One of the new things I’m trying this year is exercising on a regular (read: daily) basis. This is not as much about weight loss and appearance as it is about endurance and stress management. Let’s be honest and just call it sanity maintenance: I’m less of a basket case when I run and stretch. And when I’m not a basket case, I actually get a lot accomplished.

Of course exercise was something new I was trying last year, and I tried it repeatedly (sometimes successfully) the year before that. My favorite things in the world involve sitting (writing or working on my computer), standing (making lip balm), even reclining (reading a good book, eating chocolate). But running, stretching, lifting…these have never made my list of favorite things. Every day they compete with my favorite things and every day I drag my feet.

Tonight I put dinner in the oven and stood in the kitchen stalling instead of heading down to the treadmill. I went through my usual list of excuses, reasoning that it was the weekend and I’d earned a day off. And then I realized that as much as I didn’t want it, I really needed it. So I did it anyway.

The longer I walked, the better I felt. My normal 20 minutes turned into 30, then another 30 of stretches and weights. As tempting as it was to just sit, clearly moving was what I needed to do tonight. I’m going to try to remember how that felt. How often do I do what I need instead of what I want? Not often enough. How about you?

“One-half of life is luck; the other half is discipline, and that’s the important half, for without discipline you wouldn’t know what to do with luck.” – Carl Zuckmeyer

“When you have a number of disagreeable duties to perform, always do the most disagreeable first.” – Josiah Quincy

“One who wants to do something, will find a way;
One who doesn’t, will find an excuse.” -Confucius

(graphic from