Too Busy to Stay Healthy?
taking care of your health gives you more time!
The life of a productive person sometimes feels like it’s filled with choices:
- Get work done, or take care of myself?
- Balance my work and rest, or achieve my goals?
- Spend time with people, or get tasks crossed off the list?
The list of actions we should all be taking to stay physically, spiritually, mentally, and relationally healthy is crazy-long. Sometimes it feels like if we were faithful with those necessary actions every day, we wouldn’t get anything else done. At other times, we know the right answer to those questions - we know we need to attend to our health in those areas - but we simply can’t find a strong enough motivation to do any of it.
how do we do it all and not go crazy
One of the most effective ways to stay healthy and to thrive in the midst of a busy life is to set up habits and routines that will guide your day. Getting these habits in place as a Morning Routine, an End of Day Routine, and perhaps a chain of them at lunchtime and bedtime can revolutionize not only your faithfulness to staying healthy, but also the amount of time and energy you are able to harness to get your joyful work done.
healthy habits are like investments
For every minute you invest in taking care of your health in one of those areas above, you get multiple minutes back.
- Twenty minutes spent exercising might give you an hour more of energy at the end of the day.
- Thirty minutes in prayer and journaling might give you super-clarity for the upcoming week.
- Ten minutes of connecting with someone important might save a huge amount of conflict in the future.
it takes planning
You need to think through what it will take you help you thrive, and how you’re going to get there. You need to understand what triggers your behavior automatically, and how to harness those triggers to implement good habits. And you need to make a plan that puts them all together in a way that’s both actionable and memorable.
identifying healthy habits
Make a list of all the actions you feel you should be taking every day (or nearly every day) to be healthy in the following areas:
- Physically healthy
- Spiritually healthy
- Relationally healthy
- Mentally healthy
Go through your list of habits. For each one, if there is no immediate, tangible reward, figure out a small (or perhaps large!) reward for it.
find a trigger
Identify something for each habit that will remind you to do it. The key is to make the trigger something that will happen automatically, without your having to cause it. Such as:
- It can be at a certain place in your day that is already a habit (for example, when you first wake up)
- It can be associated with something that happens at random times (like every time the phone rings)
- Or it can simply be at a time on the clock (perhaps every morning at 9:30)
you can do it
Put this all together in to an actionable plan:
trigger, habit and reward. Yes, it’s a bit time-consuming at the start. But remember, you’re investing time now, so it will multiply later. It’s so worthwhile.