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Getting Fit – Getting Organized!

Getting fit uses the same principles as getting organized

getting fitIn a speech I gave entitled “Organized Living in a Disorganized World” I made the statement “Getting organized is like exercise and healthy eating. It is something you incorporate into your daily living.” Immediately one attendee blurted out, “I’m doomed!” Many people feel the same way, but based on my own experience incorporating exercise into my daily life style, I can offer new hope.

I have never enjoyed any kind of physical activity. In fact, it has always been a great source of embarrassment and frustration. I was born with crippled feet and as a child had to wear special (translation: ugly!) shoes. I did not run and play with other children, and when I graduated from college with honors, I had to go back to summer school to complete my physical education requirements which I had put off for four years praying I could escape the torture!

In 1994, I heard Dr. Stephen Covey make the statement, “Name one thing you could do consistently that would improve the quality of your life.” My response without hesitation (along with hundreds of other attendees!) was “Exercise!” At that moment it became clear to me that until I solved the problem of how to incorporate exercise into my life, I would never have the respect for myself I needed to accomplish my life’s goals. With my 50th birthday just around the corner, and, based on my family heritage, the anticipation of living another 50 years, I had to find a solution.

So I turned to what I know — getting organized. In my experience, there are five essential elements to successful organization:

  • A clear vision
  • A positive attitude
  • The right tools
  • A reasonable amount of time
  • Continued maintenance

I became determined to apply these elements to the exercise habit.

My vision was to continually improve my physical condition — as opposed to comparing myself with someone else. Even the most disorganized person can become better organized if they apply our organizing process, and I was confident I could apply that same process to exercise! What is your vision of fitness?

Up to this point, having the right tool was illusive. I tried a variety of equipment — some of it very expensive, and none of it consistently successful. A big factor for me was finding something I could do in the privacy of my home – at that point in my life, the thought of paying to go to a health club was outrageous — I would not exercise in public if someone paid me! Another factor was my extensive travel schedule, which brought up the issue of portability and safety. Then I heard about a program developed by former professional football player Dave Hubbard – one I could do in my own bedroom – or hotel room. What tool(s) can you use to achieve your vision?

As for finding the time, I was intrigued — and relieved– to hear Dave say that I could stay in shape in 10 minutes a day. So much for the excuse of not having enough time to exercise! I committed from that moment forward that I would spend 10 minutes six days a week (even God rested on the 7th day!) to exercise. Dave stressed that a major part of success was being committed to the 10 minutes – making it a habit, so in the beginning, sometimes all I did was watch the video for 10 minutes! One by one I added the exercises. What could you do for 10 minutes TODAY that would bring you closer to your vision?

And finally, there was the issue of maintenance. With all the other factors in place, there was no excuse for not maintaining the program. It took me nearly a year to overcome my own resistance, but after five years, exercising became a natural part of my routine. Today, I vary the kind of exercise I do, and actually work out in a public facility weekly with a physical trainer — and I have never felt better. What new habit will you build into your day, every day, to meet your goals?

If improving or maintaining your physical body is an issue for you, consider how organizing for exercise can make a difference — whether you choose pulling on ropes, jogging on roads, or lifting weights with a trainer. Then think about how you can apply these principles to the rest of your life.

Focused minds lead to productive lives. Once we know what we want, and we apply these simple steps of commitment, the habits formed last a lifetime and produce a productive environment – so you can accomplish your work and enjoy your life!

About Barbara Hemphill

Barbara Hemphill is CEO of Hemphill Productivity Institute, located in Raleigh, NC. Author of Kiplinger's Taming the Paper Tiger series and Simplify Your Workday she provides speaking and consulting services to help individuals and organizations increase productivity.


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