I often hear from people that the reason they cannot exercise (or read or whatever) is that they are too busy, that they cannot fit it in, that there are other priorities that need to be taken care of.  And yes I understand that life is complicated and challenging to manage.  And I know that it is never as simple as writing a Blog post ….. but my point of view is that life is really only challenging when you constantly live in the moment – you live the urgent – you forget the important and you allow the vagaries of what is going on around you (or soon to be) to decide for you what you will do.  I used to have this problem.  I worked 100 hours a week – I went to every meeting, every cocktail hour, every everything and yes I got a lot done but I rarely got done what I wanted to do.  I thought long and hard about why this was the case and I will spare you the hours and days of reflection and tell you that my conclusion was that I had ceded control of my life to everyone else but me.  A scary realization, for sure and I further realized that fighting this tide was not going to be easy.  It was going to take some sincere behavioral changes.  But if I were not to make them I would be a victim, maybe a “successful” victim, but a victim none the less.   So I did three simple things that allowed me to change how I operated and what I was able to achieve. 

  • First, I realized that there are a lot of hours in the day and with 24 of them I could actually get a lot done.  When I thought about it that way it became apparent that there were quite a few hours that were wasted, were slop, and added nothing to me or for me.  I decided I would take those hours and use them differently (I used them for exercise and reading) you can choose to use them for whatever you want
  • Second, I planned way ahead those activities that were important to me.  I figured out that there was usually nothing on my calendar six months from now so if I planned an activity for that time frame there was no conflict.  Everyone, including myself knew of these plans and funny thing is they never got cancelled as a result  (eg.  I already have a race or event planned for every month of 2013 - much easier to do now than later)
  • Third, when the goal was closer in, I would decide the day before what I was going to do the next day.  I wrote it down and made a commitment to do it.  In effect it was already done before I got to the event.  There was no way I could break the commitment and I did not allow the moment (eg. I am tired, what should I do, I guess nothing) to influence me – I stuck to the commitment (it is called personal accountability) because I would not want to let myself down. If I did that what did I have?

OK, OK, it did not happen overnight – it took me years of practice to get it right but the more I practiced these techniques the better I got at them and the better I felt (for so many reasons).  I am still working too much but I am using some of those 24 hours truly how I want to use them.  I am no longer a victim, I am in charge and boy is that fun.  A few years ago it hit me (some call it an epiphany)…..My decisions did not cause me to lose my friends, I still had my job, my family still loved me and better still I felt fulfilled, strong, capable and one of my favorite words authentic.  Give it a try – see what happens – I am sure you will like the result

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Day three - was worried sick that I would not make it to the end of the song, that Sally would win, that I would have to start over again.  The first minute was good, the second not so good, turned my panic into strength - and it worked - I got to the end - it was not pretty but I got my three days in a row.  Now I have to see if I can do it again tomorrow.  You never know what might happen……  BTW - the push up thing worked good tonight - 170 push ups  4:17 minutes - still a long way from 257 but I have plenty of time to get there.

Joe

PS - added a few more people - For reference in case you lost the link or do not have the song - you push up on Sally up and down on Sally down - hold it till you are told to go back up - cheers!