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A healthy default

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For a while, I used to try to stick to a set schedule. I’d get very angry at myself when I deviated from it. If, for some reason, I didn’t get a work-out in the morning–or if I didn’t put away the laundry and the kids dispersed the formerly clean clothes throughout the house.

What I recently realized is that I don’t have to do that schedule every day–and I certainly shouldn’t agonize when I deviate (even on a regular basis) from the schedule. What’s more important is that I return to it at some point. I’ve had some pretty long fitness kicks, but usually, I end up going 6 months to a year of no excercise.

It’s more important to make this daily routine a daily default rather than a rigorous discipline. What do I mean by default? I mean that unless I have a reason not to, I am going to stick to the things that help me become healthier.

Here are some of my defaults | and some reasons I might skip them:

  • Working out (running or weight training) in the morning | sleeping in late
  • Packing a lunch (rather than eating at the cafeteria or at a restaurant) | meeting my friends for lunch
  • Drinking lots of water | there’s really no good reason not to
  • Folding and putting away laundry in the evening (used to be morning) | playing with the kids or helping with homework
  • Emptying the dishwasher in the morning (and possibly re-loading it at night) | slept in or the kids got up early
  • Reading a book (rather than surfing the web) at night | but I really want to write that blog entry about healthy defaults

Over at The Growing Life, Clay Collins talks about life balance and insanity. I didn’t realize it before, but that post influenced me in re-assessing my daily schedule (and the discipline I tried to enforce on it).

What’s important to me is that I ensure I don’t derail from my default for too long. It’s all too easy to decide that I need to write 10 blog entries right now–or I need to learn a new programming language. Usually, when I do (resume my default), I find that my default is a welcome return.

Written by PoojanWagh

September 25th, 2008 at 2:01 pm

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Great morning run

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Not sure how I did it, but somehow, I managed to go for a nice run this morning.

It was unlikely that I’d go for such a run. The forecast said it would rain at 6. It seemed like it would be cold outside. It was pitch black outside. I usually get up early but somehow get sidetracked online. Curiously, because I thought it would rain at 6, I was motivated not to waste time on the computer this morning. I found a small flashlight and put batteries in it. I looked for a long-sleeve shirt, but instead stepped outside and found that the weather was perfect.

I was able to get out at 5:30 AM and run under the moon and stars. The temperature was perfect (58 degrees C) and there was a nice warming fog everywhere.

I’ve been wanting to get back into a moring excercise routine for a while now, but have failed due to static inertia. Luckily, this morning I made it out, and I’m glad I did.

Curiously, I had to focus my mind on my surroundings. My initial reaction was that “this is so great of an experience; I should blog about it.”

I could’ve easily squandered an hour or so this morning, surfing the mindless Internet. Instead, I got out and re-appreciated the warm wooded neighborhood in which I live. I ran to the fitness center, did some core strength excercises, and started my way back.

I decided to extend my run (another example of static inertia–in this case, a healthy one) and took the long way home.

Written by PoojanWagh

September 24th, 2008 at 10:30 am