Writing is a really unhealthy occupation. Unless you make an effort to get a workout or hike in, you’re sitting in front of the computer. Whether you’re writing, editing, or marketing you’re sitting on your butt. And if you have a laptop, you probably have bad posture to boot. It’s not your fault, you’re laptop wasn’t designed with your back in mind. Ya know, or your neck and shoulders.
I wasn’t just missing exercise in my life either
I’ve been struggling to get my work done. Writing was not happening, I was easily discouraged in my book marketing business and I found myself worrying everytime I sat down to do a task that it wasn’t the right one and switching before it was complete. And everyone I talked to said, “You need a schedule” literally everyone. But I had a schedule. I have notifications that pop up on my phone for everything from making sure the kids have breakfast to reading before bed. and I had designated time for writing and other tasks I’m responsible for like doing the dishes and vacuuming. So that wasn’t enough.
How do you fix it? How do you add something to your schedule when you have no time?
You get up earlier. For a while, I was getting up at 5 am and trying to write. I’d end up falling back asleep then feel like shit for not getting my work done. And then I’d be frustrated and grumpy all day because I feel like a failure.
The worst part? I’d done just this, successfully not too long ago. So why couldn’t I do it now?
Fast forward a few months,
I’m driving down to visit my brother in Connecticut and the radio station starts to cut out. I’ve done this drive many times and as soon as Rock 101.1 fades, you’re in for a scanning nightmare. My husband was listening to podcasts in the passenger seat so I asked him to put some on the radio. He asked what I wanted to listen to (He had political stuff on and I can only take so much of that, even if they do make it funny) so I asked to listen to Jocko Willink. I’d heard a piece of an interview with him while I was doing other things and My husband seemed to like him and he’s an author I’d like to work for.
“Do you want to listen to Jocko motivation?”
At the time I groaned. Not really. But whatever. We ended up on an episode of the Joe Rogan Experience after Jocko’s motivation but that stuck with me. The video was Discipline Equals Freedom. People are motivated by one of three things, money, freedom, or fame. I am motivated by freedom. (I mean I want to live on a sailboat so I have the freedom to travel the world and bring my family and house with me).
We listened to Jocko’s bit again on the way home, then they played Joe Rogan’s motivation next and I think Echo’s and by the time we got home, it was decided. I’d start running at 5 am every morning and working until the kids got up.
Enter the resistance.
My husband asked me that night if I was going to get up and run in the morning. I said I didn’t have sneakers. I was tired. If I showered I’d wake up the kids and then I wouldn’t be able to get my work done anyway. Might as well sleep.
My husband wasn’t having any of it. So I found a pair of minimalist sneakers in my closet (I still need to get regular ones for the elliptical) set out my workout clothes and everything I’d need to shower, set my alarm and went to bed.
That night I got no sleep. And I’m a person who needs sleep. But I kept hearing Jocko’s voice in my head.
“You didn’t get any sleep? Good. When you do it’ll be easier and you’ll appreciate it more.”
“You’re exhausted? Good. Now you know exhaustion isn’t an excuse”
“You didn’t get the job? Good. Now you have time to better prepare.”
“Don’t believe the lies, that little voice in your head that says it’s ok to quit, it’s ok to roll over and go back to be, that’s a liar. Don’t listen to it.”
“Once you give in, you give that weaker part of you, power and then you can’t stop”
“Discipline. Equals. Freedom.”
Just Do It
I was exhausted when my alarm went off. I wanted to roll over and go back to sleep. I didn’t give myself that option. I got up. I put Jocko’s motivation on my phone and I got to work. I did it. And then I did it again at 7 pm. And I’ve run/lifted weights, every day for the last five days. That’s not very long in the grand scheme of things, but since I have been trying to get up at 5 am for about three months, I feel pretty good about it.
What you do doesn’t matter. Just start moving. Eventually, I’d like to find a yoga class I can go to once a week and maybe join a gym so I can keep up the momentum in the winter. I’m also hoping I can get someone to join me so I have an accountability partner. I know myself and old habits are too easy to fall into.
I decided to share this with you for a few reasons. One, I don’t think anyone wants to be lazy and unsuccessful. But we get stuck in that mode of eating junk (that tastes so good!) and binge-watching shows (that are so entertaining) and we end up letting life pass us by. Even when we want to get better sometimes we need a little boost, a little help along the way. And Jocko’s videos did that for me. So maybe, they can do it for you too.
I’m a mostly healthy adult in my late 20’s. I have a history of DVT but other than that I’m pretty average. If you’re not, you can still do things to get healthy. Just make sure you ask your doctor and find out what’s best for you. Don’t let something you can’t control, control you. Don’t let that little voice say “That’s nice Cameron, but I’m different.” It’s a liar. Your path will just look different than mine. It’s out there, it just might be harder to find.