Friends will keep you moving!

Good morning!

It’s been about 3 weeks now since adopting a new workout routine and it’s been awesome to be doing it with friends again. For those who don’t know (which might be all of you), I used to follow a strict and rigorous workout routine with my best friend. We’d meet up at 6AM at the gym, Monday thru Friday, and crank out a muscle group for an hour with a bit of cardio to begin with. I gained about 30 pounds over a year and I was in the best shape ever. However, he eventually moved out of state and I suddenly found it much harder to get to the gym and keep it up. You’d think doing it for a couple of years would’ve locked it in as a habit! The best I could do was light maintenance just so I dont fall apart. However, like plenty of others for other types of tasks, I sometimes need that extra motivator of having a friend handy to boost me further.

Friends motivate each other by keeping each other accountable! You all decide to work out? Great! One of you doesn’t feel like it one day? Those other two will get you into the gym! Plus, nobody wants to look like the flake so you’ll keep yourself moving in order to keep from being the weak link. On top of that, your friends know how you’ve been doing lately so they’ll also keep you from taking things too easy. You probably aren’t going to get away with doing a session of light stretching when your friends are right there hitting the weights and panting up a storm!

It’s not just the gym. Develop an art jam schedule with friends and show up to draw or write or whatever. As long as your group, whether it’s 2 people or 4 (I’ll explain that a little further down), contains a person or two who is feeling dedicated that day, you stand a greater chance of continuing and succeeding. At the very least, it gets you to show up and spend the time on the topic, skill, or whatever it is you need to work on.

So why do I mention 2 or 4 people? Well, unless you’re leading the group and they’re all depending on you, it will become easy to fade into the background with a larger group. You stop showing up and the group carries on without you and, because they may not miss you as much, any guilt about the situation is reduced and the entire point of you joining the group fades away. Sometimes a fuzzbutt requires a little more intimacy rather than just feeling like a face in a crowd.

I’ll end with how my new workout habit is performed with friends who live as far as Europe! Does not apply to everyone but we have VR! We log into VRChat together, find a certain place called the Squat Gym, and do a bunch of squats togethers! It’s gamified and I spend a little time coaching my friends! They’re so eager to get into better shape that I can’t get away with taking a day off. The squats have expanded to other calisthenics (since working with weights in VR is hard) like pushups or sit-ups and we drive each other to perform better. Reminders in the morning on our workout days also mentally prepare us to get together! It’s just fun and we spend time lounging and chilling out afterward, getting in some good social time after the workout. I hope to keep this going longer and I hope you can find a way to get your friends together and motivate each other to develop yourself!

Good luck, fuzzbutts!

Game-ifying Habits?

Hello fuzzbutts,

Given the quarantine and all this going on, I noticed recently that some of my habits started to die off one by one as I grew increasingly bored and had less things to do. Exercise is tricky since my work closed their mini gym and I’m on an upper floor at home so I can’t exactly bring in a treadmill or do anything jumpy while I’m exercising. Same goes for drawing. I sometimes end up playing games way longer than I should since I practically halted work on my goals so those usual habits got rather spotty.

Given that, I realized internal motivation is at a low in my life for things I want. So back to basics! First, understanding my Why? Why did I want to build this habit again? What was the goal of doing this?

Next, I also found I wasn’t really rewarding myself for any good habits. So I worked out or I drew something. Did I give myself a treat at all? Nope! I was relying on my self-satisfaction to keep me motivated. It didn’t last for long.

But Wuffles! You’ve mentioned these things before! Yes I have. Productivity is like physical fitness. Even if you hit your target level, you have to maintain these things and it’s so easy to let things start to slide after a while. If you’re not super vigilant, you’re going to find yourself stopping once in a while to re-assess where you are and how to do better.

So now what? Well I can still go out for runs so I can look into routes in my area and just take a jog in the morning. In fact, I went today and it was nice! I can also look up “Hotel Room workout” on youtube for low-impact, quiet, and difficult workouts to complete in my home and rebuild my strength. What about drawing? Well there’s nothing special stopping me from that so it’s just a lack of drive to get it done. Well the solution for this can be lumped in with my drive to work out.

Gamifying! How does it work? Well, like any quest in an RPG game, you give yourself a task and a reward! As an example, I give myself a little credit every time I draw something to put toward a commission! I also hold myself accountable by doing things like a random raffle sketch where I put out the expectation I’m going to draw something. There’s also apps like Habitica that let you track your habits and tasks and give you points and a score! This is how things like High Scores work in arcade games. You see the progress, the numbers, and you want to keep boosting your score. It’s meaningless in the long term (like most games) so you don’t really have an incentive to cheat and boost your score in the app, but there is something in your brain that gives you a little reward when you check something off the list. So look up some apps, give them a try, add some goals and tasks and habits you want to pick up, and then see how you respond to it!

Good luck, Fuzzbutts!

Fall off the wagon? Time to get back on!

Hello fuzzbutts!

How’re those good habits coming along? Start drawing more? Eating better? Exercising more? All those good things? Did life get in the way?

Sometimes you’re eating better and then the convenience of lousy or fast food overtakes your new habit again and you’re back to eating some terrible food. You got active and healthier but then you got sick and had to stop. You’re all better now but it’s hard to start again and you feel like you’re starting from scratch again.

Well I have good news! Just because a good habit (or anything replacing a bad habit) has stopped doesn’t mean you’re starting from scratch again! Stopped exercising? You’re still healthier than you used to be and you know what to do the next time you hit the gym. Stopped drawing? Well all those extra hours or days of experience you built up before you stopped still have you as a better artist than before you got into the habit.

Imagine how awful it would be if you stopped drawing for a month and suddenly all your ability devolved to how good you were when you were 3. Ick! 

So, since you were closer to your ideal life before, you just need to pick up the ball and run with it again. Resume working on those skills! Keep working on losing that weight! You’re further along than you think and you already did the hard work of starting the first time. Starting it up again will be easier this time. So dust off that list of good habits you stopped working on and give it another go!

Good luck fuzzbutts!