Are You A Rule Follower?

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Have you been working on your multitasking? As in, you are trying to not multitask? I think I’ve gotten a bit better this week. I’ve had to put a conscious effort into it because I still tend to go into auto-pilot and do this and that. There is definite improvement though and I’ve honestly been much more relaxed than usual this week. Power of suggestion? I need to get introduced to someone new to see if I can pay attention and remember their name! 😉

The next part of Paying Attention for October is interesting. The author encourages us to examine true rules instead of making assumptions. Studies show that when faced with a choice between something familiar and something unknown, we assume that the familiar one is better or of higher quality. We assume this even though we don’t necessarily have the facts.

If we have to choose at a new restaurant, we choose the dish we’ve had before because we assume it’s better. Even if we’ve never eaten it at that restaurant. If we have to choose between brands, we choose the one we’ve used before over the new one. We go with what we know. There are other similar rules. My dad always told me never ever buy the first house you look at. When moving to Texas, I fell in love with the very first house but there was that dang rule! I had my agent take me to 27 other houses.

I actually went back to her office to make an offer on one of the last ones I looked at. On the way there, we happened to drive past the first house. (Wonder if she planned it.) I saw it and asked if we could look one more time. Thankfully we did because it’s the house I’m living in now and I still love it as much as that very first look. Down with silly rules! Do you have any that you follow?

1k Record BreakerIf you’ve read about my past, you know that prior to two years ago I never worked out. I didn’t have a clue what I was doing and my health showed this lack of knowledge. When I started working out with Trainer Man, he had me start tracking my food so that I knew exactly what I was eating. He also gave me a daily goal to burn in exercise calories. To track this, I got a heart rate monitor.

For two years, I’ve worked out with it every time. I haven’t missed once. Because I went from not working out to working out with my monitor, I’ve never experienced exercise just for exercise. There’s always been a calorie goal. The heart rate monitor is my rule that I must follow or I’ll turn overnight into the out of shape person I was before. Hmmm, probably not.

I do my workouts and almost every time I burn about the same number of calories in my hour at the gym. There’s a definite pattern. I made the decision a week ago to not wear my heart rate monitor for a while. I’m not in contest prep right now so there is wiggle room in calorie burning. I still track what I eat so there’s no danger of hitting the buffet for a food frenzy.

I’m going to pay attention to how my body feels during the workouts instead of following my rule. I’m still going to give it 100% effort but veer off the path of the known into the unknown. I’ve managed to get through the first week without it. During every workout, there was glancing down at my bare wrist out of habit though. It really feels freeing, almost daring, to do this. Silly, I know.

What are some rules that you follow out of habit? Do you automatically pick the thing you know or do you try new things?

PS – I still highly encourage the use of a heart rate monitor. They are incredibly helpful in judging the effort you put in during workouts. They are also perfect for intervals and heart rate training. I’ve just reached the point in my workouts where I want to learn to pay attention to my body and how it feels instead of aiming for a number. I plan to wear it every now and then to check in. I just don’t want to feel like I can’t enjoy a workout without it. 🙂

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