I’m fascinated by what things make a big difference to my life. During lockdown I was no longer able to swim regularly as I was used to. I also discovered something called ‘snacking’ which meant that every time I was in the kitchen I would grab something ‘small’ to eat. I go through the kitchen a lot.
No swimming. No exercise. Snacking. The result? I put on weight. I also didn’t find alternative exercise. That was a choice too.
Now I didn’t choose to hate myself, or think of myself negatively. I was dealing with an unusual situation and it was a day to day experience for a while. Some stuff I did was helpful and some of it was unhelpful.
And then we were allowed to go swimming again. So at 6.30am that first morning I was there ready to swim.
It was hard work. I hadn’t been swimming, or exercised at all, since the lockdown started. I had more weight (about a stone?) and I really felt it.
I decided to go three times a week. And I still do. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 6.30 in the morning.
I’ve lost the weight I gained. It’s not the scales that tell me but my jeans. I have also chosen to stop snacking. I reduced my calorie intake for breakfast and lunch during the week and the combination has worked.
It’s not about the weight – it’s about my health and my energy levels. It’s about how I feel walking down the road, and climbing the stairs.
So this is not about how I gained and lost weight. It’s about how little time it takes and how little differences can have significant impacts. It’s also about action.
My alarm goes off at 5.53am. It’s early for me. I’d rather continue to sleep. At that moment I have a choice – get up or stay in bed. Swim or not swim. I get up.
I walk the ten minutes to the pool. I swim for thirty minutes. I don’t count the lengths, or worry about whether others are doing more lengths. I just swim as much as I can for thirty minutes. I walk home. It’s about 50 minutes per session from home and back again. So let’s say an hour. That’s three hours a week. I don’t currently swim at weekends.
I’m generally awake 15 hours a day, so per week I have 105 hours available. Of which I allocate three to swimming. That’s about 2.86% of my week.
So I only needed to allocate at best 3% of my time to getting fit and keeping fit. That’s not much.
What can you allocate 3% of your time to that will make a fundamental difference to your life?
What if you journaled for 15 minutes a day every day? That’s 1 hour and 45 minutes. In my schedule that’s less than 2%. And what difference could journalling every day make to your life?
This article in HuffPost lists ten.
How will your 3% transform your life?
I totally agree re journalling, as you know. I’ve been writing my Morning Pages for just over 20 years now. Nowadays I don’t do them every single day, but if I don’t write for more than a few days I find I miss them. They help give me a bit of clarity of thought: a to do list with added venting! They help me mull over ideas for writing, too, as I debate what to write about for Book 3. Recommended!
I’m very impressed at how long you’ve been writing your morning papers. I love the added venting! Yes, it’s clearly had a very positive effect on your writing, book three is proof of that.
Lovely writing Brooke. Straightforward, true and accessible. I read recently an article that talked about comparison as one of the three main causes of suffering. It has been an Achilles heel for many years. Love your self talk of non-comparison and non-competition. Will take this with me. Many thanks. Martin.
Thanks Martin, and thank you for taking the time to comment. If we had nobody to compare ourselves to would we find ourselves somehow lacking? Interesting question.
Alas it is an Achilles heel for so many of us, myself included and it’s ongoing awareness that helps me to realise the truth – that being me is enough.