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Exercise Control...Literally

In times with less volatility and ever-changing terrain, it can be difficult to keep things on track when bumps in the road abound. When you add in the COVID pandemic, it can seem like all control is lost. This feeling of uncertainty can lead to fear, irrational decision making, paralysis by over-analysis, and many other decision-making strategies that are not normal when you are at the top of your game. To combat this, there is a way to take control. Of at least one thing.

Whether you are a business owner trying to find new avenues of revenue, product lines, and customers or a job seeker trying to recover from job loss, learn new trades to make you marketable in different ways, or dealing with dogs in virtual interviews, controlling uncontrollable things can be maddening. So take control of you.

The pandemic has had different impacts on different people. If you haven’t already, this is a great time to start exercising (again for some of you). In the article, from the Cleveland Clinic, exercising may help by:

  • Promoting cardiovascular health.

  • Improving blood flow to the brain.

  • Reducing inflammation.

  • Lowering levels of stress hormones.

Another large benefit, what we are really talking about here: it gives you control. You can build on that and stack wins based on you controlling and keeping consistent with your exercise. You can’t control COVID or business shut downs. You can’t control which companies are hiring, which companies are laying off people. But every day, you can set your alarm, get up, and get going. You can give yourself consistency and someone to depend on.

Set the expectations, achieve them and feel that sense of accomplishment and self confidence that can help lead to better leadership as a business owner or a better interview to get the right position.

Forbes, Inc., Entrepreneur, and many other business publications all tout articles with the benefit of exercise in business and leadership. Find an article or podcast that says you shouldn’t exercise for better cognitive and business acumen. I bet you can’t. But you already knew this. So why aren’t you doing it?

It’s difficult to get into a good habit. Bad habits stack themselves and protect each other to keep the easy way out the way to go. Articles and education by Gary Monti, , (Project Management Professional #14, yeah, he was in the first class ever) show how these bad habits intertwine to keep you entrenched in them. You wake up late and since you are late you eat worse and skip exercising. Going to bed that night when you should be setting your alarm to get up and exercise you tell yourself; you can just sleep in and eat that fast food on the way to work. See how they keep each other in the routine? It’s up to you to break that. Some studies have shown it takes at least 3 weeks to break a bad habit, when you have them stacked, of course it is going to take longer. Give yourself time but be consistent. Chopping down a tree takes more than one swing of the axe. Keep that chopping going and soon you can topple the biggest of trees.

Set a schedule, when your alarm goes off don’t hit snooze, don’t turn it off for a warm blanket and heavy eyelids. Sit up. Turn your body and set your feet on the ground. Stand up. Start moving. Have a plan devised the night before. Lay out your exercise clothes and shoes. Makes things as easy as possible prior to, setting yourself up for success.

Perhaps give yourself a mantra to repeat and get you going. I’ve employed daily mantras and found great benefit. The overall outlook and mindset allow me to do more and not get stuck in thoughts of negative outcomes and worry about other problems but helping to focus on the solutions and positives.

What better time than in the middle of a global pandemic to make yourself a more reliable person. For your career, your family, and mostly…for you.


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