I wanted to write a blog post about exercise and getting into a routine which sort of felt like a lesson that I don’t think I’m qualified to write about. So when I took a step back and thought about the bigger picture, about how and when I got into a groove with working out and started to make it a priority, I started to think about the initial choice and decision we make for ourselves, in any area of our lives. The choice that makes us change our path, our direction, our course of action. The moment we decide to do something for ourselves and it is significant enough to change the way you live your life, every day.
The older we get, the more our choices are decided based on so many factors. Will this be an easy change? How will this affect those around me? What are the consequences? What is the opportunity cost? And so on and so on. We second guess every choice to delay the choice we oftentimes actually want to make! Because we worry we are going to inconvenience someone else, there isn’t enough time or there is something else you should be doing. At least those tend to be the excuses I make when I’m hesitant to commit to something.
Something shifted for me when I had Jack. I had spent the first year of Charlie’s life sluggish, sort of sad, didn’t take care of myself, going through the motions of new mom life but longing for my previous life – just in a general slump. When Jack was born, I felt invigorated by my role as a mom in a way that made me realize how important my health is for my family. As Charlie and Jack got older and more active, if my energy wasn’t up and running then our entire family was dragging. I knew that if I wasn’t putting myself first in certain areas then it would negatively affect my role as a wife and a mom. And I think we can all relate to this in whatever stage of life you’re in, not just motherhood.
So I shifted my priorities. I let my house get messy if it meant I could go on a 30-minute walk. I ordered out dinner if it meant I could sit on the couch with my kids. I started being more active, using my Apple Watch as a daily goal with little expectations. I felt myself get stronger, I felt better about myself, my mood changed and I saw the positive affects it had on my family. I committed to doing better for myself and that commitment created an expectation and routine that our entire family now respects or follows. A realization that a commitment to yourself isn’t selfish, it’s selfless!
I get asked all the time about finding a groove in working out, making it a priority when we all have so many other things going on around us. My answer is always – I just do. I make it a priority because I have made a commitment to myself that I deserve it. That my family deserves the mom that puts time into herself and pushes her heart to beat stronger and builds up her muscles to hold her babies as long as she can. I know it’s easier said than done but there will always be an excuse not to commit time to yourself, there will always be something else you could be doing. Let YOU be the reason you say yes. Be stronger than your excuses because you are worth it.