So I had one goal for 2017. Just one. I am not a huge proponent of New Year’s resolutions because I think often they are like drunken promises. We get crazy enthused and are going to make these huge major changes in our lives just because a new year has started… and we fail miserably each time. Usually week one. I’m over that….but still….I try to pick one area and make small incremental changes that will make my life better. Sometimes I even fail miserably at that.
For 2017 it was simple. I had found I had gotten completely sedentary in my work life. Working at home most days, there aren’t a lot of rules. While friends and co-workers have told me they have issues working at home because they get easily distracted, I don’t. In fact, the opposite occurs. There are so many distractions around the office, that I find it harder to focus on work there. I like to catch up on the lives of my co-workers and chit chat about everything going on, work and personal. (We all obviously get much less work done when I am in the office….probably one reason the company is so supportive of me working at home.) I like to watch the activity around the building. “Who’s that guy walking down the hall….I’ve never seen him before.” “And what happened to the woman that used to be in that office?” I attend meetings in person, where it’s frowned upon (and rude) to multi-task. And it is loud….at least compared to home. There’s always something to get my attention away from the work I need to do. The hazards of living life with ADD.
Home is different. I don’t need to get dressed if I don’t want to. Often I just start work. I don’t even have to leave my bed….it is the perfect office. Add my laptop, iPad, and a couple of phones all around me, and I have everything I need for the day. I can comfortably focus on work….which is a good thing, right?
Until it is not. Until those two hours you save by not commuting to your office just become two more hours to work. Until you don’t leave that spot on your bed for hours on end. I’m talking five hours at a time on occasion. OK…even.more than sometimes. It happens way too often. Lately daily.
While some may be proud of this awesome work ethic, it horrifies me. I’ve read the problems sitting still for hours at a time can have on your health. I forget to eat, I forget to drink water. Hours of my life pass me by and I notice nothing except the computer screen in front of me or the voices on the latest conference call. My human contact is all virtual. When it gets down to it, this is not acceptable to me. I want more out of my life and my body than a good work ethic.
So there are two more months in the year. I need to attain my goal. Like I said….I don’t even try for perfection these days, just progress. It’s time to make some small changes and see what I can do. To possibly work at my desk in my home office on occasion. Or sit where I can look out if a window and see a squirrel running around my yard. To take a break for a walk….even if I am doing it while on a conference call. To make lunch dates when it fits into my schedule so I can look people in the eye in person and catch up on their lives. To get on the treadmill when I hit the wall and take a few minutes to get away from it all and re-group. To make lunch and sit and eat it. Maybe reading a novel as I do so….or maybe just enjoying the food and noticing what I am eating.
No one has forced me into this cycle…..though I have other co-workers who are doing the same thing. We advise companies on wellness programs….and tell them to encourage healthy work habits in their employees. It’s not only beneficial for them, but it pays dividends to the company. Yet sometimes we don’t take our own advice.
We plan our days. We make choices in our lives. If I were talking to a friend who had developed my bad habits, I would be lecturing them furiously and telling them a million ways they could make changes. Yes….I know a few of you are laughing at the truth of this….because you have been the recipient of lots of solicited or non-solicited advice. But it is because I care. And I do believe we need to care for ourselves the way we want those we love to care for themselves.
So I have two months to meet my goal. The year isn’t over yet. I just need to make progress. I have re-assessed where I am and I have not moved from where I was at the first of the year. I may have regressed. The time to change is now.
You are allowed to hold me accountable. Ask me what I have done to break the negative cycle. Ask me if I put real clothes on today, or took a shower. Call me to make a lunch date. Call me during the work day and ask me when I last moved my body. Sometimes we need a little help from our friends.
Enough about me….how can I encourage you? What bad habit do you need to change?