Healthy Writer: New Year’s Challenge

Most of the writers I know say that they need more time to write. That time is their enemy…an enemy that takes no prisoners. With that in mind I have been reading all the posts floating about the web that claim to share the “perfect” list, cure, or worksheet to get you on track for 2014. I call it a resolution overload. How many lists and formulas does a person need to get their act together? I don’t know about you, but I want to take a simpler solution to my dealings in the new year.

One of the ways that I have simplified my life is by adding exercise. Now wait, I know that you are busy and think you don’t have time to add anything to your schedule, but trust me. Take a moment to hear me out and then make up your mind. Last year I started working exercise into my weekly schedule. I took it slow and easy. I used the things I had on hand to help me get fit and made a commitment to my plan.

tiptoeIn my first few months I only scheduled 15 mins a day for exercise. That’s right fifteen mins is all it took to start me down a path to lifelong fitness. And you know what? It made all the difference in the world. I got up 15 mins early sat down on my exercise bike and peddled. Each day I tried to beat the mileage I did the day before in my allotted time.

The first week I hated every moment of the workouts, but I committed to do it. I thought about how sad it would be if I couldn’t commit to that short period of time…I want to be an author, not just a writer. I want to be one of those people who go to conventions and other appearances for publicity. And if that is the life I want, then I knew it would be WAY more enjoyable if I could take a flight of stairs without huffing and puffing or walk from one side of a convention hall without the need to sit down to rest.

So I stuck to my plan and for months I did just 15 mins of exercise each weekday–that’s all. But an amazing thing happened. Something very unexpected. I, a grade A couch potato, started to love exercise. I know that if you had told me in 2012 that I would become one of those “exercise lovers,” I would have told you, “You’re crazy!” You know the type, all they do is post about how many miles they ran that day or how sore they are from their last workout or post recipes for stuff like Brussels sprouts and green smoothies. So far I’ve managed to avoid that type of constant harping on fitness, but I am guilty of posting some tips that I hope have been helpful to my fellow writers.

Now how did the addition of exercise help simplify my life? Honestly, it showed me the power of time. How each minute is a gift. If just 15 of them could change me from bonafide couch slug to exercise lover then what could they do for my writing?

So here is my challenge to you, writer friend: Take up the 15 min exercise challenge.

Do something–walk, bike, swing a kettlebell, do jumping jacks–just do some type of movement for 15 mins 5 days a week. That’s it. When you look back on 2014 you just might discover what I did in 2013…exercise is a writer’s friend and exercise will open the door to you being able to see the value in each minute of your day.

For those of you who follow me on Twitter or Facebook you know that I now do much more than 15 mins, but I swear by the challenge. It changed my life. But I still keep it simple. My next Healthy Writer article will be on the weight lifting routine that is the core of my current workout plan, and it is so easy. So stick to your 15 min routine for a few months and let me know how you feel. I look forward to seeing all my writer friends healthy and happy in the New Year!


5 thoughts on “Healthy Writer: New Year’s Challenge

  1. Lisa, your blog inspired me. The writing is no problem for me, but the exercise is. I always try to do 30 minutes and that makes me not even want to start. So, I started last Monday with your fifteen minute plan. I stuck with it all last week and today. Friday, I did 20 minutes. Today, I did 20 and went faster. I’ve given myself permission to stop at 15 if I want to and that keeps me going.
    Also, I found a time of day that works for me. I write at home and I’m not a morning person. I used to try to exercise in the morning, but I don’t want to move in the morning, much less exercise. Since I read your blog, I’ve done my writing in the morning. I stop at 1:00, do the treadmill, then get presentable before time to pick up my son from school. I’m more energetic and feel better in general. Thanks – I needed that!

    1. Shannon, Finding what works for you and your schedule is everything. It only takes 21 days to make a habit so you are well on your way to making exercise a permanent change…keep going!

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