MAWMondayMotivators 05/03/2015

sunshine_145918109The weather is really helping me out, but I have had the urge to increase my activity for the last month. With a number of important writing and programming projects over the last quarter, I have been sitting longer than I would like. Even with morning exercises, breaks, and posture routines, nothing takes the place (or produces the endorphins) of exertion and heavy weights.

So, this weekend, I took 3 hours to clear out the area of the garage that holds the star from last Summer: the weight bench. Once I got the garage clean and primed the bench for renewed use, I began to think about what I have missed over the last few months. I questioned whether, in my pursuit of completion, I had lost a bit of the balance that characterizes my life. My weight bench is my symbol to refocus my attention, and ensure that I am balancing sustainably. What will be your symbol? Choose something tangible to add or emphasize this week that will get you into the appropriate balance. Twitter supports some important rules of thumb as you will see.

1. Your Health is Your Business.
I have seen quite a few articles talking about the dangers of getting sick when you run a business. But, a larger opportunity is missed when you overlook health in favor of your business. You may be building an empire for someone else to enjoy. Or worse, you may be working for income that will only serve to finance your medical bills.

I decided long ago that I would not sacrifice health, family, faith, nor integrity for advancement, wealth or fame. Success by any other standard or not, if I have my health, family, faith, and integrity, I’ve already won. As I succeed in business, I want to be fit and energetic enough to enjoy all the perks.

2. Health is Higher Priority than Business.
Yes. Health includes exercise. My argument: the more stress you encounter on a daily basis, the heavier the weights you must lift during exercise. “But, Dr. Wright, I don’t life weights.” You are missing out on a physical power to match your spiritual pump. Let’s not have the already discredited mythological discussion about how huge you will get if you lift weights. First, there’s a way to do it that builds long, lean muscles–more reps, like 12-16. Second, you don’t have time enough to lift for muscle mass gain. You have business to get back to. Know this, exercising with weights will improve your process management and your outcome celebration.

3. Eating is as Important as Exercise.
I’m always giving a side-eye when people suggest that body-type says nothing about character. I’m a behavioral scientist with a strong interest in economics, specifically choice architecture. That logic doesn’t pass muster with me. Your body doesn’t tell me the whole story of your character, but it provides a clear cover, table of contents, and back copy. I like the picture included with this tweet for that reason. It agrees with me. No matter what you say, your body is keeping an accurate journal.

4. Clean up. Don’t Diet.
I talked with a student this week about her diet. I asked, “What and where do you eat?” She answered, “Anything and anywhere. That’s my problem.” It’s a common problem. Most of us eat for convenience and smell-based cravings. Most of us don’t respond to the smell of carrots with a gushing of love and excitement. But, we can plan for the convenience part of the equation. It’s all about your grocery list and shopping habit. Guess what, if you don’t buy cupcakes and place them in your cupboard, you won’t have the strong urge to down two while you make dinner. Chips and candies are other common “convenience” culprits. Beyond those, get cleaner by switching the way you prepare your favorites. My family LOVES french fries. Baking them in the oven just didn’t cut it compared to deep frying. The solution was an oil-less fryer. Check it out. All the crispiness and no added oil (2 tsps of which are 80 calories).

5. Include Nature and Water.
I had a headache one day last week, and realized that my water intake has suffered the most over the last quarter. The subtle increase in temperature may not indicate to you how much water you are losing throughout the day. But, that’s not the indicator of water consumption. You must have a routine that includes water intake. My problem is that my routine was tied to my daily routine, which has been off for about 2 months. A shortened morning workout meant no 20 ounce water break. Lunch at my desk meant no stroll and water guzzle. Late hours meant no pitcher of Welch’s grape with half water (32 oz) at night. And just like that, I’m down some 60 oz of water per day. Add that to the water I’m losing to sweat, and I’m clinically dehydrated. Don’t be like me this past week. Reclaim your productive, balanced routine, and get your water.