only accelerated my mental fatigue. Against my better judgment, I often convinced myself that today wasn’t a great day to exercise, reducing my workout time by about half over the last 9 months.

If you’ve ever slipped away from your health standards like that, you probably also understand what it’s like to get back on track: it’s exciting, because we rediscover a more alert and alive version of ourselves, but boy are we stiff everywhere for a while! Whew!

Many of us tend to choose a very aggressive approach when we want to get in shape. We have the impression that if we go-go-go for as long as we can as often as possible, we’ll get the desired results faster. But usually, because it really doesn’t make for the most pleasant journey, this approach called the “big gain syndrome” leaves us depleted before we hit our goals.

So this time, I decided to leave something to be desired at the end of each workout. That’s right – I purposefully finish my exercise a little prematurely. It enables me to end on a high note while I still feel very energetic, it enhances my post-workout glow and it truly makes me look forward to my next session.

If you’ve been dreading getting in shape, or if you feel slightly anxious about your next workout, you may want to try that too. Or check out The Sweet Spot: Flow on p.210 of our book for complementary suggestions.

MJ Shaar – in 20 seconds


MJ is one of the most sought-after experts blending positive psychology and health promotion. She spent over 15 years coaching, teaching, speaking, researching and testing smart health habits. Marie-Josée Shaar received her undergrad at McGill University in Organizational Behavior, followed by a Master of Applied Positive Psychology at University of Pennsylvania. She's certified as a Wellness Culture Coach, a Personal Trainer, and a Nutrition and Wellness Consultant.

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