DOING WHAT WORKS – OR NOT

I’m tired. Like, really tired. And I know people that have kids say that you don’t know what true exhaustion is until you have children, but if that is the case, I’m never having kids. This level of exhaustion is bad enough, thankyouverymuch.

I don’t know exactly why I’m so worn out, but I can probably guess. It’s not like I ran 20 miles today or anything noteworthy. AJ and I went on a (very strenuous) hike yesterday, but it was only 3 miles long. We went and got some food afterwards, and then I promptly passed out on the couch for 2 hours, then slept for almost 11 hours last night. I taught barre class and ran 5 miles today – again, not really anything to write home about. Yes, I suppose I’m still recovering from my surgery, and yes, I know no one really wants to hear about how tired anyone else is. I mean really, who gives a crap, right? We’re all tired. We’re all busy. No one cares.So I don’t write this post to complain, really, or to get you to feel sorry for my exhaustion. It’s because I realized this morning that the reason I’m tired is probably because I’m not doing what works.

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Most of us have probably figured out by now that there is a routine or pattern where, if we follow it, we feel our best. Perhaps it is waking up at a certain time each day, or getting a set amount of sleep each night. It might be a certain number of workouts per week or a certain type of meal each day for lunch. Whatever it is, most adults eventually figure out what that formula is, either by luck or trial and error. And yet why do so many of us have trouble doing what we know works for us? Why do we stray away?

I know that I function best when I wake up at the same time each day, regardless of what time that is. Yet for months, I haven’t been doing it, because on the days I have to teach barre, I have to wake up at 5:10 am. Theoretically, that means I have to wake up at 5:10 am the entire week, and I am not a morning person. I also spend quite a few hours working each night, and after getting home from teaching class, I’m only left with about 2 hours in which to shower, make dinner, eat dinner, and do whatever freelance or blog work I need to do before I have to go to bed. Not ideal! So, I haven’t been doing it. I’ve been waking up super early on the two days per week that I have to teach and then sleeping in an extra 2 hours on the other days, which has thrown my sleep schedule totally out of whack.

And the more out of whack my schedule gets, the more tired I am, so the harder it becomes to convince myself to wake up early.

Same thing with running right now. One of instructors is moving to Denver, so I’m now teaching after work 3 days of the work week. I prefer to run after work, and never two days in a row because of my back and…and…one thing leads to another, so I’m not running as much as I used to. When I am running, I’m not running as far. And even though I know running gives me more energy, I’m tired, so the idea of getting up early to run (when I actually have time) seems impossible. On and on it goes.

Finally got back out there on Sunday for five miles in the sunshine!

Even though I eat a pretty healthy diet, I also know I feel best when I eat salads for lunch. For quite a few months in a row, I did just that – salads with chicken, cheese, and veggies. It was fine, and it did make me feel good, but it wasn’t very exciting, and sometimes, leftovers were more convenient than throwing a salad together. So on and on it went until now I haven’t eaten a salad for lunch in a month and the idea is therefore entirely unappealing, even though I know it makes me feel better.

Why do we do this to ourselves? Maybe it’s just me. But then, why do I do this to myself? I’m a grown ass woman. Good Lord, I’m 30 years old. I know what works and what doesn’t. I know what makes me feel good and leaves me filled with energy and what absolutely saps me. And yet I find myself inevitably reverting back to the things that don’t, time and again, when it’s convenient or easier or I’m just plain tired.  The fact of the matter is that I’m not great with a disruption of routine. I do better when I do the same thing day after day and allow myself to adapt to processes that work for me. A little bit of disruption can throw me off my game easily because the reality is that routines are not sexy. Salad for lunch, no matter how good the salad actually tastes when I’m eating it (and they are always good) is not what I actually ever want for lunch. Waking up early is not what I ever want to do. But these things are what I need to do in order to feel good and perform my best at work, home, and on the road.

My life is just one long battle of trying not to fall into the freezing creek

There is a difference between getting all your stuff done, hammering it out, and checking off the boxes on your to-do list each day and doing all of those things and actually feeling your best. I do all of the things on my to-do list. I never slack off of the big things – those are taken care of. But the big things don’t really make the difference, do they? The little decisions throughout our days are the game changers. Those unsexy choices – the 5 am wake up calls, the salads at lunch and the early bed times – those are what make the difference between just getting it done and getting it done well.

Like anyone else, I’m human. Jumping back in at full speed absolutely sucks. So I’m not committing to waking up at the same time every day for the rest of my life or eating salads every day for lunch. What I am committing to is waking up closer to the same time every day this week. 5:10 am on the days I teach and 6 am on the days I don’t. I’m not going to eat salad for lunch every day, but I will bring a small side salad to work each day this week to eat with the main portion of my meal. I plan to run once in the morning this week, and that’s a pretty huge deal, because I honestly could not tell you the last time I ran in the morning on a weekday. Perish the thought! But I’ll do it, because I blogged about it, and if you blog about it, it stays on the internet forever. Pray for me.

LEAVE A COMMENT: What helps you to feel and perform your best? Are you actively doing it?

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