A hazard of the writing life is that you spend too much time on your duff tapping away at a tiny keyboard, neither of which are good for your body, and my doctor assures me that if I’m going to grow old gracefully there are certain things I need to do, regularly.
Nothing on the list would shock you; the big ones are walk a lot, lift heavy things occasionally, and do stretches to combat too-much-typing disease.
(This is something I’ve done on and off for years; in fact, I blogged about an early version of it right here, which shows what my list looked like in 2013.)
What my habit tracker shows
Now that April is in the books, I have a whole month’s worth of results to look at, and they are … interesting.
The walking is fine; my steps are where I want them to be, I think because I’ve implemented habits throughout the day that make sure I get them in.
I’m doing great on strength. I took Donna’s advice to commit to doing one minute—literally, a single minute—of some kind of strength exercise every day. It’s so easy to do one minute. How could I not?
I do it right after I walk Daisy in the morning. That one minute usually turns into ten or fifteen, but even if I do just one minute, I get to check the box.
But the stretching. Oh, the stretching.
That part’s not going so well.
Habit change is hard
For her wellness challenge, Donna’s research-backed advice is to start small. Thus the one minute of strength.
So I decided to start small with stretching as well, and decided I’d check the box if I did either my series of too-much-typing stretches or a quickie Yoga with Adriene video. Both take about seven minutes.
Seven minutes is not a long time.
And I feel ridiculous telling you this because it’s just seven minutes—but I cannot get this stretching done, even though I have a reminder that goes off on my phone every morning. I’ve checked so few boxes for this.
Small steps add up
Like many of us, I tend to discount the power of small things, forgetting that all big things are done small step by small step. I’m writing in my book right now about the power of taking the first step— yet the first step sometimes seems so small I don’t want to do it. How much good could it do me?
But thanks to “one minute” (in quotes, because it so often turns into more) I can lift more than I could a month ago.
But with my lousy—but longer— seven-minute goal I can barely get the stretching done.
It sounds so silly to say I’ve accomplished anything if I stretch for a single minute but I’ve decided what I need to do is just give it a minute. Just one.
What will you give a minute?
If you’re interested in making some changes in your life, whether they’re simple (like one minute of weights) are trickier (I’ll let you fill in the blank here), I’d love to hear about it, and what you’re going to commit to, minute by minute, small step by small step.
Tell us all about it in comments.
P.P.S. Our May MMD Book Club selection is on sale today, in ebook, for $1.99. I just started this myself last night and even on the third time through it is SUCH a delight. I can’t wait to chat with the author at month’s end! Click here for more info (watch the short two-minute video for more of my thoughts) and to get yours.