What common excuse do we hear ourselves telling when our doctors say we need to be more active and healthier? Don’t we tell the doctors that we are so busy we cannot go to the gym or prepare our own healthy meals? Don’t we tell the gym instructor that we can’t even do one lap on the track field because we have been dealing with launching a new product? Career goals deserve a spotlight in our lives, but we can also shine that same light on other things such as a healthy diet and an active lifestyle. After all, what would your career mean if you are constantly sick?
Far too often, you make the same excuses so you can justify not taking care of yourself better. Whether you have to focus on your startup because its profits will pay off that SBA lender or you are in a tight race for a promotion, there is always a “good reason” why you can’t use that gym membership. What you need to learn are better time management skills. Though it seems like there is not enough time in a day to finish all your tasks, a bit of wiggling can accommodate a 30-minute run on the treadmill. You have to put your mind on it, though.
Figure out What You Need to Do
What exactly are the things that occupy your time every day? Is it work? Is it taking care of the family? Is it that TV series you have been binge-watching on? Is it those “minutes” you spend on social media? Whatever it is, you have to figure out what’s taking up much of your time. If you leave work at 6 p.m., why can’t you even have a one-hour workout in the gym? Does commuting take much of your time?
List down also what you want to do. For example, write down that you want to eat healthier, exercise at least three times a week, and get adequate sleep. Now that you have an idea of what you want to achieve, you can set better and more achievable goals.
Create a Timeline
Write down your schedule. Some things in your day cannot be adjusted such as the time you spend in the office. Block off that time. You may find out that you have a couple of free hours in the morning. If you usually spend that time checking your social media pages and answering emails, perhaps you can reschedule those for later. Instead, you can run around the neighborhood for 30 minutes before spending the next 15 minutes preparing a healthy breakfast. By looking at how much time you spend on each activity, you will get a better idea of the adjustments you need to make.
Make Time for Your Workouts
You plan to get at least three days of workout sessions in a week. When are those days possible? Are there days when there is not much to do at work? Block off these dates and make it a point to go to the gym. Don’t get sidelined by social gatherings. Once you have scheduled your workouts, commit to them. Set reminders on your phone to keep you on track.
Plan Your Grocery Trips
Sometimes, people tend to do their groceries only when they have time. But what this results in is you buying unhealthy food. Make a list of healthy ingredients and stick to this list. Plan when you will go to the grocery so that you will have enough time to look for what you need. If you go there haphazardly, you will pick up the first things you see which, admit it, are usually junk food.
Use Your Downtime
What do you do when the kids are off to their grandparents’ house? You can use that time to finish tasks that you have been putting off. That will give you more time to focus on exercising and creating healthy meals. Or if you are done with the rest of your work duties, why not use the time to relax or prepare healthy meals ahead or squeeze in an hour on the treadmill?
You are going to slack off at times. But do not lose faith. Great time management skills are born out of constant practice and routines. Check your progress weekly. Pat yourself on the back if you keep to the schedule. As for the days when you were not able to, evaluate what went wrong and how to refocus the following week.