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.
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.
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.
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?