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Our culture is undeniably focused on overindulgence. We have more leisure time than any of our previous generations because of great technological advances. With this additional time, we need to be more intentional with it.
Just two generations ago, it was common that the entire family was involved in the family business. As soon as the children were able, they were in the fields, tending livestock, cooking meals, doing laundry. There wasn’t much time for leisure. It may not feel like it now but we have more discretionary time than we realize.

 

Look at the most successful people you know. What do successful people typically have in common? They use most of their discretionary time doing something productive. People who are waiting to be successful make poor choices with their discretionary time. Dont get me wrong, you need to take some time to rest and do something just for fun. However, if you want success, the majority of your focus should be on accomplishing something.

It’s common to hear people say (including me) that successful people exercise because they have more time. The argument sounds good because successful people can make time to be in good shape. If you ask people who are physically fit, they will say that they are physically fit because they make the time. They will also say that they made time for exercising before they were successful.

Successful people also make time to exercise their mind. People who have learned to exercise their mind consider this a form of mental fitness. Examples include reading, listening to presentations, attending conferences, watching inspirational shows and movies, studying new topics that increase their productivity, etc.

It can be difficult to make time to be physically and mentally fit. I struggle with it all the time. There is always something seemingly more important than going to the gym or reading a book or attending a lecture. I made up my mind to be physically and mentally fit. Once I made up my mind, I had to take action.

To ensure you develop your physical and mental fitness:

  • Determine weekly goals. Each week determine how many times you will spend exercising your body and your mind. Determine what will be your physical fitness and what will be your mental fitness for the week. You may decide to exercise for one hour 3 – 4 times per week and read for at least 30 minutes every day. Make sure these goals are achievable. Start small and expect to add more later.
  • Include these goals in your daily to-do list. Putting exercise and reading on my to-do list gives me something to cross off. I have a sense of accomplishment when I can cross off these goals.
  • Schedule the time in to your calendar. It is great to list these goals for the week, but you will not complete them unless you take action. Decide when you will do them and commit to it. Block out the time to make the time.
  • Now is the time to rest. Once you accomplish these mental and physical goals each day is when you can do something relaxing or for entertainment. Make it a mini celebration for making yourself better.
  • Repeat. It can be difficult to keep going but make this a weekly habit to ensure your physical and mental health.

Try these techniques for 21 days and reassess. If you don’t feel better about yourself or feel you are accomplishing more, let me know.

What are you going to do this week to exercise both your mind and your body? When are you going to do these exercises? Leave a comment here.