Two weeks ago, I sat down with my husband and our calendars, and I said, “Greg, I need to find time this week to exercise.”
Being the supportive husband that he is, he responded with, “Well, when do you want to do it?”
I said, “How about Monday, Tuesday and Friday evenings?”
He agreed and immediately put the dates into his Google calendar, and I wrote them into my Catholic Daily Planner.
As the week progressed, I worked out every single time that I was scheduled to do so. It was such a successful week! Not only because I scheduled my exercise, but also because I intentionally made my days more active.
By going upstairs one more time, instead of asking one of the kids to do it for me. By keeping up with the housework, which really adds up to quite a bit of activity. And by just trying to get more steps in each day, for example, by parking a little further away at Aldi or Target.
At the end of the week, I felt stronger, more balanced, less stressed and all-around in a better mood.
So, what caused me not to repeat that pattern the following week or even this week? Why wouldn’t I workout or get more activity into my day, when I know it is so good for me—physically, mentally and emotionally?
It all boils down to perfectionism: If I don’t start the week out strong, I may as well just forget it. If I don’t workout Monday evening, why bother working out Tuesday or Wednesday? If I can’t get exercise in at the ideal time of day, well, then what’s the point?
If you have any tendency toward perfectionism, you can relate to my way of thinking. If you do not, you might just think I’m crazy.
With so many things in my life, perfectionism can rob me of good thoughts, good activities, good moods. And for what? Even I am not sure. But often that darn perfectionism really ruins things for me: like at least doing a little bit, even if I can’t do it all. Like getting back into my healthy eating habits, even after I “slip up” one afternoon by dipping into the Easter candy early.
Someone once told me: If you accidentally spilled red wine on your white carpet, would you just say, “Oh well!” And pour the rest of the glass onto the carpet? Of course not! The same is true for slip ups in healthy eating or maintaining an exercise routine. It’s NOT all or nothing! It’s so much better and healthier to just do something! To say, “Yesterday wasn’t great, but today I’m back on track!” Or even, “This morning wasn’t great, but I’m not going to let that ruin the entire day!”
Today, I was talking to a friend on the phone about this exact subject, and thankfully, she understood me. She encouraged me—she encouraged both of us—to “do” 15 minutes sometime today. And her encouragement made all the difference!
When my kids got home from school this afternoon, we went outside, and we played. I chased them; they chased me, and afterward, we went for a nice walk. No, it’s not a power walk, when you’re holding a three-year-old’s hand, and I didn’t burn as many calories pushing my children on the swings as I would’ve if I had danced to my Zumba DVD. But my 15 minutes (maybe even more) broke the chains of perfectionism for at least today (but hopefully for tomorrow, too).
(Linking up to Minnesota Mom’s Weigh-in Wednesday. Check it out! It’s a very encouraging link up!)