Make That Regret Work For You

I missed going to the gym last week due to a busy schedule. By Friday, I felt guilty and signed up for a Tabata Class for Saturday morning.

I typically set a goal to work out 3-4 times a week, alternating between cardio, strength, and some endurance, while stretching and relaxing every day. I call this resilient workout combo my “Fitness Five.”

Unfortunately, I don’t always make this target.

I recently found a research article that suggested a different approach to help me get my workouts done. It was all about thinking of how often I skip the gym instead of how often I go. Studies show that when we miss an objective that we aspire to achieve, we create a self-critical feeling such as guilt, regret, or disappointment which then motivates us to get our butt in gear.

It’s as if there is not enough satisfaction from achieving a goal, so we must set ourselves up to realize our plans by creating adversity. 

Another way of using our resilience.

This is an new way of thinking of how the negativity bias works in our favor. The negativity bias is our tendency to look at different situations from the proverbial glass half empty perspective. This bias typically derails our best efforts, but in this instance, we can use it to help get us back on track. Dan Pink’s current book, The Power of Regret, discusses the importance of using regrets to recognize what we may have lost in our lives and how we can reclaim those lost opportunities.

Having a positive attitude about achieving is certainly important and it also seems that bemoaning our lost chance may help, even more.

So, go ahead and skip the gym today. You’ll regret it, and that will be good for you.

Have a great rest of your week.

© Richard Citrin 2022

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