by Guest Author, Chris Dandurand, The Gorny Law Firm
We all know exercise is an important part of maintaining physical and mental health. A morning workout – or even just a lap around the building – improves productivity at your job. And increased productivity leads to better results, happier employers and clients, and a more satisfying life outside of work. If necessary, physical fitness can keep you working beyond 87 years of age. I’m looking at you, RBG. But how can you get from “A” (knowing what’s good for you) to “B” (those positive outcomes)?
Exercise does not necessarily come easy for everyone. It rarely comes easy for me. I have good weeks and bad weeks. To be honest, good months and bad months. Over the years, I’ve tried to find motivation a number of different ways. Here are a few ideas, presented in lawyer-speak:
Docket It: Like setting a deadline for a court filing or a deal closing date, putting a big event on the calendar helps with motivation and accountability. I encourage you to look three to six months out and sign up for a race, plan a long hike, or pick some other physical activity you have always wanted to try. Put it on your work calendar and give it the respect it deserves.
Make An Outline: You wouldn’t show up to court unprepared, would you? Preparation is important for practicing law, but it is also key to maintaining physical health. I encourage you to plan your weekly physical activity ahead of time – and write it down! When I am training for a race, I create calendar entries 3-4 times a week reminding me of the distance I plan to cover that day. When you are relaxing at home on Sunday night, sign up for your weekly spin or yoga class, and put it on the calendar. Also, get your workout clothes ready before you go to bed or before you leave for work. Experience has taught me that, while it is hard to remember where you put your running shoes if you are half asleep, it is easy if they are waiting for you at the foot of the bed when you wake up.
Dress The Part: When you walk into a meeting or courtroom with your best foot forward, it makes you feel good. I find that having quality clothes and gear not only helps with performance, it also makes whatever physical activity you are taking on much more enjoyable. If you signed up for a trail run, get some trail running shoes! If you committed to walk every morning, get some decent athletic shoes. Trust me when I say that going for a jog in old mowing shoes will give you shin splints. And wearing an old paint-covered t-shirt while running around the neighborhood will get you some less than desirable looks.
Reverse Golden Rule: We all know the Golden Rule, which says to treat others as you would like them to treat you. Let’s keep that up. However, I also encourage you to approach your own physical wellbeing with a twist on that rule. Simply put: take care of yourself as if you were in charge of the well-being of someone else. This goes for food and nutrition as well. It is easier to perform physically with better fuel – and your mind appreciates it too.
Celebrate The Win: We all know the feeling of getting a great result for a client. Sure, sure, it’s your job. But it feels good to acknowledge when hard work pays off! The same goes for completing the race, hitting a weightlifting goal, or making it to all three pilates classes this week. Those are wins and you should feel good about them too. Go ahead – post it on social media, accept the kudos and celebrate it, then start working on that next goal.
A few other things to keep in mind: Don’t forget the endorphins, stress relief, and overall good feeling you get after physical activity. Don’t forget how much better you sleep at night when you moved your body during the day. Finally, and arguably most importantly, don’t forget that your non-attorney friends and family would absolutely love to talk about something other than the law. Seriously, try it out.
Chris Dandurand is a Principal at The Gorny Law Firm, LC, in Kansas City, Missouri. He represents injured people and their families in personal injury and medical malpractices cases. He just discovered that if you google “RBG Age”, you will find out that the Supreme Court Justice can probably do more push-ups than you.