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Ascend Life Blog #2: Becoming More Intentional on Purpose


Happy New Year and welcome to the Ascend Life blog.

Today I am going to launch a mini-series of posts aimed at giving you a few exercises that will continue the theme of Intentionality started in the last post. These exercises will also help you to get better at doing things you want to do but tend to procrastinate. I personally struggle with this. I have been enjoying doing a few of these exercises and I am starting to see some positive results. I will just introduce the concepts today. The next few posts will detail how to implement them in your own life.

But first let’s talk about the challenge I gave in my last post. The challenge was to intentionally choose a podcast or audio book to listen to on your commute. I chose one I had never heard of before called Kwik Brain: Memory. I listened to episode #28 on reading comprehension on my drive home from work one day last week. It was very good and I can now recommend it if you are interested in learning strategies and exercises to improve your mind. I’m definitely interested in that and I have added more episodes to my listening list. One exercise of reading comprehension that was talked about in this podcast was termed the 3 R’s. Reading, Relating, and Writing. (Yes only two are technically R’s but you get the idea.) Read to understand, Relate what you have read to someone else, and Write by taking notes on what you are reading. Simple and effective, I like that.

Ok, back to the introduction. This idea of doing something small and unnecessary that is good for you and being intentional to do it was introduced to me through the Ziglar Show podcast episode #484. (By the way, the Ziglar Show is really great! It is founded on the teachings of motivational speaker Zig Ziglar. Check it out!) In this podcast they interview Joshua Spodek specifically about a concept he calls SIDCHA - Self-Imposed, Daily, Challenging, Healthy Activity.

When you voluntarily do some Self-Imposed, Daily, Challenging, Healthy Activity several things happen. Obviously because it is a “Healthy Activity” there are some basic benefits to you just by doing it. Now doing this regularly promotes a healthy habit. What about “Self-Imposed” and “Challenging”? Well this is where the greatest benefit actually comes from. By forcing yourself to do something challenging you learn self-discipline, persistence, and most importantly how to take action on something you don’t necessarily want to do.

Using the SIDCHA model, I came up with three different exercises about a month ago. I have to admit to you that I have only been able to do one of them without skipping. The three I came up with were ending my shower with cold water, 10 burpees, and writing down past memories. Guess which one I have had the most success with up here in the Northland where the low temperature the other night was -24 degrees? Correct! Cold Shower! Wait what? Yep that is right. I have been surprised too. Why has this one worked for me? I learned that the way I do it set me up for the best chance of success (and I did that totally by accident!).

I didn’t feel up to the idea of a cold shower from start to finish so I modified that idea to ending my shower with cold water. The reason I feel this has been successful for me is that I applied the exercise to an activity I already do every day. Showering. I have discovered in disciplining myself to do this I have seen several benefits including becoming better at doing things I would otherwise tend to procrastinate… like getting out of the shower sooner.

So here is the Challenge for you this week. Choose or come up with an idea for one SIDCHA you think you might like to start. Don’t spend a lot of time on it and don’t worry about starting it yet unless you want to. In the next post we will go over some ideas that will set you up for success from the beginning.

One last thing. Joshua Spodek’s book, Leadership Step by Step - Become the Person Others Follow, has more details in it about SIDCHA’s. I have not read this book yet, but it comes strongly recommended by the Ziglar Show. (No pressure at all but if you are interested in purchasing the book and do so using this link I will get a small commission at no extra cost to you.)

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Thank you for reading!

God Bless,