No system is fool proof, lasts forever, or is devoid of the need for maintenance. I’m sure I’ve referenced my favorite Thomas Jefferson quote on the blog before, “No one axiom can be deemed wise and expedient for all times and circumstances.” I bring it up again because it has relevance on this topic. Just because something worked for 5 years, or 20 years doesn’t mean that it will work forever. Per usual, here’s an example from my life.
As I’ve mentioned before, I had some struggles with anxiety and depression over the winter and through the summer. (I’m doing really well now though, thanks for asking!) I know enough about myself to know that when I’m struggling getting exercise is as important as ever. If I can work out every day I feel a sense of accomplishment, even if everything else is a struggle. And, form a physiological standpoint, working our will help my brain chemistry by producing more of the dopamine and serotonin that I need. I’m normally very disciplined about getting my exercise.
That changed as my mood cratered earlier this year. My previous m. o. had been to keep one block free in my client schedule in the middle of the day to take a break and work out. This had been successful for years. But it stopped working. I found that if I got to a certain point in my day I simply couldn’t muster the “motivation” to work out. By the end of the day I would feel the lack of exercise and would feel worse. It took me a little while, but I realized that my system wasn’t working anymore. One of the variables of my life had changed and I needed to adapt.
I realized that I felt the best right after getting out of the shower in the morning. I was awake, moderately focused, and my muscles felt relaxed. Of course, I didn’t really want to work out then either, but I was able to force myself. It usually sucked to start, but really made me feel good after I got in to it. It got me off to a better start and helped my overall well being.
I don’t point all of this out to toot my own horn. There are plenty of examples of my not adapting quickly enough over the years. But I’m proud that I figured this one out so quickly. Hopefully, it can be a helpful template for others.