What I Learned By Exercising Every Day for a Year

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

I exercised every day for 365 days. And now I shall rest.

"10! 9! 8! 7! 6! 5! 4! 3! 2! 1!"

With that Jillian Michaels counted down the last ten seconds of level 2 of her 6-Week Six-Pack DVD and counted down the seconds to me completing a fantastic feat.

At the start of this year I announced that I planned to exercise every single day in 2014. I even made the declaration on WBHM 90.3 FM and all across social media. And guess what...


I exercised for at least 30 minutes every day for 365 days!

As I've stated before, I wasn't challenging myself to do this so I could lose weight. 2014 was also about me learning to see my body as, to borrow the words of Caroline Heldman, an amazing vehicle for moving through the world, not a project to be constantly improved.

Thus, I didn't care about my weight this year. Numbers I did care about, however, were my cholesterol, blood pressure, and waist-to-height ratio -- all of which I was told were perfect at my physical last month.

But achieving this fitness goal also taught me a lot about writing, blogging, and business.

To achieve your writing and business goals you need support at home. My biggest supporter this year as I worked to exercise daily was been my husband Edward. Because of my crazy schedule hubster's biggest fear was that I would one day simply forget to exercise. So he made sure to remind me every day. One night he forgot to ask me if I'd exercised that day and the next morning he panicked and sent me frantic text message to see if I had. Fortunately, I had indeed exercised that day before he got home from work. But this anecdote shows just how supportive he was of this quest.  He was as committed to this goal as I was. And just as he's always waiting for me at the finish line when I run half-marathons, he stood by listening to Jillian's countdown and ran into the living room to congratulate me when my final workout of the year was complete.

Each time a run a half-marathon my hubs is waiting for me at the finish line -- with flowers!

My husband is just as supportive of my writing, blogging and career goals. At most See Jane Write events you'll see him right there helping me carry in refreshments, taking pictures, and tweeting out highlights of the event.  It's important for any woman in a relationship to have the support of her partner -- even if this simply means your significant other is willing to pick up more household chores so you have more time to work on your writing.

To achieve your writing and business goals you need a community of like-minded gal pals. Along with the support I had at home, I also had the support of faithful friends. Going for walks, running road races, and attending group exercise classes with friends was a great way to stay on track. Accountability is important, too. I've had attempted 365 days of fitness in the past and failed. But making the declaration to so many people motivated me to stick with it.

Fitness is more fun with friends...
...and when covered in brightly colored paint! 

It's important for female writers, bloggers, and entrepreneurs to have community, too. You need someone who understands why you bother blogging in the first place, someone who doesn't think you're crazy for quitting your day job to try out your small business idea, and someone who will encourage you to write that novel or send that pitch.

To achieve your writing and business goals you need to keep things interesting. If I working out daily only meant spending 30 minutes on a elliptical 7 days a week I probably wouldn't have made it through January. But I made fitness fun! My workouts included: running, spinning, walking with friends, dance classes, the fitness mode of the Wii game Just Dance, Pure Barre, yoga, boxing, Jillian Michaels DVDs, Shaun T DVDs, weight lifting, and more.

Likewise, you have to make sure you keep things interesting as you work on your craft as a writer. If you're bored with your blog, your readers probably are too. So keep things fresh! Try a new topic, introduce a new feature, or revamp the look of your site.

To achieve your writing and business goals you must challenge yourself. Another way I warded off boredom throughout the year was by occasionally giving myself a more specific fitness challenge. For example, in June I challenged myself to walk/run 100 miles and I did! Inspired by that feat, I've decided that my fitness goal for 2015 is to walk/run 1200 miles -- that's 100 miles a month for 12 months.

100 miles in June!

Don't be afraid to challenge yourself in your writing career or business either. Perhaps you'll strive to publish a new blog post every day for a month, self-publish your first book, see your byline in your favorite national magazine or earn $100,000 in your business.

To achieve your writing and business goals you must stop telling yourself that you don't have the time to go after your dreams. The biggest lesson I learned from my year of everyday fitness is that I do have the time to exercise. Always. And if I have the time to exercise every day I also have the time to blog, write, pitch, network, plan, market and do whatever else I need to do to achieve my writing and business goals.

If you're thinking you don't have the time to exercise or chase your dreams, I ask you to consider signing up for my time management e-course, How To Write and Have a Life, which will launch tomorrow. Sign up for my new newsletter for more details.

What great thing did you accomplish this year?


  1. I am SO INSPIRED! Thank you. This is my 2015.

  2. Great inspiration Javacia - I joined a 356K challenge this year (to write 365,000 words). It seems like a lot - like the 1200 mile idea, but when we put our mind to it, find the support, and connect with a community we can achieve it!

  3. Congrats on accomplishing your goal! So awesome and motivating! Best wishes for a healthy and happy 2015!

  4. What an awesome accomplishment!! This post has given me hope!! I just signed up for the time management course. . May your new year be prosperous!!