We all want to be healthy and often we know what to do to achieve this, so why is it so hard to go for a run, eat nutritious foods or get a good night’s sleep? It’s not that we can’t or don’t know how to do all these things, it’s just that it’s too easy to put it off and do something else – otherwise known as our good friend Procrastination. The best place to start is to address the causes behind this procrastinating behaviour aka ‘putting stuff off’.
Choose movement you enjoy
If going for a run is something you really don’t enjoy, then try something else…. any movement is good movement so walk, cycle, swim or dance – all movement will improve your health. We are so much more likely engage in exercise when it doesn’t feel like a chore.
Reward yourself for successes
Set a specific goal for how often you will move through the week and reward yourself when you stick to it. A flashy new pair of shoes might motivate you to get out there so promise yourself a shopping expedition when you’ve managed to stick to your exercise plan for a set period of time.
Set clear boundaries around work habits to allow you to get home in time to prepare a nutritious meal and get to sleep at a reasonable hour. Ask yourself, what does it take for this to happen? Start with a simple schedule; plug in all the events that are essential, estimate how long they will take, block out time and work backwards. Add in where you think you will have time to do an exercise class or go for a walk, look for windows of opportunity to prepare food and put a limit on how much work you bring home so you can hop into bed before midnight! In other words, prioritise you rather than what you think you need to do. Put in as much detail as you need to be efficient and effective.
Manage your time and energy
The biggest change you can make will be working on your energy management – energy is the currency by which we live so cultivate it. Funnily enough, we can cultivate oodles of energy by eating well and getting adequate sleep! More energy means you will switch on, get stuff done and be far more productive. Work in an area you love, use your strengths, follow your passions, have a strong team around you, be organised and directed, which in turn will give you more downtime to enjoy life and focus on you. Managing your time will help you get organised, prioritising tasks gives you focus and cultivating energy makes you invincible.
Is it worth getting moving, eating well and getting a good night’s sleep? YES!
Article by Mel Ingram, Clinical Health Services Manager