More than two months ago, I gave up energy drinks. I wanted to see if I could. I haven’t had one since.
Simultaneously, I eliminated pickles, a calorie-free treat I had every day. Still miss those, but I haven’t had a slice since.
Recently, I’ve taken to carries for cardio. As in low impact, rucking up and down giant hills for what feels like an eternity.
I do this because I like to experiment. And because nothing has served me better over the years than experimenting, eliminating, and provoking — a practice I’ve deployed for as long as I can remember.
What is elimination/provocation? Nothing more than taking a behavior, stopping it entirely, then adding it back in to see what happens after a suitable length of time.
We typically do this with our diets, eliminating known offenders and then adding them back in later to see if they were really the problem.
But that’s too narrow. Especially when elimination/provocation works so well everywhere else.
For instance, a few years back, I stopped meditating for a month. That meant at least 20 extra minutes every morning to do whatever I wanted.
What happened at the end of 30 days? I started meditating again and appreciated it more. Not because I meditate in hopes that something occurs, but because the person I am when I meditate is slightly less annoying than the person I am otherwise. Slightly.
Did I have to stop meditating to figure that out? Probably not.
Same with exercise — there’s never a good reason to quit. That’s about as valuable an experiment as seeing if you can survive a five-story freefall. There is, however, a plethora of reasons to slightly tweak your current exercise routine.