The Value of a Cheat Day


The worst work is the slowest work.

Infinite Willpower
It seems so much of what we want to do requires more willpower than a human can muster. We want to go from couch potato to calendar model in 30 days. Or we want to go from being behind on our bills to a millionaire in a year.

We think that if we just buckle down and work hard, we can do it. And to some degree we can. We know that hard work is the fuel that keeps the productivity engine running. But what we often miss is what lights the fire.

The Missing Ingredient
Unfortunately so many of us miss the other part to the equation. We are humans after all. We do what we do from motivation, and not just any motivation. We are motivated by things that affect us immediately in some way.

After all, if we know we would have to work five years without enjoying a single moment in order to garner some reward, who of us would be able to withstand the slog and not break down under the monotonous boredom?

Some Motivation
So how do we do the hard work, when we need something to enjoy? There are at least two simple answers. The first is fairly obvious: do what you love. There are people out there who say they never worked a day in their life; they simply love what they do.

But even then, there are always going to be things you have to do that you don’t want to. Perhaps you want to eat better. It’s not always easy to give up the foods you love. Yes, you can definitely find foods that are good for you that are tasty as well. But if you give up sweets, does that mean you will never experience them again? Not necessarily.

The Value of a Cheat Day
What you might do instead is make one day a week a cheat day. Perhaps Saturday. When you see that chocolate pie that you want so badly, you don’t have to say “no”. You simply have to say “I’ll see you Saturday”. This can be a great way to avoid abandoning a healthier way of living. You don’t have to give up anything. You simply have to move it to another day, and knowing that you can still enjoy it makes it easier to resist.

You can do it for diets, for work (Saturday is a play day), or even for mentally taxing tasks (a relax day). Whatever it may be, find a way to take a break and enjoy life. Find out the best way to take a day off so that you can be fully energized during the days you need to stay focused. That’s the value of a cheat day.

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About the author

David is a father, speaker, blogger (obviously), and author of How to Create Amazing Presentations sharing the tools, tips, and techniques of the experts to make you an amazing presenter, 7 Steps to Better Relationships built on the stories and lessons on this blog with seven easy steps to help you maximize your interactions with the people you care about most, and The Man in the Pit to help you care for loved ones struggling with depression.

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