Balancing Act

The new year has brought an interesting but familiar challenge for me that I’m struggling to overcome. The desire to stay-the-course for my health journey and the desire to accomplish another large goal of mine: writing. 

For as long as I can remember I’ve wanted to be a novelist. I’ve always joked about my “writing moods” – periods where all I want to do is write and nothing else…at all. For a few years (ugh, yes, years), words just haven’t been flowing the way I want. But last year I finally found my groove again.

And then 4th Quarter hit. Just like the end of the year at work made being healthy a challenge, it made writing nearly impossible. So you can only imagine how happy I am now that we’re in a fresh year and I have time to write again.

So why is this a problem? Because in order to write I have to – you guessed it – sit! I’ve already found that focusing more on my writing with the start of the new year has led to me getting in less exercise and I don’t want that to become a trend.

I have two thoughts on how to combat this. First, I think it would be helpful to set some daily minimums. Because writing involves so much variety – between actual writing, editing, and the business side of things – I think it’s adequate to say I need to do SOMETHING every day. That task can be as small or as large as the day allows. For exercise, I’m going to commit to 30 minutes daily. That’s manageable even if I’m having a crazy day and all I can do is a 30-minute walk. 

Obviously, for both of these goals I want to do more than these minimums most days but I can be happy with myself if I can’t. I also want to incorporate other healthy habits I’ve already built into my writing. For example, since I’ve started this lifestyle change, I walk whenever I can incorporate it into normal activities. So if I’m brushing my teeth/hair, texting, blogging, or just stewing over something, I walk while I do it. Writing involves a lot of thinking – building out plot points, getting into the mindset of characters, etc. That’s all stuff that I can do while pacing around my apartment – so I SHOULD!

As always, even just thinking through this problem and its solution already has me feeling more confident about my approach. Now it’s time to just get on it!

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