Resetting Healthy Life Priorities

Carla has written a few posts about living her priorities. They got me thinking about how easy it is to think that we have priorities, but how hard it is to make day-to-day choices that reflect those priorities. While her posts often focus on her work vs. family life priorities, my struggle is with my work vs. healthy life priorities.

Resetting Work Life Priorities via got2Run4Me

I’ve been bothered by all the “sitting is the new smoking” studies, and I even got a Jawbone® UP to remind me to move at work, but it didn’t take long for me to get complacent about my 10,000 step daily “goal” and ignore the UP reminder if I was busy. I accepted that if I ran before work I would hit 10,000 steps, but if I didn’t, I wouldn’t.

Jawbone UP Weekly Data

 The pattern is obvious!

I am considered to be one of “the healthy ones” at work, so I figured I would be more of a cheerleader for our new wellness programs than a beneficiary of them, but only a few days into our Walk Into Wellness challenge, I had a breakthrough that I hope will stick.

Step Into Wellness

For the month of April, we can earn a drawing entry for each day that we walk 3,000, 5,000 or 10,000 steps. I am irrationally motivated by even the simplest of prizes, so I have set a goal to earn a blue drawing entry every day. To reach that goal on days I don’t run, I will have to take a walking break at work or take Tiger Lilly for a walk after work.

I was off to a good start last week until I was faced with a heavy workload on Friday. As I was wavering over whether to bring my walking shoes (actually the fun Reebok ZQuick shoes I got to review in February) it hit me:

My health is more important than my work.

I was scared that the idea felt like such a breakthrough. Of course my health is more important than my work. But I have not been living that priority, and I am so used to making work a priority that I didn’t realize how far I had let my health slip down on my list of priorities.

I stay fit by exercising before work. If I have an early meeting, I get up even earlier to exercise. If I have an out-of-town business trip, I try to stay at a hotel with a good gym. Exercise is a priority for me, but I fit it in around my work schedule.

I have known for a few years that my work habits are bad for my health. (Is it really a surprise that sitting 10+ hours a day staring at a computer screen is not good for me?) But I have not done anything to change them. I bow to the pressure to work harder and longer hours in the name of “client service,” all the while sacrificing my own well-being. I need to start drawing the line and start living according to my my-health-is-more-important priority. I need to keep in mind that not every client inquiry is an emergency–I’m a patent attorney, not a doctor, and even doctors make their patients wait! I think committing to a 30 minute walk at lunch is a good place to start.

Do you live your priorities?

Are you motivated by silly prizes?

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29 Responses to Resetting Healthy Life Priorities

  1. hey nothing wrong with silly prizes for some extra motivation!
    Linz @ Itz Linz recently posted…36 Weeks Pregnant | To Do List to Prepare for BabyMy Profile

  2. Carla says:

    ok SERIOUSLY I LOVE when I click over anywhere and am shocked by a link to me.
    Im not motivated externally which is BAD in a way as I have that half marathon coming and Im not training and…
    this isnt about me? 🙂
    Im internally motivated which rocks and sucks.
    I too had that ah ha! about my work habits being HORRIBLE for my health (here it was constant back pain) and that completely motivated me to NEVER EVER TAKE CALLS SITTING (even if I pace the room), never ever tweet sitting (pace pace) etc.

    that back pain was motivating.

    Carla recently posted…Don’t compare you to…YOU.My Profile

  3. I too am easily motivated by small prizes. I love little challenges. I think I will join you in committing to a 30 minute walk daily. Now to restructure my day to stop using my lunch hour for errands. 🙂 recently posted…Ragnar Socal!!!My Profile

  4. I think it can be very easy to let so many other things in life take over while healthy habits take a back seat. Good for you for doing a reality check!

  5. Hey… I’m all about rewarding yourself…even with silly prizes!
    Brittany @ Delights and Delectables recently posted…10 Tips to Get or Stay Motivated to ExerciseMy Profile

  6. Tara Newman says:

    So true. All of it. I can run miles before work but then sit around the rest of the day. I also like how you say how hard it is to make day-to-day choices. So true! I have good intentions about going for a walk at lunch but usually wind up blogging 🙂
    Tara Newman recently posted…2014 Goals ReviewMy Profile

  7. Susan says:

    I love the different jars at your office! It would definitely motivate me 🙂 Walking at lunch is a great idea – enjoy!!
    Susan recently posted…Bacon-Tomato Cheese ToastsMy Profile

  8. Kim says:

    I agree – health is more important than anything – glad you are realizing that it is OK if people have to wait just a bit before you can help them!!!
    I try to live my priorities – some days I don’t succeed but I keep trying!
    Kim recently posted…The Big 13!My Profile

  9. I have this same problem consistenyly. I recently cut back my work to a 65% schedule. The public accounting life was nit only taking me away from my family, but my health as well. Even though I cut back at work I still have an inner struggle eith shutting my laptop and getting outside to take car of myself.
    Melanie Hanna recently posted…Firefly 5k RecapMy Profile

  10. I totally get this. I know what my priorities should be and I know that I should be doing but it’s those in-the-moment choices that are often really tricky for me and I don’t always live my priorities. I love that you are leading the wellness charge at work.
    Christine @ Love, Life, Surf recently posted…Ask a Yogini: Why Practice Yoga Inversions?My Profile

  11. Lisa says:

    I think it’s SO great you are trying to be the office cheerleader for better health!!
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  12. Steena says:

    You might appreciate that I read this this morning, and promptly got up and took the dogs for a walk. I may be hacking up my lungs from my plague, but darn it, it made me want to get more steps for some reason. haha.
    You’re right though, it’s easy to put work first, I even do that and my job isn’t that important. This week when I was sick my first annoyance was at how much work I was missing. Second annoyance was how little miles I’d be running. Now I’m feeling lucky to just walk around the block! Silly where our heads can go.
    Steena recently posted…Peak Week PlagueMy Profile

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