A couple years’ back, I took an online class that suggested we create an exercise baseline.
What is that I wondered?
They explained it by asking us this question — “What could you commit to doing for the rest of your life– not just for the next 6 weeks?” This wasn’t about creating a routine or program to train for a marathon– this was about creating lifelong practices.
I loved the idea of this because it’s based on the idea that a short promise or burst really isn’t sustainable for most of us for forever. Hence why resolutions usually fizzle out in less than a January.
Instead it moves us to ask what do I really value (so much so that I will commit to doing it) and how do I really want this to be a part of my life– forever.
Of course, for me, it’s not just about exercise. I wanted to expand it to all of my self-care practices.
A small side note... I love the fact that a baseline is the minimum requirement I am going to ask of myself– I define it. I create something do-able based on me. I always have the choice to do more if I want to on any given day, week or month and I have permission to change the baseline based on my life in its present container.
Baselines are not meant to be more rules to follow or ways to measure our self worth. They live to serve us in ways that feel good.
Start by asking yourself: what do I want to create that nourishes, replenishes, rejuvenates my mind, body and soul—- on a daily and weekly basis that I can see myself doing the rest of my life?
Now, here’s where it can get interesting. We may try to create a lofty baseline based on what we think we “should” be doing. That trap could keep us trying and “failing” on the hamster wheel of shoulds and supposed-tos for a very long time.
What if we started right where we are– and created baselines based on this moment (knowing that we can always tweak over time)?
For example, a friend of mine recently shared she wanted to created a meditation practice of 30 minutes — each morning and evening. In truth, she wasn’t meditating with much consistency in the here and now.
That may be a challenging baseline to set and maintain. Instead, she played with 2 minutes in the morning and two minutes in the evening (increasing her baseline as she felt ready and as she chose to).
What do self-care baselines look like? Here are a few examples from my current practices:
I don’t love rules– as you know. And yet, I also want accountability to honor the things that are truly important to me by making them a priority in my life. Adding the baseline adds that layer of accountability for me.
I’d love to hear what practices you’ve created and if you have a baseline for them.
The more we create our lives intentionally, the more we will feel that our lives genuinely reflect our truest desires.
With love, as always,