Today, at the start of the year, I’ll share a perspective I’ve found really helpful:
“Have a non-negotiable baseline”
What I mean is that there are all kinds of actions I *might* take in the realm of exercise and physical fitness. And it’s easy to get over-excited and take on more than I can reasonably sustain. But there’s a much smaller list of things that, are “minimum effective dose” actions. These are the minimal actions I need to experience significant success that I’d be happy with at the end of the year–if I did them consistently, no matter what.
For me, personally, that “minimum effective dose” is a once-a-week full-body workout of 3-5 large exercises, done to full effort. I know I’ll experience great quality of life and health benefits from this, and it’s my personal “non-negotiable baseline”–week-in and week-out.
If I can–and I often can–I like to do a second workout time with great spine movements like neck, low back, rotary torso, and some HIIT interval training. I can use all the cool machines I have at my disposal. And I’ll do some hikes and swimming–more for enjoyment than exercise value.
But–this is important–I’m clear in my mind that I have a non-negotiable baseline that feels completely doable. It makes it simple for me to not drop below that baseline, and I also enjoy more what I do above that baseline–that feels like bonus, and not a chore.
If you think having a clear personal baseline is helpful for you, I recommend taking a couple of minutes of focused thinking through what that is for you, so you can own it and commit to it.