Wellness Matters 25.09.2021
Last Sunday, after chatting with Michelle about maintaining good practice for health and well being as the days get shorter, I realised that I had been sleeping later than usual. Although I was initially fine with this, I am, naturally, an early riser and it was beginning to affect my energy levels.
Let’s be clear I’m talking about rising between 7-7.30am instead of 6am, so not exactly middle of the day stuff and the shift had been subtle, but it was having an impact: I was staying up later, watching crap on TV, snacking and becoming bored and restless which resulted in less creativity and productivity.
The reason I was fighting with myself to set an earlier alarm was because it felt counter intuitive: what was the point of setting up my business working from home when I was considering imposing structure, routine and an early start?
The answer, of course, is that routines and structure help prevent distraction and procrastination, and actually enable us to make time for creativity and productivity. As a child I used to rail against routine, but as an adult I recognise the value of establishing effective boundaries.
Michelle and I had a chuckle acknowledging the benefits of establishing a routine, but also the freedom to make allowances for change if we wanted to, because we run our own businesses.
So I decided I had a choice: I could set my alarm, walk into a sunrise and kick start my day the catching light way, or I could emerge sleepy and dozy and play catch up with my thoughts, actions and ‘should do’ lists.
Opting for the former course of action has reawakened my energy levels, enhanced productivity, creativity and output.
There are many occasions when ‘should' should be used: we should brush our teeth twice a day; we should wear masks and sanitise our hands regularly, if we want to stay safe; we should have a driving licence in order to drive.
However, putting should in front of, say a change in eating habits, increasing exercise levels is almost guaranteed to end in failure.
How familiar does this sound:
Me: I should go for a power walk every day
Me2: but I don’t really know if I’ve got time
Me: I want to wear that dress next month, so I really should go
Me2: yeah but it’s a bit cold and I should tidy the house first
Me: yeah we might go tomorrow
Result: Me never goes for a power walk, the dress is tight and Me feels rubbish.
How about this:
Me: Oh I’d love to wear that cute dress next month, but I’m feeling a bit unfit
Me2: well I could go for a power walk 3 times a week
Me: then I could comfortably wear the dress and feel good about myself
Me2: right, where are those trainers?
Result: I go for regular power walks because I can, not because I should. I wear the dress and feel good about myself.
Think about your goals, think about your obligations: are you deluding yourself with busy-ness because you ‘should’ or are you maximising your time for wellness because you decided you could?
Set your intentions because you can, that way success lies.