12 Dec

As we go through life, things catch up with us. We're busy. We have jobs and families and other obligations. Maybe you're very ambitious. Even if you're not particularly ambitious, your daily activities keep you bogged down. You just have too much going on. 

By the time the weekend comes, all you're doing is cleaning up everyone's mess just in time for Sunday to come and you only have one day off to kick back and relax. And even then generally you're going out with the family and doing something. Your personal pyramid is about doing the things that are in your face:

• Got to go to work.

• Got to make dinner.

• Got to answer the phone.

Those things are in your face right now, and that's what you're paying attention to.


At the top of most people's pyramid is taking care of the kids and the family. (Which should be at the top. That's absolutely the most important.) Then they go to work. They have to please a boss, or, if they're self-employed, they work non-stop trying to get everything done. Then it's entertaining themselves, kicking back, eating, drinking and socializing. Below that are all the mundane little tasks, like cleaning up the house, doing laundry, and getting the car serviced. 

At the very bottom, if there's any time left over, they do something to actually take care of their health and long term happiness. This personal pyramid needs to be flipped. In an emergency your family still comes first, of course. But in the ideal personal pyramid you are on top. You're standing at the top looking down instead of at the bottom looking up. This does not make you selfish. This makes you important to yourself. Your old pyramid put you last, at the end of the line. If you're standing in a long food line, sometimes the person at the end doesn't get any food. It runs out. Can you envision this? There are 400 people in line and everyone's hungry, and by the time they get to you, “Sorry! We're out. Better luck next time. ”That's generally what happens to us when it comes to taking care of ourselves. “I'll please everyone else. I'll stand at the end of the line. I'll get everything else done. I'll change the flat tire, clean the kids' room, make all these call-backs, check my email, check my Blackberry, and then at the end of the day, if there's any time left, I'm going to sit down and watch my favorite sit-com before I fall into bed so I can wake up in time to do it again.


Guess what, now you're going to put yourself first. You're going to work out. You're going to eat right. If you want to get in shape, these things have to be done first. Everything else can follow. Because otherwise you might one day find yourself dealing with cardiac issues, a severe weight problem, or you're 45 years old and you just don't feel like doing anything anymore and you're flat-out disgusted with yourself. Do something about it now, before that happens. 

You've got to put yourself number one at the top of your pyramid. The only thing you put above you on the top of your pyramid is the safety and security of your immediate family. Nothing else. Let me give you an example: It's Saturday. Your kids have soccer practice at 10 a.m. You've promised your friends that you'll go to little Johnny's birthday at 1 o'clock. Your in-laws are coming over tonight, and the house is a mess. No one has bought groceries. You have issues, don't you? You have some challenges. The old you would get up, run to the grocery store, take the kids to soccer, bring them back home and clean them up, go over to little Johnny's birthday party, and at the end of the day you would spend about an hour and half making dinner and getting everything set for your in-laws who are coming over.

The new you is going to get up and go work out. You're going to make sure that you get a 30- to 40-minute workout in before you do anything else. Stealing that time for yourself will not create chaos throughout your day. You won't even notice it once you plug it into the schedule. If you walked outside and all your tires were flat, you'd have to spend an hour or two waiting for someone to come out to fix them. It would have to be done. Then you'd go on with the rest of your day. From now on, working out has to be done. You wake up at say7:30, and you go on your 30 to 40 minute walk, or you get on your bike, or you go to the local gym where you'll do some kickboxing or sprinting or swimming or whatever your chosen workout is. 

Again, it doesn't matter what you do because most workouts are going to work for you. The important thing is to do it and be consistent. To go back to our example, you're going to get up and get your workout in, then you're going to go to the grocery store, take the kids to their game, go to little Johnny's birthday, and make sure that the in-laws are taken care of that evening. Do you see how you put yourself first? Don't put yourself last, because at the end of the night when the in-laws leave you're going to be too tired to work out. Don't tell yourself you're going to get it done because you know you won't. So put yourself first.(If you're a night person and you know you'll work out at night, that's a different story. I'm talking to the majority of people here.)Now you've worked out first. You've set out good food for yourself to eat throughout the day. You've got yourself in a positive mental attitude. These things do a lot for you.


Once you work out first thing in the morning, you get to checkoff an important step toward a big goal: being more healthy. You did something for yourself. That's equity in your body. Every push-up, every mile you run, every punch you throw, every kick you land, and every spin of the bicycle is an investment in yourself, and it yields the highest returns. It's paying you back. You're getting in shape. You're losing the stress. You get that endorphin kick of completing a major goal. Compare that to what happens if you put it off. You have good intentions. You tell yourself, “Hey, I'm going to do it. It's me, me, me. I'm finally going to get in shape.” Then you just don't get it done. A lot of guilt comes with that. You're promising yourself something and you're letting yourself down. You never want to be okay with that. When you put yourself first, not only are you going to get that endorphin kick, you're going to form a positive habit pattern. We're trying to get off to a good start doing this. It only takes 10 to 21days to form a positive habit pattern. You're going to de-stress, and you're going to be one step closer to your ultimate goal which is creating the ultimate body. These little steps – like this little 30-minute workout on this little Saturday – are small steps in a big journey. “The journey of a thousand miles starts with one step.” Every single step counts when it comes to working out and getting in shape. Take the time. Put yourself first, and arrange things so you can succeed, so you can win at this. It's just 30 minutes. You can burn 30 minutes looking in the mirror, or carrying on a casual conversation on the phone. Why not spend 30 to 45 minutes working out and investing in yourself?

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