My 10 Commandments To Achieving Wellness: Part 1

It may sound weird. It may sound super strict and stressful. Living with a set of “rules” or “guidelines” or just lifestyle choices that are non-negotiable can actually give you more freedom with your wellness and well-being. It has for me. And it can for you. My corporate, concierge clients and small group fitness community all practice stress resilience practices like conscious breathing, avoiding multi-tasking, approaching each day with a manageable “to do” list that isn’t a mile long, setting their circadian rhythm for successful sleep, and stress management and many more hacks. Find out more info by subscribing to my newsletter here.

Living with purpose and with a set of personal rules gives me a sense of freedom – in decision-making and especially those minute-by-minute choices. They took me about a decade to develop. Take your time, if you are at all intrigued. Also, develop your own. These are just those guideposts that work for me as an entrepreneur who works seven days a week, raising two teenage children, who values her time with close friends, and with my husband, as well as my active faith life.



How many decisions do we make every day?

• The average adult makes 35,000 conscious decisions each day.

• The average adult makes 227 choices each day just with regard to food.


So how many sub-conscious decisions do we make each day? A lot. Our mannerisms, our gait, the route we take to drive somewhere, the language we use. All are subconscious. Yes, here I go again, so many of them can be chalked up to habits. The science of habit and the neuroscience of how the brain works teaches us small and simple habits can provide a perfect pathway to a wellness-centric life. On the contrary, it can also lead us to inadvertently making decisions that are not contributing to our wellness nor our well-being.

These 10 “rules” save me from hundreds of poor decisions that won’t help me live a long and as stress-free life-as-possible. They prevent frustration. They hold me high when others are flailing about trying to decide this or that. They are my own personal commandments. I will share my food related “rules” next week in part 2. I assure you, you will be surprised!  Also, stay tuned for how I approach email, the never-ending stress of anyone. It used to control me; now I control it!


#1 I am asleep by 10pm every night.

During the work week, I tend to be asleep by 9:30 pm, and it’s not uncommon to be asleep by 9. (Yes, I have teenagers and have found ways to work with that. Again, not easy, yet it is possible. Anything is possible. It all comes down to our choices.) Although it’s rare, I can push to 10 pm some weekend nights. Yet, it has to be a really good reason. My sleep is my top wellness priority. Another hallmark of my corporate and concierge program is to coach clients on how to set a bedtime routine. It is not easy, I know. Yet over the course of time, I have seen dozens of teams share their success in getting that coveted sleep they need.


#2 I awaken by 5:30 am every day.

I am convinced my sleep routine sets the stage for the rest of my day. I am also convinced it is how Alexandria Wellness is still not only surviving yet thriving during the pandemic. Our bodies crave consistency. Our brains require it. When it gets confused by an array of schedules and plans, it gets stressed. A brain on stress is not a happy nor healthy brain. My energy, my productivity, my positivity, and my ability to run three different companies under Alexandria Wellness banner are the result of my routine.


#3 I do not interrupt.

Alexandria Wellness concierge clients work on the lost art of listening. Listening is a sure pathway to enriching any relationship – not only with others yet with ourselves. Listening is a lost art. So many of us tend to formulate our answer or our retort to every sentence spoken to us and are not truly deeply listening to others around us. Worse yet, we are talking ourselves out of so many opportunities to learn more about the person with whom we are in conversation. When in conversation, listening experts contend we are either proving, protecting, or defending.

“Instead of listening to understand, so many are listening to reply.”

Tara Brach

I fill my bucket daily by asking questions of clients and those closest to me. I pride myself on being a good listener. When I interrupt, I am mortified.



#4 I exercise every day.

The way I look at it, most of us want to move “like an athlete.” We want to be able to do anything required of our amazing bodies… and at any given time. I am no different. Give me a challenge: I will look at it straight in the eye and practice the skills needed to feel confident doing it. Why not try to do a handstand, a pull up, a perfect backstroke? The only thing holding you back is your self talk.



#5 I appreciate and love my body for all it has done and continues to do for me.

Our Body Love program just kicked off with our first Alexandria Wellness only cohort. Our members are already blown away by how far they’ve come in just one week with Dr. Kiesinger and me. Click here if you want to join cohort two and give yourself the peace and ease to live with your body.

How do I love my body? I fuel my body with what it needs – sleep, stress resilience practices, self care, exercise, and much more. This is because I honor it for all it does to give me this blessed life I have. I am blessed with this one life. I give my body attention and what it tells me it needs. Learn more about Body Love, My Unfiltered Chats about all things wellness, and other events we are hosting to see how you too can develop your own list of Top 10 Rules to live by on our events page.

Stay tuned for Part 2 next week, which will outline my other five commandments to live a happy, healthy, wellness-centric life!


  • The latest from Adrien
Adrien founded Fitness on the Run in 2004 out of her home after a successful career in policy and public affairs communications. After spending 15 years developing her own personal definition of wellness and watching thousands struggle with theirs, in January 2019 Adrien founded Alexandria Wellness, the home for the Concierge Wellness Program and Corporate Wellness with Adrien Cotton. Over the course of 15 years, “FOR” was home to more than 2,000 clients, 30 instructors, and hundreds of inspirational success stories. Adrien is now, more-than-ever, passionate about helping women view their fitness as a journey, not a quick fix. Adrien’s recipe for success herself has evolved from a rigid training plan of sweaty and heart pumping workouts to some days getting in her 10,000 steps, consciously breathing, her 7.5 hours of sleep, and her beloved 5-Minute Flow. Adrien believes the most important ingredient is making small changes for big results, even if it’s one new habit formed each month. Still passionate about fitness, Adrien’s clients appreciate her ability to make sessions seriously challenging without a “beat down,” a healthy mix of strength and metabolic (cardio) work and ultimately helping her clients gain real strength in mind and body. She believes we all benefit from being curious about our bodies and that change, or improvement, is within reach despite what your “inner voice” or others may tell you. Adrien is bubbling with excitement to help women learn the importance of a comprehensive approach to wellness, weight loss, and contentedness with yourself, and that every person has the right to feel good about themselves. Most days, you can find her helping clients with their wellness, listening to success stories, and bragging about her twin 13-year-old children and “fittest man in Alexandria” Bill Cotton. Adrien prides herself on her practice of mindfulness, meditation, and putting it all into perspective.

Alexandria Wellness offers achievable answers for anyone who is tired of chasing fitness and health without a clear plan, someone who has struggled and is not satisfied with their fitness and wellness or someone who is open to maximized healthful longevity and fitness along with healthful weight loss. Adrien and her team offer help with food guidance, body acceptance, sleep and stress issues, and insist you have fun along the way.

Schedule your free 30 minute consult here!

Alexandria Wellness
215 North Payne Street
Alexandria, VA 22314



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get your daily dose of all things fashion, beauty, fitness, and design. Locally sourced and locally styled!