Coach 'N Tell: The Exercise Time Warp: A 25th Hour
By Allison Fishman February 15, 2011
Yes, Shauna continues to achieve February's Healthy Habit goal of more exercise. This week, she exercised more than 3 times, for at least 20 minutes each time. Of course she did; we set a goal that was well within her wheelhouse and that's the way to get it done.
But what I haven't shared so far is an interesting side effect of Shauna's exercise: She's getting more done. By removing the exercise excuses and finding exercise that makes her laugh and let's her spend more quality time with friends and family, Shauna has been enjoying one of the key benefits of exercise: she has more energy (and what seems like more time) to get other projects done.
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During our first week of coaching (after we established her exercise routine), we discussed other areas of life she might want to work on. Everybody has them: those little nagging things that you'd love to do...if only you had the time.
Shauna had an office that she was using as storage (ok, let's be straight: stuffed with crap-ola), and she wanted her quiet, light-filled office back again. In addition to exercising that week, she gave herself the homework assignment of spending an afternoon with an organizer who could help her clean the office and make it usable. That's one of those things that had been buzzing around in Shauna's head for months; now it was done.
The second week, Shauna talked about downtime, which she has a hard time fitting into her schedule. We talked about taking a social media-free Friday. It sounded like a great idea, but is difficult to do when round-the-clock social media is your professional medium.
That Friday, Mubarak stepped down, and Shauna didn't want to stick her head in the media-free sand. But Shauna more than made up for it; she took both Saturday and Sunday off (a weekend! remember those?) for the first time in too long. She was able to watch How To Cook Your Life, a food-and-meditation documentary that had been on her list for years.
That night, while making a Sausage and Kale soup, she found herself cooking differently. She sliced the onions slowly, as if she was meditating while she mise en placed. She wasn't writing a recipe as she cooked or photographing what she was cooking, she was simply in the moment with her ingredients.
Exercise is an end in itself: it's good for you, you know you need to do it, and you feel better when you do it. But when you incorporate it into your life in a way that you enjoy, instead of fighting the "when am I going to fit exercise in" battle, you'll find yourself with more energy -- and seemingly more time -- to fit in the other kind things you'd like to do for yourself. Watch a movie, clear the clutter, give yourself time off.
It's an exercise time warp; when we make the time to exercise, we have even more time to get things done.