We all know our time on earth is limited to a certain amount of days. Work gives us money so we can live a (comfortable) life. Next to that, work also challenges us, gives us experience, allows us to help people, grow intellectually and a lot more. Face it, work takes up an important part of our time, next to sleeping and nurturing ourselves. Then, we also spend time on life goals such as family, friends, parenting, volunteering, exercising, travelling and hobbies.
Life Is About Balancing What Is Important
Competitive as people are, we want to grow in our career and the before-mentioned life goals. Growth in work usually gives you more responsibilities, better remuneration, secondary benefits and recognition. On the flip-side, we spend more time at work. Especially with email, chat, phones always close-by the barrier between work and life is fading.
We are so involved in work and growing intellectually that we forget the fitness of our body and mind.
Why Exercise Should Come First
A better paycheck allows you to buy better, healthier food, but if you don’t have time to actually eat and exercise regularly, it will not benefit you. We all know that regular exercises and eating are beneficial to us. If you stop exercising, you’re healthy will go down and also your productivity drops. Since you are already spending more time at work and with a drop in productivity you will spend even more time at work and have less time for family, friends, other goals and working out. Eventually, that means you will become less happy and less motivated.
How To Put Exercise First?
This is probably easier said than done! Start by listing your top 10 priorities in life. These are your life goals. After that, it is a matter of prioritizing and balancing these goals and see if they benefit each other.
Work At #1
If you put work at number 1. You will end up with money, career growth, but also spend a lot of time at your work. This causes less time for family and friends and after work too tired to exercise; that is why I suggest doing an early morning workout. If you work long hours your evening becomes less productive such as watching TV instead or doing something nice with family, less motivated to do volunteering, meeting with friends etc.
Family & Friends At #1
If the family is the most important, you will spend a lot of time with them. Probably having a job where you are on autopilot and don’t make what you are worth. Your career doesn’t grow and most likely not much time left for exercise and other hobbies.
Exercise At #1
If you manage to exercise regularly, your body and mind will thank you for that! in my case, I either swim 30 minutes or do a 30 to 45 min run around at 7 am. This one of the best ways to start your day since it gives you a boost of energy and makes you want to succeed this day. Since it is early morning and you have done the exercise part, you have a whole day ahead to do all the things you need to do. Do the right thing at work in the morning and after work you have time for family, friends, volunteering and hobbies.
By now you should get the idea, but please prioritize all your life goals as shown above. Writing them down gives you a clear overview how it works.
Is A Healthy Body And Mind The Same?
Before we have discussed the importance of exercising, but when it comes to a healthy mind, you need to do a bit more. A healthy mind is curious, allow yourself to brainstorm and explore new ideas and spark your creativity. Social interaction and bonds with people stimulate your brain. The mind likes to be Intellectually challenged, take-up a new course, read an inspiring book or learn something new. Be open to being (spiritually) inspired! Part of keeping healthy is mainly what you eat. Your brain, as well as your body, needs nutrition to operate.
In my opinion, this is one of the best qualities someone can have. Persistence gave me the ability to lose over 20 kgs in weight by changing my daily diet and putting a healthy active lifestyle as #1 priority. Hence, every morning I exercise and I have put in place a morning routine which I continue to optimize. Due to this change, my physic has improved a lot.
As a Dutchman living in Singapore, I am now able to run 10 kilometres which I have never ever done before.
Your take-way of all this should be: experiment and prioritize your life goals. Take up exercise, be adventurous and plan exercise when possible in the morning since it will give your days a boost. Implement a morning routine. Make sure to keep your mind healthy to become a better version of yourself.
Originally published at medium.com