Time to Give Up? by Steph Beth Nickel
Giving up. Admitting defeat. Conceding failure.
None of us want to do any of these things. But we may have to in order to achieve success.
What should we give up?
1. Creating a To Do list that doesn’t make physical activity a priority.
Whether we enjoy physical activity or not, we know exercise is important. Most of us know that we feel better physically, mentally, and emotionally after we’ve been active. Even going for a short walk can recharge our batteries and improve our outlook. Still, when our responsibilities seem overwhelming, physical activity is often the first thing we cross off our To Do list.
2. Saying yes to “just one more task.”
We feel overwhelmed by what we think we should be doing—at work, at home, in our community. And yet, when someone asks us to take on one more thing, especially something we’d like to do, we try hard to fit it into a schedule that already includes too much.
3. Not paring down our list of responsibilities.
This can be difficult. We look at our schedule and can’t imagine setting aside anything, at least not permanently. But maybe it’s time to take a hard look at our priorities and see that what we include on our To Do list lines up with those priorities. We may have to decline things we really want to do, things others think we should be doing, even things we promised to do. It isn’t easy, but many of us need to give it serious consideration.
4. Settling for processed and fast food on a regular basis.
Like getting regular exercise, most of us know we should be eating homemade food prepared with fresh ingredients. Too often our overcommitted schedules don’t include time for preparing and enjoying these types of meals. Too often we settle for processed and fast food. (I know I do.) However, if we make room on our To Do list, we can change all this. (I get a tote of organic fruit and vegetables delivered to my door every other week. This has dramatically changed our eating habits. I don’t want to let any of these ingredients go bad. Most of them are grown locally and throwing anything out seems insulting to my “neighbours.”)
5. Getting too little sleep.
Regular exercise. Healthy eating. Adequate sleep. This could be considered the trifecta of healthy living. There are a number of consequences of not getting enough sleep. When we are tired, we don’t think as clearly or work as efficiently. Therefore, we may get even less done than if we got an extra hour or two of shut-eye. Eventually, our physical and emotional health will suffer, putting us even further behind. Our attitude is often affected, putting a strain on our relationships. And on it goes. We don’t all need the same amount of sleep, but we all need enough sleep.
Oddly enough, when our To Do list is too long, we often relegate the most important things to last place. These things may very well include behaviours that constitute healthy living. If we’re not willing to pare down our To Do list—either of things we really don’t have time to do well or those things we do because we’re avoiding important items on the list (things like binge watching our favourite Netflix series for example)—those things that lead to physical, emotional, and mental health will be put off for another day.
7. Not seeking accountability.
Some people are incredibly self-disciplined and accomplish most—if not all—of what they set their mind to. But for the rest of us …
Partnering up with an accountability partner can be a great way to stay on track.
Is it time for you to “give up”? If so, what will you be giving up?
Before changing your activity level, exercise routine, and/or eating habits, consult your health care professional. What is safe and beneficial for one person can be harmful for another. Note that you implement the information in this post at your own risk.
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Steph Beth Nickel is an author, a freelance editor and writer, a labour doula, and a former personal trainer. She’d love to connect with you on Facebook or Twitter, on her website or blog.