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Bar News - March 23, 2007

Work-Life Balance: You’ve Heard It All Before, But Are You Listening?



Chances are you’re either engaged in a regular and hopefully rewarding exercise program (congratulations!), or you’ve tried and haven’t succeeded in maintaining a routine of regular exercise.


There’s nothing new to say about the benefits of exercise. You’ve heard it all before. Exercise is good for you, may extend your life, and makes you feel better physically and emotionally. Exercise is free. What’s not to like?


If you are not regularly exercising, there is probably a good reason. Let’s take a moment to identify what this reason might be. If you thought you were just too busy or too lazy, probably neither is true. My experience shows otherwise.


In the book, The Mind-Body Makeover Project, trainer Michael Gerrish posits that people often have unidentified fitness obstacles (UFOs) such as hypoglycemia, osteoporosis, poor time management, and perfectionism, that interfere with fitness success. Many of the UFOs are physically related, supporting the common advice to consult with your physician before beginning an exercise regime.


The book is a great resource with specific work-out and diet recommendations, and guidance about the emotional component of making change. Gerrish also tells inspiring stories of several people who took the journey to physical fitness.

In life, to go forward, sometimes you must look backward. Please take a moment right now to consider why you aren’t exercising regularly, or meeting your fitness goals. What answer comes to mind?


If your answer was “I don’t have the time,” I challenge you to think more deeply. Here are a couple of statements to ponder:


  • I can honestly say that I do not have 2 hours per week to spare to invest in my own health.
  • When I honestly look at how I spend my time, all the other things I choose to do are more important.
  • If your answer was “I am too lazy,” I challenge you to answer the following:


  • Have you found an exercise activity that you truly enjoy?
  • If you’re so inclined, have you found an exercise buddy?
  • When you’ve made a commitment to exercise and then abandoned it, what got in the way? Was it commitments to other people, clients or family members? Did it feel like the universe conspired against your good intentions?

I invite you to consider a time in your life when you met your fitness goals. Perhaps you can identify the factors that made this possible for you then and apply them to your current circumstances.


Whether they’re good ones or bad ones, habits build upon habits. Getting into a consistent exercise routine requires the same discipline and attention as any other habit. You must develop a plan that will work for you, obtain any help or information that you need, identify how you will fit the activity into your life (which may require giving up another activity), and commit to stick with your plan even when obstacles arise or you fall short of your goals.

The most important step to your physical fitness may lie inside your head. Remember a time when you felt in great shape. Visualize what you want now for your physical fitness and take the first step.


Betsy Black, J.D., A.C.C., is an accredited life coach and lawyer who’s left the practice of law. Contact her at or call her at 603-228-6195.



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