Smarter, not harder.

Smarter…not harder.

My 2012 mantra.

For all things…eating, running, barre n9ne, work, friendships.

This is something Tanya reinforced during a recent barre n9ne intensive workshop and it’s something I have really taken into account when it comes to refining my form in class, but in refining all areas of my life, generally (hello, refinement!).

In workouts, it’s truly not all about how hard you work out. Nope, it’s not. It’s about working out smarter.

Not doing 500 crunches just to say you did 500 crunches. Not sitting at the gym for 3 hours either. Because truly, what can you accomplish in the weight room that takes that many hours and is still effective? If you can do it smarter, you will most certainly be working out at the intensity level you need to actually see results. Focus on proper form, not how many reps you can do, because if you are doing 100 reps of something, you are probably either doing it wrong, or have bad form…see what I mean? Smarter, not harder.

Embarking on my run-challenge has proven to me that I needed to work smarter, that  I needed to be regimented in the runs I choose to do each week and how I space them out. I’ve read countless blogs and articles that talk about running with purpose and not running ‘junk miles’ just to get those miles in. Don’t run a bunch of miles when your legs feel like absolute lead.

Take a day off. Rest them. Stretch them. Choose an alternate workout.

Alternatively, add in different runs to help you improve. Hello, intervals, and recovery runs and for me, ‘long’ runs. This is the first time that I have ever added this level of purpose behind my runs and in the 6 weeks since I started this challenge, I feel like I have already come so far. And why? Because I am working smarter.

The same holds true for my life, in general. I am choosing the friendships that matter most. The friends that are friends in return. That aren’t difficult. That ‘get’ me and genuinely care about me, and me about them.

At work? I am finally feeling like I have my routine down pat, my optimal writing hours vs. my optimal tactical get-shit-done hours, and weaving in some downtime, taking the breaks when I need to, instead of gogogo all day long. The brain needs to rest too, or else how can it think smarter?

Maybe I am rambling with this post, but for me, the premise behind ‘smarter, not harder’ has helped me completely transform everything from my mindset towards everything I face, every challenge, whether it be personal, professional and physical, with a smarter outlook…and even more importantly, without overthinking. 

This mantra, combined with my release from overthinking has been so eye-opening and freeing, it is just incredible. So…I guess I just challenge you to think about it…are you working smarter? Or are you the hamster on the wheel, spinning your wheels and going nowhere fast?

Frankly, I prefer the former. 

**and off I go…Costa Mesa bound tonight, and back on Thursday. Wish me luck on my first work trip of 2012 and lots of 5-hour energy ;-)**

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25 thoughts on “Smarter, not harder.

  1. Not rambling – totally makes sense. I sometimes struggle with working smarter rather than harder. I try to stay balanced, but sometimes I find myself gradually doing more more more but not really gaining any results from it of course. Then I have to stop and re-evaluate. It sounds like it should be so simple, but it isn’t. I hope you have a good trip.

    1. Hm, thought I already commented on your comment, Heather, but I am glad you knew what I was rambling about! It’s so easy to keep adding on and adding on, but it doesn’t always equate BETTER, just because it’s MORE. Ya know?

  2. Perfect post. Simple concept that so many people don’t understand. I write about this all the time as far as fitness (work hard and get out…), but I love how you tied it into relationships, etc. I am the same way lately, only really putting effort into friendships that mean the most. Since becoming a mom (and going back to work) this concept has been absolutely crucial to my happiness! 🙂

    1. It does sound so simple doesn’t it? Yet it is really hard for so many to grasp, absolutely agree with you on that. It does really tie into relationships too, I think, and for me, it’s all about cutting the negative, and focusing on the positive!

  3. I’m just so proud of you for sticking through the holidays with your workouts. And maybe you’re always this way. I get so overwhelmed with the holidays that I cannot find the time or energy to do anything. Hoping to put my head on straight this week so I can get back into training!

    Working smarter is great advice!

    1. Thank you! Well, it is easier for me, not having kids and all, to stick to my workouts during holidays. You, on the other hand, have a lot more to handle and juggle than me! And working smarter is my answer to keepin balance 🙂

  4. I love your mantra! I probably need to adopt that as well…in all areas…because working smarter does make so much more sense versus just doing a million things to feel like you’re getting something done.

    Loved this post!

  5. I love this post!

    I totally get what you mean by this, but it wasn’t until I started doing Core Fusion that I really “got” the concept of smarter not harder. It’s so easy for me to fall into the trap of thinking i need to work out for hours and hours to see results or deserve certain things. However I feel like a ball busting barre workout is such a good reminder that it doesn’t take hours and hours to see results and get an amazing workout. I need to start focusing during my runs the way I do during CF. Thanks for the reminder!

    Safe travels!

    1. It is a really hard concept to grasp, but barre workouts most definitely make you ‘get’ it and get it fast! haha. Those tiny movements, damn! Safe travels for you too!

  6. This has been my work mantra for a while, and I have also been trying to apply it to other areas of my life. I’m glad you are experimenting with different types of run workouts. I didn’t do this during my first marathon training cycle, but since have and it has made me stronger and grow a lot as a runner.

    1. Doing it at work is a biggie too. I don’t want to ever become so ingrained in work that it affects my moods…if that makes sense, but I want to be invested in my job and career enough to make a difference and do good work. As for running, I totally agree, I feel stronger and like I am growing already!

  7. This is one of the most eye-opening parts for me in the last 7+ months since we started the challenge and re-focusing our approach to things – and you’re right, it DOES apply to all areas of life, not just the fun fitness side of life. I love love love this mantra and plan to continue to apply it as often as I can. So important to work smart, live smart.

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