I want to have a healthier life. I want to be in better shape, to have more stamina, to be able to feel comfortable in my skin.
Let’s be honest, some days I want to have a shape, be able to walk up the stairs and still hold a conversation at church, and be able to feel comfortable in my sweat pants.
My husband is a little more emphatic about the whole idea of a healthier life – especially when it comes to the gym.
We signed up for a gym membership for our family because the discount deal they were offering made it cheaper for us to do a year membership than it would cost to do a few weeks if we all went. It made sense and cents.
Bonus, the gym had an indoor track (for him) and an indoor pool (mostly for me).
We did not talk about focused flexibility or little bits when we made our family gym decision. After a conversation today with my husband, I’m thinking it might have been a good idea to cover those areas.
He wants to go six days a week and at the same time every day.
I’m okay with going six days when it works out that way. Some days I want to take a 2 pm class, other days I’d like to get the gym over with so I can enjoy the rest of the day. Some days life gets in the way and I don’t want to go at all. Somedays the schedule is undermined by the unschedule.
We each have to find our way – and when our ways don’t match then we have to be okay with encouraging each other in the ways that we each take.
Tonight, I cheered my husband on as he changed for the gym and I encouraged our son to go along with him.
Seeing Beyond the Expected
For me, it’s all about the little bits. THEY will probably say that I need to do more to reach my goals, but THEY aren’t the ones pushing the steamer around the floors during my breaks in writing or running up and down the stairs four billion times as I make lunch, dinner, and prep lunch for tomorrow.
I might have missed the gym, but I got my steps in and even did a little cardio when I forgot where my phone was and had to keep running up and down the steps in an attempt to find it. Those little bits add up.
I had every intention of going to the gym with my husband. It was an expected part of my day. It’s even in the Focus Folder. But when things came up, I choose to see around the expected. I made use of my little bits.
How to Make Use of the Little Bits
- Use the five minutes while the water is boiling to do some squats in the kitchen – or your exercise of choice. Not only will you get a little bit of exercise in, but the water will boil faster because you aren’t watching it.
- Use the ten minutes you have waiting for the meeting to start to finish the outline of the podcast you’re doing later. The outline will make it easier to craft a clear message.
- Use the twenty minutes the shows up as you are waiting for your family to make it in from class to do a quick chore – sweep the floors, change out the laundry (and put away what you’ve folded), or prep the meals for the next day.
- Use the family television time to do some stretches. It will strengthen your muscles and keep you from snacking on those Little Debbie cakes your husband got when he went to the grocery. Do something that also strengthens during this time of entertainment.
There are many little bits of time that can be put to work for your goals, whether you are looking to build a healthier life or to get your house clutter free (which can work well together, just so you know). The key is to have a focused flexibility about how you can use the little bits so you can begin to pile them up into your big dreams.
Defining Your Healthier Life
Being healthy means different things to different people, and it means different things to those same people at different times in their journey.
When I was in secondary school, being healthy meant I could run two miles without passing out. Today, I can write two miles without passing out. My goals and my expectations have changed. After having three children, I rarely run anywhere unless I’m being chased.
If you are going to use your little bits to build your healthier life, then you need to stop right now and define that that means to you. Also, take some time to meditate on WHY it means that. The world had put a lot of rules on what is and isn’t healthy. You need fo define what is right for you for such a time as this.
I LOVE doing yoga, but I modify many of the poses that they present. Every yoga instructor I’ve ever practiced under has nodded at my choices – and the instructor will usually follow up with “listen to your body and do what is right for you.” It’s your practice time, the instructor is there to guide you through the process.
Know your what. Know your why. Invest in the little bits to get there. Oh, and give yourself the grace of focused flexibility along the way because life is going to happen.