“I know I need to workout, but I just don’t have the time!” …Sound familiar?
As a certified nutritionist and health coach, I seem to attract clients that are very much like me—busy, busy, busy. These women are wives, mothers, and self-proclaimed workaholics.
I’ve heard a lot of reasons that stand as barriers when it comes to giving fitness proper attention in their lives. But the excuse that stands out above all others is TIME.
Most of the women I work with as clients and members of my weight loss program are not only loving wives and mothers but also full-time students and hard-working career women.
Most of these women have a difficult time juggling family and career as it is, but what about personal time? Forget about it!
Does this sound like the story of your life? I know it sure does for me.
If you’re serious about improving your health, fitness, and maybe losing weight, here are some ways to make exercise a priority:
1. Give yourself permission.
No one knows your wishes and desires better than you. Giving yourself permission to want what you yearn for is the first step to making it real. This firm decision provides you with the power and responsibility to make it possible.
2. Schedule fitness into your busy day.
You will need to make a date with your fitness routine. Building the habit of getting a workout in on a regular basis doesn’t come naturally at first; it has to be planned out. Consider the time of day that will work best for you. Will there be barriers or excuses crop up? How can you eliminate those problems?
Be realistic with your time—you might not have a full hour to spare at the gym, but you can sneak in a twenty-minute high-intensity interval training session (HIIT) on those ultra busy days.
The weekends are also a great opportunity for most of us to spend more time on our fitness. If you have an internal struggle between working out on the weekends and spending time away from your family—get them involved. A family bicycle ride or hike is great exercise and adventure for everyone!
3. Set a deadline.
Life can be a pretty crazy journey, and we’re liable to get sidetracked when we can’t fathom a finish line somewhere off in the distance. When you’re setting a goal to make exercise a regular habit, setting a goal with a deadline helps build consistency.
Deadlines encourage stable progress because you can measure how much time you have left against how much improvement you’ve made. With a firm end point, you know how much progress needs to be made to achieve your goal. An excellent way to establish a deadline is signing up for an athletic event or race to work towards.
As a bonus, you’ll likely feel a new sense of pride for following through with your goal while getting fit at the same time.
4. Don’t over-think it!
So many of us get caught up in trying to do the very best workout for fat loss, toning trouble areas, or what celebrities are doing to stay fit.
There isn’t one perfect fitness routine for everyone. Often, the best choice you can make is to keep it simple. Analyzing what might be best often only leads to procrastination instead of action. Knowledge is power only if you put it into swift action.
Feeling anxious about what’s best or how much time it will take to do the workout, always takes longer than doing the action itself.
5. Ask for permission
Sometimes, the barrier that holds many of us back isn’t time– it’s feeling the pressure to take care of our families or work extra hard in our careers.
At the end of the day, when we’re finished giving all of our energy to everyone else, we have nothing left for ourselves. When we do have leisure time, we often feel guilty for not spending that time with our partner or children.
Guilt is often confused with lack of time and overwhelm.
Here’s a sample conversation you could use with your partner or children:
“Can we talk about something that’s important to me? You know that getting healthier is imperative to me right now. A big part of getting healthier is taking time for fitness. I don’t know exactly why I feel this way, but I feel guilty when I take that time for myself instead of making sure all of your needs are being met. The best way that you can support me right now is to let me know you’re okay with me spending some time on exercise. That will require me to spend a little bit of time away from you. I may not be available to prepare meals at the same time I used to. I may not be able to watch television with you as much. I may not be available to help you with all of your homework. If I take this time for my physical activity, I will have more energy later to spend with you. Is that okay with you?”
If you have a great family support system, they will graciously confirm to you that you have their blessing to take time for yourself. Sometimes, getting that verbal confirmation that everything will be fine without you for an hour is reassuring to hear!
Have you used the lack of time as an excuse when trying to establish a fitness routine? How did you overcome it?
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