Posts Tagged ‘exercising is an aid to writing’

“How would I rate my self-care this week, particularly in the area of exercise?” is one of the questions I ask my clients to think about before we have our coaching call.

Since many of my coaching clients are writers, and many of those writers are trying to find time to write a dissertation, I have a hard sell in trying to convince them to put more time into exercising.  One client says, “I just loathe ‘working out,’ especially since it uses up so much valuable time.”

And another response– “I can’t even imagine how I would enjoy adding regular exercise into my daily routine without hating every minute of it.”

To fight my own resistance to exercise, I plan my weekly schedule around exercise.  Like writing, exercise needs to be a habit.

Here are nine benefits that I have found from exercising:

1. It improves my mood.  After I exercise, it is always easier to start writing because I am in a good mood.

2.  It helps me think. My creativity is unleashed.  Ideas pop into my mind while I’m working out.

3.  It frees my mind to process ideas that I had been working on or issues that I haven’t been actively engaged with.

4.  It dissipates anxiety.  I’m always much calmer and more relaxed once I have exercised.

5.  It vents some of my meanness, allowing me to be the nice person I like to think I am.

6.  I have more energy on a daily basis if I’ve been exercising regularly.

7.  It eats calories and also helps control my eating.  Controlling my emotional eating is a great thing.

8.  It fights Alzheimer’s.  Also, if you’re thin and at one time you were a smoker, you should be exercising /lifting weights to fight osteoporosis.

9.  When I exercise with a group, I fight feelings of loneliness that are all too common with writers (and introverts). 

And here’s a bonus reason:  Rather than taking too much time, exercise actually helps me be a more productive writer.

Are you including exercise in your schedule?  How are you doing that?  I’d love to hear from you.

All the best,


P.S.  Could exercising be one of your goals for August and September?  Email me to help put some specifics around a goal. 

Nancy Whichard, Ph.D., PCC
Your International Dissertation and Academic Career Coach


Read Full Post »

I’ve been frittering, frittering away the time I set aside for writing.  Not only have I been frittering it away, but I’ve been putting one of my vices in its place.

This is a dangerous time of the year.  Not only is it Halloween, heralded in grocery stores and drug stores by rows upon rows of sacks of “fun-sized” Snickers and other character-busting candy, but in my family  we celebrate a couple of birthdays in October.  That means cake and ice cream.  And house guests.  And food.

Eating those Fun-Sized Snickers becomes yet another way to procrastinate on my writing projects.  Once I give in to all of that Halloween candy and birthday treats, I get into more trouble by slowing down on exercise.
I’m going to say that you also have these issues and sometimes procrastinate on writing your dissertation.  So, here’s what I think:
1.  It is dangerous to let food/sugar become yet another way to procrastinate.
 Like doing busy work, eating can be substituted for writing and other productive activity.  When I’m munching and loving that taste of nuts and chocolate, it feels as if I’m doing something important.  And I can once again put off writing– for 5 minutes or for however long I can distract myself.

2.  It is dangerous to stop exercising, even for a few days.
 There seems to be a slippery slope once I give in to Fun-Sized Snickers.  I find excuses to stop exercising and eating escalates.  Once the structures I have in place start to fall, like the time I usually give to exercise, I can’t seem to find the time to write.
3.  It is dangerous to have negative goals. 
 It is true that I don’t want to give myself any excuses to slip and slide into the bad old patterns.  But researchers tell us that positive goals are easier to achieve.

4.  It is dangerous to go on auto-pilot.
 When I’m particularly busy in preparation for an event or working for others, I need to find an early-morning quiet time to take care of me.  I need to remind myself what is important. 

•  I will choose how I’ll make writing a priority (write early).
• Exercise is critical.  Even if I have company, even if I have a birthday, even if it’s Halloween (or Thanksgiving, yikes!), I will exercise.  Exercise helps me focus, prioritize, and lowers my stress level. If I exercise, I don’t slip down as easily into squishy self-deception/self-sabotage.

How about you?  I’d love to hear how you manage procrastination.

Please stop by my website (www.nwcoaching.com) and sign up for my free electronic newsletter– I’m giving a bonus for signing up.

Until next time,


Read Full Post »