When I started on my new journey back in May, I committed to myself that I’d write a blog post every week as a new habit. Last week I didn’t write one and felt I’d let myself down, but then realised that the other half of that commitment was that the blog was meant to be a reflection on things that surfaced from the last week. And last week I really didn’t have anything to write about, so felt better after that realisation.
That, combined with some other things that have happened this week, has framed todays post, which is about our wellbeing. This is a topic that is being heavily covered right now given the strange world we’re currently living in, so if you’ve had enough of those posts, stop reading now.
Over the last few months, I’ve noticed that my attention to my wellbeing has slipped quite a bit. Whether that be ensuring I have the right level of sleep, through to taking the time to exercise and eat well. It’s easy to come up with excuses as to why they haven’t been happening, but the reality is that I just haven’t been committed to them.
Commitment is a really important thing in our lives, and it is somewhat driven by purpose. This is more than just a reason for doing something, such as wanting to exercise to lose weight, but has to be very personal with a desired outcome attached. Losing weight might be important, but why do you want to lose weight, what will it lead to. Once you understand that, then the level of commitment to the activity will increase, because you see an outcome that you want.
You are successful the moment you start moving towards a worthwhile goal – Charles Carlson
When we’re committed to something, we give it priority. We find the time to do it and give it the focus it needs. As I think about some of the habits that I previously had, such as meditating every day and going to the gym 4 times a week, all of those have dropped away.
Now I could use the current situation as an excuse for why, but they’ll just be excuses. The main reason why I’ve let them slip is because I haven’t made them a priority, due to not staying connecting to the reason why I was doing them in the first place. It was about my overall health and wellbeing, which felt great when I was in that rhythm.
Now we can’t downplay the significant affect that the global pandemic has had on our lives and general attitudes towards these sorts of things. For many, home schooling their children or finding a way to balance a home life that has now completely blurred with a work life, is a challenge. The knock-on effect often being that those personal commitments are the ones that get easily pushed aside.
I’ve had this conversation with a few people this week and have been encouraging them to make that personal time available and use it to their own benefit. It’s funny, I was talking to a colleague a couple of weeks back who said that when we were only allowed out for 1 hour of exercise a day, he would religiously use that time and go for a long walk. Now that we don’t have that restriction, he’s doing it less. It’s very counter intuitive but is happening. I believe it’s because there was a reason behind doing it previously (I must make use of that time), which isn’t existing now.
It comes back for me to a topic around the difference between should do and will/want to do. So many things in our life we do because we are led to believe we should, but that doesn’t bring commitment as you’re not investing in an outcome. When we can see the benefits to ourselves for taking an action, it becomes so much easier to make it happen. Then to further hold ourselves accountable to that action, there’s nothing better than sharing that commitment with others. People who will help you stay accountable by reminding you of why you’re doing it and actively encouraging you.
So, to set the example, here are the commitments that I’m making to myself and why I’m making them. By sharing them with you all, I know there’ll be that support out there for me.
Do 30-45 minutes cycling at least 3 times a week to develop my overall physical health which will benefit my heart and help keep my weight balanced
Do pilates at least once a week to help with my flexibility and core strength, which will benefit my golf and general mobility
Meditate at least 10 minutes every day to provide my mind and body with some focused down time
What commitments to your wellbeing will you make?