Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Most Important Thing

Grab a piece of paper and number 1 through 5. Now list the 5 things you feel are most important to look and feel your best--the 5 most important things to be the healthiest and happiest you possible. Now rank them from most important (#1) to less important (#5). Here's my ranked list:
  1. Love
  2. Sleep
  3. Diet
  4. Balance
  5. Exercise
The Beatles sang "All You Need Is Love." No, it's not really all you need, but it's important enough that I ranked it #1.

For me, "Love" encompasses many things. First, there's love for yourself. I think that in order to make a long-term and sustainable lifestyle change, in order to make yourself a better, happier, and healthier person, you have to love yourself enough to make that commitment. You have to value yourself. You have to decide that you are important and deserve to have the best life possible. Because you do!

There's also love for what you do. I enjoy running. Sometimes it feels like a huge hassle, but once I'm out there doing it, I don't regret it. I know there are more efficient methods of cardio...but I like running. If you don't like running, then it won't do anything for you. I have heard so many times, people say, "Man, I need to run. I'm gaining weight. I hate running." Yeah, if you hate running, it's not going to help you much. There are better forms of cardio that will help you lose weight, and you will probably like them more than running.

Next I chose sleep. If I'm not well rested, I am a bear. Seriously. I don't like being around me when I don't get enough sleep. Our lives are stressful enough: work, bills, family, etc. Not getting enough sleep is one more stressor you are subjecting your body to. During the week I aim for at least 7 hours at night with a 20-30 minute nap during the day. Sometimes I only get 6, depending on my work schedule.

"Diet" is next. You can workout like a crazy person, but it won't matter if you eat crap food. Health starts on the inside. Eat real food! Not processed from a box fake food!

Next for me is "balance." This refers to how I balance the priorities in my life. If I'm supposed to workout, but I've only slept 5 hours a night the past couple nights...I'm probably going to take a nap first. Or postpone my workout till tomorrow when I'm more rested. If I've been working like crazy, and the house looks like a pigsty, I'll probably take a day off subbing to clean all day. When I let one part of my life take over the rest, I feel out of balance, and I don't like that.

Finally comes exercise. Yes, I always make time for exercise. But to me, it's not as important as the rest in order to make me feel the best.

All five of these things are important priorities to me. And they may move up or down depending on the day and how I feel. On average though, this is probably where they would fall.

Cavegirl Runner

What was your number 1? Did your list surprise you?

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