The number one reason people fail to maintain (or improve) their fitness level is due to a perceived lack of time.
The truth is people DO have time, IF they learn to more efficiently manage the rest of their lives. Millions of people with jobs and families exercise and eat right and they have the same 24 hours as the rest of us. Before trying to add more “stuff” to your day to become one of those people, make the rest of your life more efficient. You’ll be amazed at how much time you actually do have.
There are three life skills that will give you freedom to do more with your 24 hours.
1. Batching. Never answer a single e-mail, pay one bill or run just one errand. Always batch similar tasks together. Doing this saves money, energy and, most importantly, time. Efficiency experts will tell you this skill alone can transform a hectic life. Do this with your nutrition and prepare more healthy food than you need (once or twice per week) to freeze and store and you will eat better with less time investment.
2. Multitasking. Get your workout by running to the bank to make a deposit, write a meal plan while your kids are swimming, steam some brown rice while you fold laundry or do a core workout while you watch TV. Figure out how to do more than one thing at a time to “find” more time.
3. Forget the “All or Nothing” mentality. If you think it takes huge effort and time to get great results, you are wrong. Just 10 minutes of focused, efficient exercise is often enough to get you moving in a new direction (and always better than doing nothing). As you get stronger and “find” more time, you can expand on this and continue to improve.
I have found it works to make small changes, on a weekly basis, in your efforts to achieve a goal. In three months, you will have added 12 “things” to your life that will have an effect on your desired outcome. These things can come from your brainstorming activity earlier. If you do this 52 times, you can be an entirely new person in one year.
Along the way, you have to assess whether you are making progress or whether you need to take a step back and make some changes. My favourite way to do this is to answer the question, “How will I know that it’s working and I am getting closer to my goal?”
Here are some actual responses to that question;
“I won’t have to shop in the plus-size section of the store.”
“I’ll look forward to playing with my kids after work.”
“I won’t snap at my husband so much.”
“My jeans will start to get baggy.”
“I won’t be winded when I take the stairs at work.”
“My running times will be faster.”
“I will look forward to having my picture taken.”
Be very specific and think, in real world terms, of how you will know that this is working for you. If it isn’t, you haven’t failed; you just need to do some more planning. If you are not seeing positive results, something has to change. You either need a new goal, a different approach or some other way to evaluate progress. Go back and re-do the steps outlined in this article.
Answer the three questions again.
• What do you want to do that you can’t do now?
• What can I do, right now, to start moving toward my dream/goal?
• How will I know that it’s working and I am getting closer?