Today begins my tenth year of daily burpees, not one day missed. My spreadsheet says I’ve done over 163,000 of them. I have yet to spend one penny doing them. Since I consider them something I do instead of TV, I’ve saved time doing them too.
The activity continues to evolve in its meaning and value to me, always increasing, but mostly I think of them, along with the rest of the calisthenics and stretching that make up my twice-daily routines, like brushing my teeth. They’re harder to start and leave me more winded, but just as habitual.
I value them most for developing discipline. Without them, or some regular vigorous exercise, what discipline they’ve developed in me would atrophy quickly. I envy people with natural discipline since I lack it, otherwise I wouldn’t have to work so hard for it.
At over 40 percent obese, most Americans seem to value other things since they spend much more time and money on doof and TV than I spend on fitness. I wish I devoted myself to my values as much as they do to theirs.
Doing the minimum
I have a minimum threshold of fitness I consider acceptable for myself. If burpees are the most effective exercise, I’ve done the least work of anyone with this level of fitness.
Want a habit perfect for you?
As you might expect, I’ve read a lot on habits to complement practicing them. Some sources give useful advice, but my webinar on living your values that I gave earlier this year, Life-Changing Habits Even (Especially) Under Lock-Down, contains the most important advice I know of on making habits that stick. I’ve never seen it elsewhere—I doubt many habit researchers or writers can speak from this level of experience— so if you want to live a life of your values, I recommend watching.
More burpee posts
Here are more burpee posts: Burpees—unbeatable for fitness and my best habit — the series. I’ve written plenty on them over the years.
I’m writing this post the evening of the 21st. I’ve spent too much time in front of this screen and it’s time for my evening calisthenics.
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On initiative, leadership, the environment, and burpees