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I Don't Want To!! We often use this excuse for not doing things we know - or at least think - would help us age well.

It can be particularly true regarding exercise and cooking healthy meals. It’s a challenge to work out or cook for just one - and it’s easy to ignore exercise or get into the habit of eating frozen foods, using DoorDash, or getting takeout from restaurants.

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Thanks Janet. This is an important post. Exercise and a good diet are the path to a longer independence. That is what motivates me.

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"This lethargy creeps into everyday living; we may want to avoid cleaning the house, going to the grocery store, washing clothes, or running errands. We prefer to work on the computer, watch television, or read books." Golly, Janice....have you been watching me?? You've described me perfectly here. I need to follow your suggestions , and quickly.

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Thanks for the shoutout Janice. You mentioned social media.

I'm taking a few days off this week to scout relocation areas in neighboring states and further explore north in my own state, near Canada. I am avoiding social media since leaving the house and already feeling better. It's hard. I have many contacts on the most time-sucking one... and not checking it has been liberating! Instead of doom scrolling on it while riding between destinations I'm scouting for moose, black bear, and deer. Time flies by!! Seeing the world in reality is so much more fulfilling than on a screen. We let our guard down, take the easy way, and pretty soon it (whatever it is) becomes a habit that is difficult to break as we age. This is a wakeup call for me. Reality is much more engaging and rewarding... and breaking the cycle is worth it. It's that extra push, no matter how small... and I like the timer idea another reader mentioned. I'm going to try this with some other things I want to increase while paring down what isn't working. Good read, thank you.

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You just don’t opt out for a choice. Here is the secret weapon of choice. I am diagnosed with major depression for 40 years. The timer is my salvation. You give yourself 20 minutes inside the store to find healthy snacks. 20 minutes to walk a mile. When your 20 minutes is over you are accomplished. Done!! At some point in time you might want to add another 5 minutes to your purchased snack and warm it up with another snack and you have a meal. Always keep a roasted chicken in the fridge. Buy the steam in bag veggie and your extra 5 minutes will cook the veggie while you cut the chicken. Or your extra you could clean a few pieces of lettuce and make a salad. SIMPLE. No big production.

Walk for 20 minutes. I carry the timer. No matter how far I am at 10 minutes I turn around. At some point 25 minutes doesn’t seem so impossible. Well now you walk at least 20 and maybe 25. But only maybe. If you decide.

I use the timer with my elderly friends. “If we work hard together let’s see if we can get your shower done in 15 minutes. You help me get your clothes off while I start the water and I will be right back to help. “. Of course sometime’s it doesn’t work, but it is always worth a try. “Do you think we can get you dressed in 10 minutes?” I have everything in order and we beat the timer. Sometimes it is the only thing that can save your sanity. I always asked what they think is possible. Then we have something to go for and when we are done we have accomplished a real big deal. What ever job needs to be done, once you have spent the time before the ding you are done with that for the day. Sometimes with my friends the timer needs a few adjustments before the ding.

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Amen to staying away from social media.

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Your insights about redefining activities like exercise and cooking as rewarding hobbies rather than chores really resonate with me. 😀

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Great article. It can be a challenge to stay motivated on things. One way I use a lot is to just convince myself to take a micro-step. I'll say, "Okay I'll just write one line of this email." And then a lot of times once I get started I'll keep going.

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