You Can Control Your Habits

Exercise affects your attitude. Attitude affects everything else.

This is a frustrating industry. Some days it seems like you can’t control anything. It may be hours between unloading and getting your next load. Once you get there the shipper drags out the process. Then after finally getting you loaded they expect you to drive illegally to deliver your load. This industry can drive you crazy and destroy your health. Take control of what you can.

One of my beliefs about exercise is that success multiplies. Set goals you can control. Your goal may be to exercise 30 minutes. Don’t say, “I am going to run 30 minutes.” As you progress, you can set your goals higher.

Take the increased pride you feel from early successes to work with you. Tuck in your shirt; the more you exercise the less belt hangover you will see. Buy yourself some better shirts. Why not? You’re looking better. Dress the part. Many people will treat you better as your appearance improves.

OK, that last line might be a little optimistic. The point is to treat yourself better. Look at exercise as something you are doing for yourself, not something you have to do. There is so much in this industry you can’t control. Dispatchers can be demanding (and clueless). Shippers can give you an appointment before the freight is even finished. My personal favorite: You arrive on time for a noon appointment, and they go to lunch. That one drives me nuts! Exercise is one thing you can control.

So it’s January — I am obligated to mention resolutions. Exercise and weight loss are two leading resolutions. Resolutions fail when people can’t reach their goal. Results are often delayed. So resolve to put in the effort. Resolve to treat yourself to 30 minutes of exercise at least 5 days a week.

Take control. Take pride.

Jeff Clark is a trucker, a grandfather and an eight-time marathon (26.2 miles) finisher. He is dedicated to helping truckers improve their health through better habits. Contact him at [email protected] or