Volume 17, Issue 1
Take a 15 minute walk with your dog. Try an exergame with your children. Use the stairs at work instead of the elevator. Park at the back of the parking lot at work or while shopping. Take a vigorous walk on your work break. Take a class in martial arts, dance, or yoga. Organize an office bowling league or volleyball team. Walk around the soccer field at your child’s practice. Watch your favorite television shows while on the treadmill. Dance with your children to music. Clean house!
Fit Exercise into Your Life – And Keep it There
Do you remember a time when you were physically active and felt great? You can feel that way again!
All you have to do is incorporate moderate-intensity physical activity into your life, slowly but surely. This could mean riding your bike to local market to pick up a few items for dinner or taking a walk with some coworkers after lunch.
The following ideas and action steps can help you meet your goal to be more active.
Develop Support. Make use of the support networks in your life, including friends and coworkers who are willing to help you stay motivated.
Let people know your goals so they can support you appropriately. Invite friends, coworkers, and family members to join you on walks. Gather a group for a weekend hike and picnic.
Action step: Name two people on whom you can rely for support and motivation.
Change your surroundings. Change your surroundings to support your goals. For instance, keep comfortable walking shoes at work or in the car. Have an exercise bag packed and ready to go by your front door or in your office. Post motivating messages in your day planner or on your bathroom mirror.
Action step: Name two ways you would like to your environment to support your goals.
Find the Time. Adding short stints of physical activity throughout your day really works, and with some creative thinking, you’ll find ways to squeeze a little more time out of your busy schedule. Walk down the hall instead of using the telephone or e-mail. Park a few blocks or more away from your destination. Can you take a brisk walk before work? Or climb up and down the stairs for 20 minutes during lunch?
Action step: Think about your schedule at work, home, and elsewhere. Write down at least three times during the next week that you could devote to physical activity.
Make a Plan The next step is to set achievable goals and create a plan of action. For example, if you want to do physical activity after work, a specific goal might be walking the dog four evenings a week.
Action step: Choose one time segment of your week (e.g. work, lunch/break time, before/after work , weekends or during certain chores) that you want to target.
Action step: Choose four physical activity goals that you hope to accomplish within the next month. For example: walk the dog four evenings a week, map a new walking route in the neighborhood, go to the park once each weekend, walk the stairs at the office instead of using the elevator.
Plan for Disruptions. Occasional setbacks do lunch. not mean failure. However, it is important to plan for events that might disrupt your physical activity routine. For example, if you know it’s going to rain all week, rent a physical activity DVD to use in your home.
Action step: Write down potential setbacks to your routine and how you plan to adapt.
Monitor Your Progress. It is also important to record your progress, which allows you to build on your goals. For example, say your first goal is to walk the dog 30 minutes twice a week. During the second week, you might add another dog walk or perhaps gardening on Sundays.
Action step: Record your daily activity.
Action step: Once you have achieved some specific goal(s), reward yourself.
You might give yourself something small, such as buying a book or going to the movies, or you might want to go big, such as joining a health club or buying a new bicycle. Ideally, the reward will fit in with your activity goals, but it doesn’t have to.
Think Long-term. Keep in mind as you are progressing that health professionals recommend at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity at least five days per week. This is an excellent long-term goal. For now, however, just keep building on your successes week by week.
As a new year rolls around, you see catalogs devoted to “beautiful organization” and “organized simplicity” as a theme of aisle upon aisle of storage bins, shelving and other gadgets that are supposed to keep us organized. Many of us can relate to the testimonials related to ”clutter nightmares”. Perhaps you made a resolution this year to get more organized, but the clutter seems insurmountable, or your family doesn’t see the importance of putting things in their proper place the same way you do.
Organization is one way to reduce stress in our daily lives. Clutter and disorganization are an energy drain and time waster. It costs us money if we do not pay our bills on time – because we can’t locate them –or it can cost us our jobs if we are chronically late due to disorganized work habits. One study found that the average person spent seven hours a week looking for things!
How to organize
Depending on what space or room you decide needs a more organized approach, spend some time in that room taking note of what improvements make sense in terms of organization. Then, spend some time on-line or leafing through at magazines for inspiration of what you would like the end result to look like. Secondly, empty the room out as much as possible in order to assess what type of storage would organize items that will remain in the room. Organizational experts suggest that having three large bins labeled:
1.Keep – Items you want to stay in the room.
2.Move – Items that are in good condition but do not belong in that particular room.
3.Go – Items that can be donated.
After sorting all items using the above system, review the Keep items to make sure they support the function of your room/space. The key to maintaining an organized room is to have everything in its place, and designate a place in the room that is in keeping with the function of the room. Items in the Move bin should be stored in their proper locations. Items to be donated (in the Go bin) should be taken from the house as soon as possible, so they don’t find their way back out of the bin.
Whether you use electronic or paper planning systems, make them work for you – not the other way around.
Tips for work:
- Maintain a calendar with meeting dates/times and project deadlines.
- Put away unused items in your work area and regularly toss any paper no longer needed.
- Set up a system to effectively prioritize and file e -mail correspondence.
- Set realistic goals on what you can control with job-related tasks. Break large projects into small tasks to avoid becoming over- whelmed or lose focus.
- Reserve ten minutes at the end of the day to put everything in its place. Professional organizers agree that putting something away as soon as you are done using it helps avoid messy clutter later.
Getting started If your time is limited or you are feeling overwhelmed about approaching the task of organizing home or office space, start small. If your office space is messy, start with the desktop and move onto the drawers, then the floor, in fifteen minute increments.
If you know that your situation is to the point that you need professional or outside help, review what resources are available to help you get organized. Sometimes friends and family can help you make order out of chaos. Other times, professional services may be the answer. Your Employee Assistance Program can be a starting point for organizing your daily life, whether itis work, home, or both.
For those wanting to become more organized but feeling overwhelmed with too much to do, PAS helps simplify life. Up to three hours are available to participants to work with PAS organizer coaches to:
Design a program (or system) that can build:
Time management skills
Skills to minimize procrastinate
Ways to accomplish more with less stress
Learn techniques to improve:
Planning and scheduling work flow processes
Develop strategies to:
Reduce clutter and be more organized
Organize your home or office
Set up a filing system for home or office
PASWord Express © 2014 is published by Personal Assistance Services, 9735 Landmark Parkway, Suite 17, St. Louis, MO, 63127 -9968 (800) 356-0845. Material may not be reproduced without written permission.