I recently finished listening to Greg McKeown’s book, Essentialism, and in it he talks about making trade-offs.
Now, I know most of us hate the idea of making trade-offs. We want to have it all. And there are some facets of the media and society that keep telling us we can have it all. And so we keep trying to do everything. But we aren’t really doing everything. We are still making trade-offs, they are just less conscious trade-offs. We haven’t set clear priorities, and therefore we can be pulled in any direction at any time and not even realize that while we got all that extra time in at the office, we neglected to take care of our bodies, or that we managed to take care of our entire family’s needs at the expense of our own.
Trade-offs. Not necessarily good or bad, but not necessarily clear and intentional choices either.
If someone asked me what my top priority is, I would probably say my health. After all, if I’m not healthy, nothing else matters right? If I’m not healthy, I can’t create my best work, I can’t give fully to my loved ones, and I’m probably not feeling very happy because I’m depressed or in pain. I think most people would agree that health is a pretty important priority.
And yet, when I look at my choices, are they really aligned with my supposed top priority?
Do I keep hunching over my computer even though my wrist is tired from scrolling and my back aches from leaning in toward my screen and I haven’t been outside in over 24 hours? Yes, yes I do. “But this is the most important thing for me to be doing right now!” my brain screams. Is it? Is it really? What is the trade-off? Is that a trade-off I’m willing to make?
I’m not suggesting it’s easy to make these decisions, or to overrule
the parts of our brains that tell us to keep scrolling or keep snacking or keep laying on the couch. But I am suggesting (to myself included) that we start asking these questions more often. And that we not just consider the immediate trade-off, but the long-term, cumulative effects of these decisions, as well.
So what is your top priority? And how are your choices lining up with that priority?
If health is on your list (and I suspect it is if you are reading this right now) and you want help getting back in alignment with your movement goals, consider signing up for a Body Chat. We’ll look at where you are stuck, in your body and in your lifestyle, and give you specific exercises and strategies for putting your body first. You can find details on the Work With Me page.