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Adulting: Eating the Frog...

ETF: Eat the Frog, is the name of a gym my friend used to go to.

I had so many questions for her because I had never heard that phrase. She explained that “eating the frog” meant doing what you dreaded most at the beginning of the day, and since for many people that’s working out, the gym used that reference as a clever marketing strategy.

Intrigued, I did a little digging to find the history of the phrase. For years people wrongly gave Mark Twain credit for it; according to Quote Investigator the advice was originally written in French by Nicholas Chamfort:

…it would be necessary to swallow a toad every morning, in order not to find anything disgusting the rest of the day, when one has to spend it in the world.

A bit pessimistic, right? But as I learned from my friend, the concept of “swallow a toad” has morphed over the years and is a springboard for motivational talks and trainings urging people to essentially get the hardest task of the day done first.

On the Todoist (an organizational app I use) website, author Beth Kane highlighted ways to diet on frogs. I worked to apply the suggestions to my current exercise pattern to see how I was doing:

1. Decide on your frog

Exercising is my frog. Hello there, little amphibian!

2. Pick something you’ll be able to complete in 1 – 4 hours.

This I do. I select a workout routine that is at the most one hour. I get up early and do it first thing in the morning.

3. Break it down into smaller steps if needed.

I tend to do a lot of Fitness Blender workouts, so I determine which part of my body I need to focus on, and I select a workout I will look forward to doing.

4. Resist the temptation to plan ahead.

I don’t plan workouts for the whole year or even the whole month (I used to do three-week increments). Instead, I determine what is best for my body at the time.

5. Prepare your frog the night before.

In the evenings, I’ll jump on Fitness Blender and look up the workout they recommend or pick one for myself. I like having the power of choice.

6. Eat Your frog first thing in the morning.

I wake up, put on workout gear, and most importantly, I don’t ask myself if I feel like sleeping a bit more. Once I start asking myself questions, I will find a reason delay.

Following these six steps help me reach my goal for exercise, even on busy days. It’s interesting to learn that I have actually been frog munching before I realized it. (Thankfully only metaphorically!) How about you?

Maybe you aren’t a frog eater, and that’s okay. The idea is to find the best way to do what you need to do; it’s intentional living, and there are many ways accomplish it. But if you do want to join me, just grab yourself an imaginary fork…


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