The 12-hour rule: A guide to healthier headspace

Jillian Michaels: For me to kind of balance it all I came up with this notion of what I call the 12-Hour Rule. It's very easy to tell someone to do something, but telling them how is a different story. Love yourself more. Okay great, well I've always been told I was crap so how do I get to that headspace? Make time for yourself. Prioritize your well being. Yeah well I'm spread so thin you can see through me. How?

So the how for me was this 12-Hour Rule. And when I looked at my life and I prioritized my sleep because that is major when it comes to making those six keys work in the right direction, I said all right I'm going to focus on sleep I want to get seven to eight hours of sleep a night; that's going to leave me with about 112 waking hours in my week. If I do 50 hours on work, 40 hours is the normal workweek, I'm going to add ten. If I do 50 hours on running my household, and if you're lucky enough to not to be a single parent and you have a significant other you get to borrow some of their 50 hours to run the household. So this is our worse case scenario and this is where you're taking the dog to the vet and you're taking the car to get the tires rotated and you're shuttling the kids back-and-forth between soccer and gymnastics. How do I know this? Because I do all of that stuff in the 50 hours I dedicate to running my freak in the household. I'm left with about 12 hours of me time and I schedule that 12 hours each and every week like it is the word of God.

And what I do with it is as follows: I take four half hours for exercise, even if I don't have the drive time to and from the gym and it's happening in my living room with something I'm streaming to my TV from an app so be it. Next, I might see friends for brunch or a dinner. That could be a couple of hours. I'm at about four hours now. I've got a doctor's appointment, a haircut, a dentist appointment. Any routine maintenance on my hygiene and my health I'm fitting into another two hours of that week. I'm somewhere now at what six to eight hours. I've got a date night; I am at maybe ten hours. And it doesn't mean I don't to see my significant other at home, it's like a special time for us to go out during the week and I had a couple hours left over for a hobby. It could be riding my horse. It could be relaxing with a book. It could be whatever you love. I don't care if it's needlepoint, if it makes you happy who cares.

Over the course of the month that four hours of fitness is enough to keep your body healthy. That weekly routine maintenance appointment is enough to make sure all the health checks and balances are checking out for better. You're maintaining your good relationships with friends and significant others and you've got just enough time to chill out. It's not perfect. I'm not the perfect parent, I'm not the perfect businesswoman, I'm not the perfect anything, but it's enough to keep the wheels on this bus and to maintain a level of happiness, which means meaning and purpose to tolerate the days where things go wrong and I screw up. It's worth it.

  • There's no shortage of good advice in the world. But how to actually follow it?
  • When it comes to your own wellbeing, learn to schedule your 'me time' with precision.
  • Only this way, says Jillian Michaels, can you center yourself and retain a sense of joy.


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