I am passionate about fitness but not in the way you might think. To me fitness is about a lot more than burpees and biceps. Sure, I enjoy making people do burpees because a small part of me enjoys putting people through pain (hehe) and I also don’t hate the fact that my biceps are huuuge (haha I wish). However, to me - being fit means being happy and I AM passionate about happiness. I also feel very strongly that nobody should spend the majority of their week doing something that doesn’t make them feel that way or give them fulfilment.
There is more to this than you might think – it’s not necessarily about finding your dream job but more about shifting the focus from seeking happiness in your outer world to creating balance within. Maybe it’s possible to feel fulfilled and content in your current job, or maybe you need a change. Either way, for positive changes to happen you must work on yourself and becoming your best.
The way I see it, if we don’t feel at our best we can’t appreciate just being in the moment. We will allow life to pass us by, one day will blur into the next, we will continue to wish time away; wish away the working day, the month, the year, constantly seeking salvation in some future situation we have created in our minds. “I will be happy once I get this promotion” or “I’ve just got to make it through this month to my next holiday.” Sound familiar?
If we feel good; energised, inspired, self-confident, free from stress and anxiety, and have solid and fulfilling relationships with people, we can not only start to appreciate the little moments in life, but also excel in our working lives and continue to head in a direction that is aligned with our personal mission and live our life with purpose. Living with purpose involves doing EVERYTHING with meaning and to a high standard. Trust me when I say, this is much easier if we feel fit and healthy and balanced in our body and mind.
So how do we do this?
Well, fitness corresponds to everything that allows the body to function healthily, from thoughts and feelings to nutrition and proper breathing. When our body is functioning at its best, our mind will reciprocate; the two are inseparable. This means we can bring focus and presence into our lives, our jobs and everything that we do.
We must, therefore, dedicate time to helping our bodies and minds to become healthier by focusing on the elements that allow us to function at our best.
This is fundamental when we think about our working life because we often feel so out of balance in this area. We are stressed and exhausted, we suffer postural problems because of the nature of our job and worst of all we don’t feel excited about getting out of bed in the morning and going to work. This kills our creativity, enthusiasm and negatively impacts our relationships.
These are the elements that I personally feel should be prioritised every day, in order to help you create balance from within and become an overall happier, healthier person that is excited about their lives and confident about working towards their goals and self-improvement.
Meditation, Breathing, Exercise, Stretching, Water intake, Proper nutrition, Having fun, Nature and Sleep.
Now, I understand the time constraints of daily living. You have a family, a full-time job, and endless responsibilities, right? Or maybe none of these things yet you still find time runs away with you each day. How can you possibly find the time to even start to think about implementing new habit or scheduling in time to exercise or meditate?
The first step is to decide that working on yourself is a priority. I am passionate about this but also very aware of the time constraints of everyday life, which is I why I created Mindful Fitness, a method of group training that combines all of the aforementioned elements in order to help you start to practice habits, in one place, that you can then start to build into your routine.
Once you have a better understanding of these small but very impactful habits, how to meditate, exercise properly etc, you can start to increase the frequency and consistency of them and the best way to do this is to add them onto habits you already have (habit stacking).
So you already have a gym routine? Great. Why not create 10 minutes at the end to stretch and meditate.
You need to drink more water, but you always forget? Make a rule that every time you look at your phone you have a sip of water. I guarantee you’ll drink loads more!
You like to watch TV for an hour before you go to bed. Try cutting this down by 15 minutes - find a book on nutrition (or proper breathing, meditation, yoga etc) and start educating yourself. These things are much easier and more fun when we start to understand them.
Make a promise to yourself to get to bed at the same time every night – set an alarm just as you would in the morning, (why not stack this onto your new reading habit and take a book to bed). Our bodies function so much better if we get a good night’s sleep and wake up at the same time every day.
Prioritise having fun – literally schedule it into your diary. Get outside, spend time with nature, eat ice-cream in the park, kick a ball about, meditate by the ocean, take a nap in the sun – you could even combine all of the above in one big fun outing!
I make a promise to you, when we start prioritising these things, our lives will reap the benefits: our relationships will improve, along with our self-image, posture, energy and general health. The effect on our fulfilment and progression at work will be huge.