“I understand. It sounds like it’s pretty crazy.” I respond.
“It’s just so frustrating. This is one reason I am paying you. I know that if I pay you then I will get here!” She says.
I laugh and let her know that is fine with me. But then I ask, “Is there anything in your life that you can eliminate, so that you can put yourself in that time slot?”
She pauses and looks visibly uncomfortable with my question. “I am sure there are several things. I just can’t seem to say no to people.”
“Well, I’ve become very good at saying no in the last couple years.” I reply. “ I try to remember that every time I say yes to someone, I am also saying “No” to myself. If I give someone or something my time, it means I cannot give that time to anything else.”
She nods with a smile. “ I just have to make it through the holidays, then I can focus on myself.”
“Beware the barrenness of a busy life.” ~ Socrates
I would like you to consider these 3 steps to develop a process to achieve your fitness goals.
Step 1- Schedule your exercise.
You only have 168 available in one week. In my past blog post “Simplify: Your life” , I speak about how I have claimed 78 ½ of those hours for my own health and wellness. I have time broken down for sleep, healthy eating, exercising, and spirituality practices. I make sure to keep my well-being first on my schedule. I have also set limits on my work hours.
You must be willing to put your own health and well-being above ( and most often in place of) other activities. What can you take out of your life to make room for your new life style? If you are not currently exercising, starting with 3 days a week for at least 30 minutes is a good start.
Let me suggest a few things you could consider “cutting” from your schedule.
Work and “perfect” housekeeping- If I cannot get something done in the hours I have allocated, then it must wait. Or better yet, I just don’t do it at all. You do not have to be held to anyone else’s standard. If you are giving up sleep for a clean house...I’d suggest you just go to bed!
Social media/email- I have limited my time on non-work email and social media to 20 minutes a day. If needed, I will let someone know that I do not have time to fully respond until a later date.
TV/Internet- I don’t have cable, and I rarely watch TV. People often try to talk to me about current TV shows. I have to be honest with them, and let them know “I don’t have time” to watch TV. I also do not use the internet at home for anything other than keeping up with friends, checking email, and streaming music/study materials/ educational lectures. I do not have time to “surf” mindlessly.
Friends and Family- There are only about 3 to 4 friends and family that I get to see weekly. There are only 2 to 3 more that I am able to visit with monthly. Some people I only manage to visit with 2-3 times a year. You can still maintain “emotional closeness” with friends and family if all parties involved understand the honest lack of time. Sometimes I have to tell friends, that we “might have to keep up on Facebook for now.” I try to be very honest about my availability, and my mission to to be “un-busy” for my well-being.
Step 2- Choose your place to exercise.
I have a free membership to each gym that I train clients. But I am most comfortable paying for a membership at a separate facility. I enjoy being able to blend into the crowd. I enjoy not having to think about anyone except myself for that hour. I enjoy being able to be silent.
You should seek out whatever is best for you. Working out at home is great, if you have the tools and the discipline. If you workout at a facility, it is typically best to find a place within 3-5 minutes of your home or workplace. Be sure to find a place that fits your budget. You don’t want to have to cancel after just a few months!
Step 3- Choose your exercises.
If your goal is weight loss or general health and fitness, you have tons of options! The key to lifelong fitness is finding activities you enjoy doing. If you do not enjoy any physical activity, then pick one you can “find joy in doing.” Maybe you love the social aspects of a group class or running/biking club. Maybe you just enjoy how your body and mind feel when you are done exercising. Cherish those positive feelings you get from exercise...even if you dislike the exercising itself.
All I ask that you spend at least 2 days a week, participating in a full body strength training routine. Your bone density, muscle mass, and metabolism depend on it! You can begin with as little as one set of each exercise. If you are not sure where to start, I release a new workout (each month) for moderate intensity levels. If you complete it in a circuit you will also get cardiovascular benefits. Surely you could do just 6 exercises just 2-3 times a week!
Now that you have scheduled your exercise time, picked out your exercise location, and have chosen your exercises, it is up to YOU to make it happen!
Next week I will be covering how to commit to your process. You must forget about having the motivation to exercise, and develop the self-discipline to exercise.
Until then, your homework is to complete the 3 steps listed above.
- Schedule your exercise
- Choose your exercise location
- Choose your exercises
I am going to ask you to commit to your process next week!