“I want to exercise more, but just don’t have time!”
Despite best intentions, finding time for nutritious meals and exercise can be tough amidst the daily responsibilities of family and career responsibilities and competing priorities. Our priorities have such great competition, that despite best intentions our health and fitness is often sacrificed.
In my experience, I’ve observed that people’s success at achieving and maintaining good health in face of time constraints is impacted by two main pillars: priorities and habits.
PRIORITIES: Whatever is a top priority, we find time for. When we say, “I don’t have time for such and such”, unless it’s a case of poor time-management, it’s not necessarily that we haven’t the time, but that other priorities of perceived higher importance took over.
If your health is not at least an 8/10, or better yet, a 9/10 priority, you have likely been sacrificing it to other priorities that are. In face of time restrictions, for your health vision to have a chance at surviving amongst all your other priorities, you’ll want to make it as high on your list as possible, and to do so, you’ll want to find the “juice”.
The juicy compelling reasons lie beneath your goal.
For instance, if you want to lose weight or improve your fitness, the juice is not so much the actual weight loss or improved fitness, but the impact you believe those will bring. Those may include: greater self-confidence, freedom in your body, feeling fabulous in (and out of) your clothes, running your first race or beating an old time, climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, or being a role model for your kids or grandkids.
The compelling and juicy reasons are endless. Remember: what is important we find time for; what is not, we find excuses for, so the more juicy reasons you can find, the better!
Tip: When discovering your juicy reasons, stay in the positive.
For example “So I’m not fat” is neither positive nor juicy, but “feeling confident and beautiful” is. The words you choose are powerful and will direct the mind’s focus, so use words for experiences you actually want, rather than ones you want to avoid.
Go ahead, and right now, jot down as many 10 juicey reasons that lie beneath your goal – see if you can come up with 10 or more.
HABITS: We are driven by our habits. If you are not currently in the habit of exercising or eating well consistently, you have other habits that take your time. To better support your vision, and to free up some time, what current habits might you be able and willing to adjust or eliminate in order to make room for your new health-vision habits?
When it comes to establishing new habits, keep it simple. If your action plan requires too much effort or time to be done consistently, you will not be successful in making it a new habit. Simplify your action plan as much as needed, so you can establish consistency with it, and create a solid foundation from which to build from.
Establishing new habits require commitment, discipline and conscious effort. However, not forever! Once the new habits are in place, you open the doors to sailing towards that vibrant health vision. Below are three action steps, that don’t take much time, but when done daily lead to great results. (These steps are for those who aren’t currently active, so feel free to replace with your own steps as suitable for your current starting point.)
3 Vibrant Health Daily Habits For Busy People:
- 5-10 push ups/day: Depending on your fitness level, you may do these from the wall, your knees, or your feet. Keep a strong line through ears, shoulders, hips, and knees or feet.
- 20 squats/day: Place chair behind you. Start with feet hip width apart. Sit back to touch chair with bum, then press back up to stand. Keep chest lifted and knees tracking over ankles.
- Eliminate processed/refined products: If the food is in its natural form, as provided by Mother Nature, eat it. If not, then limit or avoid.
3- Nourishment from the inside-out:
- Begin a body gratitude practice: We tend to give time and effort to the things we value. Regardless of how you currently feel about your body or state of health, there is always something to be grateful for. When we don’t like our bodies, or we take them for granted, it is easy to neglect them.
Begin today with 3 quick actions steps you can take immediately:
1- What’s your “juice”? Write all the juicy reasons you can think of. Post these reasons (and images of those reasons) up in as many place as you can. What’s out of sight is out of mind, so get those reasons up! Use reminders such as words, quotes, and photos on screensavers, your phone, your fridge, your mirror, your desk, etc.
2- Decide on ONE new habit you would like to implement. Just one. Write it down. Break that goal down into 3 smaller action steps of how to do it. Next, write down what habit(s) will you need to shift or replace in order to make room for your new one. Make them realistic and finish by committing to a start date (hint: today).
3- Commit to the above Challenge, modifying it as necessary to make it doable, yet also challenging enough to make a difference in the direction you desire.
Now, get out there and crush those excuses like I know you can, and get ‘er done!