Work hard play hard: How to do things you don’t want to do

I’m all about work hard play hard this month. Inspired by my trip to Miami with that very theme, I’ve thought a lot about how to implement it as a way of life. 

It starts with being intentional about how I invest time and resources in my business. The contribution I make to my community. And having a meaningful personal life (which includes maintaining my healthy hottie status😉). 

To do this requires two important traits.

The first is a willingness to do the uncomfortable thing since it beats the future discomfort of not achieving my goals. 

Because while I love what I do, I don’t love everything I do. 

Sometimes I finish a third conversation with someone who says “no” to coaching and I question my value. 

Or a subscriber flags my blog post as “spam” in her inbox and I feel unappreciated. And a bit peeved.

Or I need to make a phone call to someone who’s not happy with me.

The key is I don’t avoid the discomfort of working through these tough situations with false forms of “play.” 


Like, watching Friends reruns well past lunchtime when I felt like “I deserve a break” (it wasn’t that long ago…). 

The antics of Monica, Joey and the rest brought temporary pleasure. BUT, I was avoiding the discomfort of work (and the act of avoiding was also uncomfortable), and then I was uncomfortable later when the work wasn’t done! Triple whammy.

Have you done that? Escape into false pleasure is settling for less, when what we really deserve is so much more! 

The second crucial skill is focusing on what’s in front of me. Even writing this post I briefly distracted myself by brewing another cup of coffee and returning some emails.

I do this by planning my day ahead of time and honoring it. Which means I don’t use laundry to procrastinate. I don’t spend time scrolling through funny cat reels when I’ve scheduled work.  

As my distraction above indicates, I’m not perfect at it. But I don’t tell myself I’ve “blown it” when I slip up. I get curious and plan for how to do better next time.  

The way we build integrity with ourselves is doing what we said we’d do. The more we do it, the better we get at it. 

What about play?

Play is easy when I plan my calendar, focus on what’s in front of me, and open up to discomfort. And, this is critical, I schedule “me” time, play time. I am not an afterthought.

Ultimately, work hard play hard is balancing a small number of key priorities and intentionally pursuing them. Discomfort and all. 

Are you forgotten on the back burner of your priority list?

How do you make self-love a priority? Or, do you? 

When we balance taking care of family, working hard, and serving our communities, sometimes “we” take a back seat on our own priority list.

But then…

an important deadline is missed, or 

lab work comes back indicating diabetes, or

a relationship is broken.

…a sudden reminder that self-care is what makes everything else work. 

We’ve forgotten… “love your neighbor as yourself.” 

I think the two most overlooked words are “as yourself.”

I remember a sermon several years ago. The pastor said that in our culture we don’t need any help with loving ourselves. That most people loved themselves too much. 

I totally disagree.

Self-love is not self-absorption or self-indulgence. Or selfish.

These are born out of feeling inadequate and unloved. Out of not loving ourselves. 

Genuine self-love is the result of knowing we are loved and cared for by Another, greater than ourselves. And this is what makes truly loving others possible. 

Photo by Kampus Production from Pexels:

But how does this happen in practice?

By having clear and specific goals – not just “what,” but “why,” – and scheduling in time for you before you schedule anything else. Because if you try to squeeze “you” in, let’s be honest…you won’t fit.

For me, a large part of my focus is my business, and this year I’m weaving self-care into how I operate. 

Like setting aside more time to be strategic and develop ideas for delivering superior value to my clients. I think a lot about how to help them achieve the transformation they want. I’m planning ahead three months so I know what’s on the horizon and don’t get blindsided.

I set health goals for the first time in a few years: meditation six days a week, two plant-only days per week, eating less dairy (cheese!), and upping my fiber to average 40+ grams per day. And I’m still doing it! Because I have clear, compelling reasons to follow through. 

I also have a goal to read 24 books, at least four of them fiction. I love business and mindset books, so purposefully choosing fiction must be a goal. (My favorite book so far this year? Quench!)

The one thing all of these goals have in common? They require time and attention that I was previously putting elsewhere. Like “getting things done.” And I admit… sometimes I feel guilty when I decline an invitation. Or feel like I should be “doing more” for everyone else. 

But I believe we need to reclaim “as yourself” if we are to serve our families, friends, customers/bosses and communities. 

We are limited, finite beings. I’m willing to work hard and serve hard. And take excellent care of myself in the process.

This is how I know someone is serious about getting fit and healthy

Right now is an unlikely starting point for healthy habits. I mean, we’re mere weeks away from Halloween. The year is “almost over.” The holidays will be here before we know it.

But when someone does start now, I know… she’s committed, which means she’s more likely to follow through, no matter what life throws her way.

You might wonder how I can know that she’s not taking on too much or being unrealistic about what can be done. Honestly, I don’t. 

What I do know is that she’s not waiting for the right time, for life to get back to normal or her schedule to calm down. That if she’s decided something needs to change and she’s willing to take action, the foundation for transformation is there. 

Think about a time when you’ve decided to take action, even though it would be easier not to. Like enrolling in night classes to finish a degree while working full time with a toddler at home. Or signing up to train for a marathon while taking care of your aging parents and running a business. 

Being willing to take action and move forward when life isn’t perfect indicates a seriousness about the desire to change. So I know that when someone hires me as her coach in the fourth quarter, she’s ready to dive in and make the necessary shifts for greater wellbeing.

Because really, there’s never a better time to start feeling better. 

getting fit
Photo by Sonja Langford on Unsplash

And just imagine, if someone who does start her healthy habits now can get through the next few months, the muscle she’s building for taking action – even with tough circumstances – is incredible.  

Maybe you have a hard time getting motivated to even start healthy habits, or you’ve been inconsistent and feel like you’ve let yourself down. Or maybe you regularly pursue a healthy lifestyle, but you’re in a bit of a rut. If so, now is the perfect time to commit to change.

My challenge to you is this: intentionally choose the habits you want to change, add or subtract right now. Set a timeline to step-by-step implement the changes. Take small steps every day. And by the way, if you want a roadmap to establish a foundation and develop strategies for change, I’ve got a cost-effective tool for you here.

It’s not important that you lose 27 lbs by December 31st or that you massively change your diet and reduce your medications in the next 86 days. It’s about who you are becoming – the muscle you are building – by taking action everyday that feels uncomfortable. Because the more you take those actions, the less uncomfortable they become. 

And that’s when you’re ready for the next round of change. 

8 Quick & Easy Ways to Kickstart Feeling Better and Getting Fit.

Grab it for FREE now!