2 PM, and I’ve been sitting at my desk since early this morning. Two cups of coffee, and a very short lunch break. The projectdeadline is just a few days away, and I’m feeling stuck, lethargic, and totally un-creative. Time to giv
e myself the free gift of a walk around the block. I know when I get back in five minutes, everything will flow smoothly again.
I love to play – basketball, ride my bike, snowboard, canoe. Anything that feels like a game. But I HATE to exercise – go to a gym, sit on a stationary bike, lift weights, run the treadmill. HATE is a strong ugly word. But I’m sticking with it!
I know exercise is good for me. Exercise tunes up the body. Exercise makes the blood flow to the brain and everywhere else. Exercise flushes the toxic. Exercise increases creativity.
I know all of this, but still I have a history of resisting exercise if it doesn’t involve ‘playing’ in even a small way.
So here’s what I do – and I challenge you to play along with me.
I walk. At least one mile every day. That takes about 20 minutes. And to make it a game, I keep a log on a very basic Excel spreadsheet. Every day, I know whether I’m ahead or behind. If I skipped yesterday, I do two miles today. If I get ahead, sometimes I’ll give myself a day off as a reward. I start on January 1 and keep it going until December 3. 365 miles per year, one day at a time.
On pleasant days, I’ll walk through the neighborhood – ten minutes out, turn around and ten minutes back. In bad weather and while traveling, I’ll walk in client offices, hotel hallways, airport terminals, shopping centers, and college classroom buildings. I intentionally park at the far side of shopping centers and airport economy parking lots, and walk in. Our townhome has 42 steps from the basement to my workspace. I bet I walk 500 steps up every day I’m home.
So simple, even I can do it! And you can too. That’s my challenge to you: to walk one mile with me every day for a year.
Of course, if you regularly engage in more serious exercise, bless you! Continue on your mission to stay fit, healthy and happy. But if you’re a victim of long hours sitting at a desk, there are no worthy excuses to avoid starting today and walking for just 20 minutes. Twice around your office building or the city bock where you live should do it.
The subtitle for my first book “Do What You Can!” is “Simple Steps – Extraordinary Results”. I didn’t write that tag line, a very creative professional writer did. But I love it just the same, and it has become a major theme in my work and personal life. Simple steps. Why not get up right now and literally take a few simple steps. In 20 minutes, you’ll log your first mile. When you get done, see if you feel more creative. I always do – every time!
John J. Hall, CPA, is an author, speaker and results expert who presents around the world at conventions, corporate meetings and association events. Throughout his 38-year career as a business consultant, corporate executive and professional speaker, John has helped organizations and individuals achieve measurable results. He inspires audience members in corporations, not-for-profit organizations and professional associations to step up, take action and “do what you can.”