Saturday, November 29, 2008

Day 29: The End of the Month Nears

As you can probably tell from the infrequency of my posts this month, November has been a month full of challenges! I have plodded on with my exercise, and I have strived to face my challenges with positivity and my exercise with enthusiasm. In spite of this, at this point with only one day left in the month, I must face the fact that I have not developed the habit of exercise. I was not consistent enough. I let too many things get in the way!

So the question I have been pondering in my head is "Do I just keep tackling exercise, or do I add another habit in December?" I have gone back and forth in my thinking. One part of me was saying, "Don't add anything else! You haven't accomplished this. You know it isn't habit yet!"

Then the other side of me says, "You could be stalled on this exercise thing forever. Keep working on it, but move onto something else! Continuing to focus only on exercise will stall progress in your life!"

I look at the pro's and con's of both arguments. I looked inside myself to see how I really felt. I intentionally set out to seek the truth, and most importantly, I remembered to stay focused on the positive in my research.

Here is what I discovered. I have not made exercise a habit, but I have made progress. If I don't exercise, I know it. At the very least, thinking about exercising every day is a habit. Also, I know why exercise is not a habit. First, instead of just exercising because it is important to me and a habit I want, I let various anxieties get in the way. That is not really being positive. I was not expecting the best. It was subtle and hidden behind a lot of positive words and intentions so I could not get to the root of the problem easily, but it is the truth. Second, I put too much on my plate and did not keep exercise in the forefront of my mind as the most important thing to do (along with positivity.)

I also realized that I have another bit of support that has been added to my exercise routine that will help me to keep it up. My girlfriend has decided that she will do at least half of my walk with me most days. She has diabetes and needs that walk to help keep her blood glucose levels under control. So not only will she be supporting me, I will be supporting her!

Because of the things that I discovered, I feel confident that well before December is over, I will have added exercise to those habits that are a part of my life. So I am going to go on and add another habit.

I wanted to add a habit that would not be similar to exercise. I wanted to choose something that I have been thinking about for a long time but just have not gotten to stick. I also wanted to pick something that would help me to exercise too, as opposed to something that might get in the way of exercise.

I got to thinking about what one thing really helped me to lose my focus in life. That one thing was working as a quick service restaurant manager. What was the worse thing about that position? The multi-tasking environment! I saw how much more productive the management team could be with a single-tasking focus, but the owner preferred to see everyone running around erratically. I suppose he thought "busy-ness" equated productivity. In my experience, the opposite is true! Focus equals productivity. Focus equals problems solved. Focus equals a smooth running operation. Unfortunately, I was not allowed to try out all of my ideas in the world of a quick service restaurant (although I'd love to get the chance sometime!)

What I can do is to use the philosophy of single-tasking and focus in my own life! This isn't always easy. I have a multifaceted life! I have five children. I have a girlfriend who works full time in the often erratic and stressful postition of a substitute teacher as well as attending graduate school in a demanding field. I write. I help run two family businesses. I maintain a handful of blogs. It is important to me to find time to read, make nutritious homecooked meals, and stay informed in several areas that are of personal interest to me. I also have a spiritual life that needs regular tending. Bouncing around with no focus does not get things done! Perhaps most importantly, it doesn't increase my joy. Instead it leaves me anxious and flighty.

So during the month of December, I intend to develop the habit of single-tasking. I will write more about how I intend to do this tomorrow.

No comments: