A few weeks ago, my daughter, Ellie, and I were staying at my parents’ house and, since I knew I had childcare to help with Ellie in the morning (AKA my wonderful dad), I convinced my mom to do a 5:30 AM spin class with me.
I rolled out of bed to the sound of my alarm at 5:00 AM, wondering what the heck I was thinking.
My mom and I didn’t talk much on the drive. We were still waking up. We managed to sleepily get our bums on the bikes and start peddling. Half way through our time, I felt a burst of energy, and by the end of the 50 minute class I felt like Wonder Woman, ready to conquer the day! I walked out of the studio with a pep in my step and a feeling of accomplishment all before the sun came up!
It was a rush and sensing my mom was on an exercise high, too, I asked her why she makes exercise a priority. Her response stuck with me. She said, “I gotta sweat out the crazies.”
Absolutely, I thought. Me, too. I feel less anxious and more clear-minded after exercising. It hit me that I need exercise just as much for my mind as I do for my body.
This thought strongly resonated with me, because for the first time in eight months, I had the mental and physical energy to workout again after facing some health challenges. I learned so much about the mind/body connection during those difficult months.
I’ve never felt more grateful for my health or for the ability to exercise than I do now. It’s a work in progress learning how to take care of my mind and body. What’s working for me right now are spin classes, yoga (yin or slow flow), being conscious about what I put into my body, and meeting regularly with a therapist.
The last trick was to create consistency in my workout routine. If you read last week’s post on Gretchen Rubin’s book, The Four Tendencies (catch up here), then you’ll know I fall in the Obliger category, which means I need to set up accountability in the outside world in order to achieve my internal goals.
Last week, also I told you I’d share one of the systems of accountability I set up for myself in order to meet an internal goal like making my health a priority!
Do you ever struggle to manage your time in a way that allows you to get all the important things done in a day? I do. Knowing I must take better care of myself, I needed a system of accountability to make exercise a priority, as it was always one of the first things to get cut from my list.
I got creative and found some places in my budget where I could cut back. I reallocated the saved funds to hire a friend, who babysat for me every once in awhile for the past couple of years, to come to my house at 5 AM a few days a week to help me with some household chores and get Ellie up, ready, and fed before I got home at 7:15 AM, in time for me to drive her to school.
This allows me time to head to the gym to “sweat out my crazies” and get my day started a little earlier in the hope of meeting more of my internal goals. I’m only two weeks into the new routine and I can’t begin to tell you how much better I feel making my health a priority.
I’d love to know…
What system have you put in place that is helping you reach your goal? Or what system do you want to create in order to reach a goal?
Looking forward to reading your comments.
As always, thank you so much for taking the time to meet with me today. I truly hope you find my family’s journey and life experiences helpful and encouraging. Grateful for YOU! Love and Blessings.
PS – I’d love the opportunity to come share my inspirational message at your next company meeting, church event, inspirational gathering, mom’s group etc. Please email me at [email protected]
PPS – Back in 2015 when I published The Ellie Project, a book Andrew wrote and illustrated during the the final months of his life for our then two-year-old daughter, Ellie, I had no idea the impact it would have on families all over the country. It’s sold over 6,000 plus copies, and continues to leave a lasting impression on the hearts of those who read it. Get your signed copy here.