Setting Priorities

What if you knew that by doing one thing a day you would be more productive at work, calmer in the face of adversity, happier with your family, and have more energy for your other daily tasks? Would you take that time out of your schedule to do it, if it guaranteed results like that?

We’ve all heard it, we’ve probably even said it ourselves….the dreaded “I’m too busy for ‘x'”. This is something we as coaches hear all the time when we ask people what’s been holding them back from achieving their goals. I’m going to tell you a secret though, it’s not a time issue, it’s a priorities issue. All of us have 24 hours in a day, we prioritize what we want to do, suffer through what we have to do, and put off what we don’t want to do.

Humans are fantastic animals. We have this capability to think in a logical manner and to create timelines. This allows us to complete complex tasks efficiently and to learn how to do even more complex tasks. But here’s the other side to that coin, it also allows us to make excuses. Since we don’t only live in this moment, but can imagine and plan future tasks, we sometimes get lost and bogged down in those future tasks and ignore the immediate. This results in putting off the less fun tasks for something that may seem more important, even if it’s something that could wait, but isn’t as painful.

Fitness and training is one of these things that gets put off for many people. As adults we have been conditioned to think of training as another thing we have do during the day. And since training isn’t always enjoyable, it gets put into the category of ‘need to do, but I don’t really want to’. But, here’s the rub, we should be making fitness a priority. A study that was conducted by the University of New England, Australia found that after only 4 weeks of resistance and cardiovascular training there was a marked decrease in psychological distress, perceived day to day stress, and emotional exhaustion. It also saw an increase in well being and personal accomplishment (Brettwood 2015). Now while this study applied to office workers, there’s a good likelihood it will pass down to family as well since we all bring work stress home with us. This study was short, only 4 weeks, so imagine if we made this a lifetime change. How good of a family life, work life, and friendships do you think you could have if it became a priority?

For those of you who have families or careers (so all of you) let me ask you something. You don’t need to answer me, but just think about it. When was the last time you did something for yourself?

The most selfless thing you can do is take care of yourself first. I know that’s not a popular opinion. We have spent years being told that parents should give everything to their families. Or we’ve had bosses that insist on working late, using you up until you’re just a shell of what you were. The truth is you can’t help anyone, be super productive, or enjoy life to the fullest if you’re not healthy first. Take that hour, unplug from your work, family, and social media. All of those will be there when you finish, and you will be calmer and able to enjoy these things more by taking that step back and doing something for you.

Make yourself a priority and you will be amazed at how things in your life improve.

See you in the gym! Aspera Non Spernit

– Coach Chris

  1. Bretland, Rachel Judith, & Thorsteinsson, Einar Baldvin. (2015). Reducing workplace burnout: The    relative benefits of cardiovascular and resistance exercise. PeerJ, 3, E891.