If the "ideal day" alludes you, read this! ❤️
Recently I was asked to speak at MUV Talks about Wellness.
It is such a broad topic and so many things sit in there to unpack, but after MANY drafts and conversations, I landed on the basic focus of YOU MATTER and that the 'ideal world' alludes us all, not unlike the art of the casual messy bun (maybe that's just me?!).
Here is my speech:
Kia ora everyone,
I am Daz and I am the Founder of Hey Mama Movement, which started in bricks and mortar 3 years ago because I was in an unmotivated, unconfident, unhappy place and I needed to find a way out of it. And has now, 3 years later, moved to an online platform to support as many women as we can both in NZ and internationally.
So the backstory in a nutshell is that after having our second son and trying a few different things with exercise, I invited some friends to workout with me in my garage and in 3 months we went from 6 women to 120 women just through word of mouth.
Reflecting on what we got right in our Hey Mama community for that growth to happen, 4 things became glaring clear:
- That women need people,
- They want to feel part of something,
- They constantly put themselves last on the priority chain; and
- They love to spend time with good people who lift their souls.
In all honesty, another ah-ha moment was that every single one of those 120 women genuinely mattered to me.
- How they were going each day in their lives, mattered to me.
- The positive impact we were having in their lives, mattered to me.
- How they felt about themselves, mattered to me.
Our vision is really simple - we want to make every single day better for women.
We aren’t about inspiring, we approach exercise, connecting and wellness through a practical and realistic lens.
The health and wellness industry is a really full place, everyone is trying to vie for market share and they often see women as numbers on a spreadsheet that they need to increase in order to lift ROI and dividends for shareholders.
I just see women.
A lot of women, who aren’t spending time on themselves, or spending time connecting with their friends and they are often left wondering why they are not feeling 100% every day.
So, yes the health and wellness industry is full and the competition is high.
But for us, our competition is every single woman’s “busyness” (and I will discuss that word in a minute) but being so conditioned to put others first is our biggest hurdle to leap which is getting the message out there explicitly:
That you matter,
That you can’t pour from an empty cup,
That you can’t help others if you are dragging yourself through the day.
The upside though is, that your cup is refillable
And we know how to make sure you have endless refills.
Show of hands, how often do you respond like this?
Friend: Hey, how are you?
Me: Good, busy, but good
Busy means unavailable, buried, anxious, overloaded, slaving, snowed under, swamped, tied up…
We throw “busy” around so much when describing our lives and I really don’t think many of us grasp the magnitude of negativity that sits in behind “busy” and the perception that “busy” gives to the person you are speaking with that you really don’t have anything left in your tank to give them.
They then don’t want to “take up” any of your precious time and they leave you alone.
I wonder if that was the message you were really trying to convey by using the word “busy”?
Needless to say, I have removed busy from my vocab when it comes to describing how I am and I now say “I am on lots of missions but loving each one”.
But busy still links to the perception of “lack of time” that in most research is the number one reason why women are not doing regular exercise or taking time for themselves.
With the support of the amazing Sarah Woollett, we surveyed 512 women during the Lockdown and got some beautiful insights and all were really supportive of what we are trying to achieve with clear messages:
- The social component of group exercise is therapeutic and people anticipate enjoying exercise instead of dreading it and engineering it out of their day.
We know we’ve all done that right?!
- By having it planned in the schedule and booked with a friend, - that accountability means they are less likely to cancel for “not feeling like it”.
Basically you show up for them because they show up for you and none of us like letting people down.
When we spoke with women, a lot talked about:
“in an ideal world”
“when the stars align”
“when I have a good day” …
only then connecting and exercise can happen for them.
Now, I don’t know about you but I would literally NEVER exercise or see friends if ALL of these factors had to happen the way I want/expect them to:
- Good weather
- Feeling motivated
- Not too much work
- Feeling healthy
- Not too busy (there it is again)
- Family is healthy
- The day is going to plan
- Slept well
- Childcare is sorted
- Friends can join in
- Not stressed
- Chores done
Ideal, just to clarify, means perfect!
And if we go back to our practical and realistic lens, by aiming for this “ideal” in order to have permission to take time for ourselves, we know that we are setting ourselves up to constantly fall short of achieving something that we desperately need in our lives.
There are so many things that connect us and the constant juggle of life is one of them, along with the high expectations we put on ourselves to be all things to all people and meet this “ideal”.
But, we want everyone, including you, to know that the number one benefit of exercising is positive mental health benefits, with physical health benefits being a far distant second.
So online, we can get the model right:
- You are connecting
- You are not only part of your own journey, but part of your friends journeys too
- You are prioritising yourself by choosing to spend time on you
- And together you are lifting each other to shine
So if you double down on your exercise and do it with friends your cup is going to be filled with resilience, confidence, joy and your ecosystem around you is going to thrive. ❤️