What are your priorities?
I would like to get you to do a little task, I have done this little task with my coach before, and it occurred to me that I would love you to do it too.
I want you to take out a piece of paper and write down on it everything you do in a day, a week and a month. My coach calls it a brain dump. So dump everything you do on that page. You can keep it active over a few days so as you remember something, write it on there.
Once you think you have it all down, I want you to look at all that you do. And assess.
How much of it do you “need” to do?
How much of it would be better if someone else did it instead?
How much of it is actually important to you?
How much of it is dedicated to looking after your health and wellbeing?
How much work are you actually doing?
How many family activities?
How much self improvement/growth?
The next thing I want you to do is sit down and really think about what your values are. As in what drives you? What is your motivation and the thing that would make you bounce out of bed in the morning? This is the thing that should be your priority in life if it isn’t already. Then see if those values align with the activities you are spending the most time doing.
On top of all that I am going to let you in on a secret. If looking after your health and wellbeing is not a priority, then in time it will become your family’s priority. To be realistic, you cannot perform any duties on that big list of things you do if you are not in good health. If you succumb to lifestyle diseases the list of daily tasks you complete would have to completely change.
So I want to again ask you, why do you continually put your health and wellbeing down low on your list of priorities?
I am not saying that going to the gym or pool or for a run or walk needs to be your number one priority every single day, however it needs to be a priority most days. Consistent small changes add up to big changes over time. So if you are getting to the gym or getting active more days than you are not, you are on the right track. If your vegetable intake and good quality protein by far outnumber take away meals, you are again on the right track.
Life is one long marathon, it doesn’t take holidays, our heart beats from before we are born until the day we die. For us to put that final moment of life far off into the future we need to look after ourselves.
Most people that own a car get it regularly serviced, or we clean our houses inside and out, giving a coat of paint or nailing a board back in place. Yet the one vessel we have to live in every single day of our lives, the only vehicle that we need to take us everywhere we have to go, we don’t make a priority time and time again.
Use it or lose it is an incredibly old saying and it really applies to your body and brain. They both need to be stretched and given every opportunity to grow and adapt or you will most certainly lose them.
Have you ever gone to do task that not too long ago you found quite easy, yet today it was difficult or unattainable? I will give you a basic example, bending down to tie up your shoe laces. Now be honest with yourself. Have you ever been getting ready in the morning and the simple task of putting on shoes and socks has seems like a ridiculously difficult job? Your back hurts, your hamstrings seem so tight they won’t let you bend down and then once it is done, you are a little red in the face and panting. This is not how life should be. That is a fairly menial task that any of us should be able to do, but I know there are some of you reading this that are thinking, ‘oh my, that was just this morning’.
If you prioritise your health and wellness today, that task will again be effortless and pain free within a few weeks, I can almost guarantee it.
Simple everyday tasks are not meant to be difficult, and once they start becoming difficult that is when you are on your way to increased risk of lifestyle related illnesses, it is a very early symptom that can be easily ignored.
All too often over the years I have heard “I don’t have time.” “ I can’t afford that.” “I will start (Insert arbitrary point in time in the future here)”. These are simply blocks being thrown up to cover sor some other fear or concern about doing something.
Everyone has 24 hours in a day, so when a single mum or dad of three kids that works full time can find three or four hours a week here, you can too.
If you are working full time in Australia you can afford it. What you are saying though is you are choosing to prioritise the money you would spend on your health and wellness on something else. No judgement, as those priorities at that point in time may be legitimate. You can afford it, you just choose to spend that money on something else.
What will be different in three weeks? In springtime? In six months? Why would then be a better time to start looking after yourself than now? The cold hard truth of this is simply that you are fearing being able to stick it out and be consistent. So I tell you, we take that fear away. We are the ones that look after the workouts and keep you accountable for your sessions. We want you to succeed, we want you being the best version of yourself you can be.
Now to put it in the most blatant way I know how, how would you feel having the conversation with your family that you are unwell and will need care? Have a think about that for a while. It might not be today or next week, but it might be when you are in your 50’s, still young. It might be post heart attack at 40, it might be post doctor’s visit at 33 being diagnosed with type II diabetes or something even worse.
Think about how that conversation might go, how would they feel to learn that they will have to change their life to look after their ailing family member?
It all of a sudden seems like a whole lot easier of an equation to move around a gym for three or four hours a week and never have to have that conversation with those you love.