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26Mar
2012

Exercise Your Life #4: Stop Swimming in Chaos

exercise your life stop swimming in chaos

Many people miss out on advancing their health simply because their life is too chaotic.  Supplements are stuffed in the back of a cupboard.  Treatment plans are crumpled in a purse for weeks.  Organic produce is rotting in the vegetable drawer because cooking it just never happened.  Good intentions were made to follow through on the new diet changes, but by the time the next appointment occurred, the confession was made.  “I didn’t do it.”

I have known this chaos.

When I used to live in constant pandemonium, I craved organization.  I had good intentions to get my life in order, and they were real, but I couldn’t find the right key to unlock myself out of all the disorder.  It’s not that the key was hard to find but that I was too overwhelmed to find it.  Or I just didn’t care.  It was easier to cut myself off from the clutter, then to face it.  I zoned out because I hated the chaos.  But I felt like I couldn’t get out of the chaos cycle.

Chaos is a total drag on your life in every way.  It’s hard to be focused on anything, let alone living a healthy life, when your week is overstuffed with commitments and everything is everywhere.  The chaos clouds out goals, and blurs any memory of the last time we broke a sweat because it feels like yesterday we just went on a run.  It’s hard to focus on one thing because, oh, there’s everything all at once, and it’s easier to avoid than to face.  The loss of focus, the zoning out, the goals that never get written…It’s too chaotic.

If you really want to take your health up a notch, you need to work on your chaos.  Your circumstances, your life, your disorder… it really does play into your health.  Do what you need to do to get your life in order.  Make a get-out-of-chaos date with your spouse and make a plan!

Chaos can come in all forms, and sometimes, it’s not so much a lack of external organization but a lack of internal order.  Is there chaos on the inside that needs to be addressed first?  This was my problem when I used to live in craziness.  I hid in the chaos because it was easier to live in it than to face what was tangling me up on the inside.  To stop swimming in chaos on the outside, you need to do a heart check on the inside.

Below are the top 3 things that have helped me bring order to managing my health:

1.  Get Accountable.  

This works best with a buddy.  Sometimes that little nudge from a friend goes a long way.  More recently though, I have been keeping myself accountable with a paper tracking system.  If you’re going solo on this, you’ve gotta make a plan and write it down!  Chaos pushes us to the clouds, accountability brings us back to earth.

2.   Chart Your Progress.

This has helped me immensely.  A chart helps you see results.  Results are motivational.  A chart is a piece of paper that tells you how it is.  I have a health habits check-off chart that I use, and it feeds back the reality of what I’m doing and not doing straight to my brain.  I have this problem where I think I took my supplements today because I’m remembering when I took them yesterday.  If I check my chart, I actually never took them today.

3.   Make Your Own Health Paper Repository.

Put everything health related in a file folder or 3-ring binder:  labs, treatment plans, health progress charts, medications, supplements, etc.  Now you won’t have loose papers from the doctor hanging out in the back seat of your car.  They will all have a home!  Having all your labs in one place enables you to see your health journey.  If you brought your health paper repository with you to your naturopathic doctor visit, they would really find you to be the greatest little health nerd.  Seriously though, you should always bring your lab results with you any time you see a doctor for the first time.  A health paper repository makes this easy for you.

When it comes to your health, what do you do to stop swimming in chaos?

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