Exercise is an important part of my life. It makes me feel good, both physically and mentally. When I know I’ve got a stressful day ahead, starting it with exercise makes me feel like I’ll get through it successfully. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy.
Because of my schedule, mornings are almost always when I need to work out. If I don’t do it before my kids get up and the day gets going, I’m much less likely to do it- or, I stress about it all day, wondering if my husband will be home on time or the kids will take a nap so that I can exercise later on. I stress out about enough silly things throughout the day that I don’t need to add squeezing in a workout to the list. So most mornings (somewhere between 5:30 and 6:30 a.m.), you’ll find me exercising. Even though it’s a habit and I’ve been doing it for a long time, the choice is never simple. This is kind of how it usually goes:
Alarm goes off and I roll over in disbelief that it’s already 5:00 a.m. and time to get up. I lay there for a few minutes thinking about the workout I’ve planned for the morning and whether or not I have the energy to do it. Then the internal conversation with myself begins.
“Maybe my husband can give the kids dinner while I run on the treadmill. But if I do that, then I miss a family dinner which I don’t like to do. And if I spend that time exercising, I’ll have less time to do work or read with the kids later on.”
“Maybe I can run while the kids take a nap. But there’s never a guarantee that all three of them will sleep at the same time (they usually don’t), so if I get all ready to run and can’t, I’m going to be annoyed.”
“Maybe I can just skip my workout today. But if I do that, I’m going to be mad at myself later on.”
"Oh geez, just get up and do it already."
Nine times out of ten, I end up doing the workout anyway. Even though sleep or quiet time sounds better in the moment, I’m ALWAYS glad after it’s over that I decided to exercise. I try to remember how I feel after I decide to postpone my morning workout, and it’s never very good. That’s what keeps me motivated to get out of bed and get moving.
As you can see, it’s never an easy decision. The same thing goes for making healthy food choices, heading to the gym after a long day of work, or getting an extra hour of much needed sleep instead of staying up to watch your favorite TV show. You know what you should do, and to help make that decision less complicated, think about how you’ll feel afterward. If you know that you’ll feel fine about finishing that bag of M&M’s or skipping your workout, then go for it. But if you know you’ll be disappointed, maybe it’s time to rethink that choice.
What do you think? Are there tough decisions you make every day that you never regret?
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