It’s 7:00AM and you feel like you’re crawling to your coffee pot, craving the magical bean water that somehow makes you a decent human being. As you’re making the uphill climb to the coffeepot you look over and see your workout clothes still laid out, untouched. You’re upset with yourself because once again you’ve hit your snooze too many times and you didn’t get a workout in. You’ve got meetings with clients most of the day and then you have other commitments after work which means your workout schedule once again takes a back seat.
When the coffee is finally ready, you open the fridge for some cream and realize the only thing you have is Orange juice. Considering that OJ doesn’t exactly go with coffee, it means you’ll have to go get groceries after work too. Sipping your black coffee you think about how desperately you want to get back to working out and get the extra few pounds off that you’ve acquired over the past year. Sure, you know you’re not obese by any stretch of the imagination, but your clothes have been uncomfortable.
It’s a common story!
As a trainer and coach I hear this scenario over and over again: “I simply don’t have time to workout”. Or “I miss my healthy lifestyle, I miss the good food and the way I felt after a good workout”. Or “How do you find time to live healthy? It seems the days are on fast forward and there is no time to eat let alone cook a good meal”. Trust me, I get it. I had a mentor tell me one time “You do what you want and everything else is an excuse.” Ouch, right? Well, before we get our feelings hurt, let’s back up and understand what he meant by that.
Basically it means that you have the power and the obligation to yourself to decide what is important to you and to your family and go with it. You have the right to say no to things that aren’t on your priority list. You were not created or meant to do everything and take care of everyone, so it’s time to stop trying!
1. Set your priorities
You have the right and in fact the obligation to yourself to set your own priorities. How many times have you looked at your planner and thought, “How did so much stuff get on my plate?” It’s because you’re so kind and giving that you don’t ever tell people no. You’ve got big plans for your career and you keep putting in that overtime and let’s just be honest, you’re killing it, but you’re exhausted! Plus, you and the hubs aren’t getting a lot of time together either. That’s where this point comes in. Understand what is important to you, set your priorities and stick to them!
When my plate was the fullest, I realized that the things that were the most important to me were taking a back burner to less important things. Why? Simple. I was afraid to say no and stick to my list of priorities.
How do you know when to say no? Here’s how I made my list of priorities. I made a list of the top 3-5 things that were the most important to me and worked backward from there. This really put into perspective what is important and it was a great start to cleaning off my plate. My top 3 in order of importance included my family, my career and my workouts for me time. Having them written down was extremely freeing. These three things give me a sense of direction and my boundaries for what to say yes and no to.
When my calendar starts filling up, which it inevitably does, I start looking at the things that fall under the top four and those are the things that stay on my calendar first. From there I have to make a decision. Is my calendar already full enough this week? Will I have down time with this schedule? If the answer is no, I start marking things off the list that I need to say no to.
Tip-depending on what your top 3-5 are might mean having uncomfortable conversations with people while cleaning off of your plate. This does not make you a bad person. This makes you a strong, independent woman, who knows that she can’t do it all and it’s perfectly okay. Your top 3-5 are what you have been given to take care of and you’re going to do what it takes to do so. You can do this!
2. Remember Why You’re running and Going to the gym
Basically you’re figuring out your why for going for your runs and for heading to the gym. Society will tell you that it is to lose weight. While that maybe true at first, it doesn’t stay that way. It has become part of your lifestyle but lately it’s gotten boring and on top of being tired, it’s just a set up for failure.
Does this make you a failure? Of Course not!
It means that you’re a hard working gal that just needs to make a few adjustments to her life and remember why exactly you’re doing what you do for workouts.
This “why” can be anything, it can be for your career. Let’s say you want to open your own business and you want to be the face of your business; you want to look strong, healthy and fit! Your hubby can also be part of your why. You love him, and you want to look good for him. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that!
I suggest that you figure out at least one why and probably two! Your why shouldn’t be something like “so I can eat whatever I want”. Because that isn’t a why. You will quickly lose your motivation if you’re basing your motivation on eating junk.
Your why should be coming from something that is in your heart; as corny as it sounds, it’s completely true.
3. Work with your schedule
Last but certainly not least, let’s work with that crazy schedule of yours. You’ll notice that this is step three for a reason. You’ve cleared your calendar, figured out your why, now it’s time to plug in some workouts.
There have been many folks that I’ve talked to that said they want to work out but keep missing their planned work out. First question I ask is “When do you schedule it?” This question is crucial because if you have to be at work early (7AM or earlier) then planning to work out before you go to work is pretty much setting yourself up for failure, especially if you’re not a morning person. I say this because if you already have to be at work early, trying to create a new habit while going completely against your schedule is just asking for discouragement.
Try this instead – think about your schedule and where there is a break, even if it’s a short one. Example, what time is your lunch and how long do you have? Head out for a run at lunch, or take a noon workout class at the gym.
There is also the option to go right after work to do your workout of choice. If your gym in on the physical way home from work, even better! That is a great way to make sure that you stay accountable and you won’t chance just driving by on the way home!
I make those two suggestions because morning workouts can be really tough on people that aren’t jump out of bed like a flower on the first day of spring. I know this, because I’m one of them. Make your workout schedule work for you, not you work for your exercise schedule!
Let’s get rollin’
You now have these three tips to help you get started, what do you do now? That’s the beauty of how I wrote this for you. Start with step one and work your way down.
- Set your priorities: find your top 3-5 things that always take precedence on your calendar.
- Find your why(s): what 2-3 things are most important to you in your life at this very moment? What is it about those 2-3 things that motivate you to get back on track?
- Finally, work with your schedule. In theory, once you get to step three, your calendar should have some clearance in there to be able to put your workout into a few of the blank spaces.
One last piece of advice. Enjoy your journey. You have one life to live, don’t waste it standing by the coffee pot wishing for what could be. Go make it happen, you have the power to do so! I believe in you.
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