Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Hint #2: Value your Health

A few years ago, I was walking on the streets of Chicago in one of the shopping districts, when an advertisement on one of the store windows stopped me dead in my tracks. It said:

"Someone who is busier than you is running right now."

Think about that for a minute. Don't we all use being busy as an excuse for not being able to do something from time to time?

The difference between people who do exercise regularly and the people who do not, I have found, lies in their core value system.

People who value their health - and I mean genuinely value it - make time to exercise. They plan their days around it. If they are going to be out of town on a business trip, they look for hotels with fitness rooms. If they have commitments before and after work, they walk on their lunch breaks and squeeze in exercise with each opportunity that they can.

One of my good friends and mentors, Cathy, has taught me that we make time for the things we value. Or, if we don't make time for them, we experience some level of dissonance in our lives. Our values need to be congruent with our actions, and vice versa.

I challenge you to think about what your values are. This can extend beyond exercise. They might include your family, your spouse, your spirituality/religion, your health, or your friendships.

The moment you decide what is most important to you in your life, ask yourself if your actions parallel those values.

If you say you value your family, how do you make time for family in your life? If your health is important to you, what things are you doing daily to improve it? If your spirituality is a top priority, how do you make time for it in your schedule?

As a personal trainer, I hear from clients every day who say they want to lose weight or want to become more fit; but, some also say they do not have time. I realize there is an exception to every rule, but in most cases, we make time for the things we value.

I vividly remember that advertisement I saw in Chicago a few years back, because it forced me to think about my values. Now, I am asking you to think about yours.

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