A special bank account
Most fitness professionals hear the same barriers to exercise and eating well over and over again, and while we all feel that these barriers are unique to us, they generally are not.
Millions have families that occupy attention, millions have jobs that most definitely do not adhere to the 40-hour contract (especially with travel on top) & millions rightly have friends/family social commitments.
All the above is indeed a barrier and pose some important challenges to figure out for sure. This blog isn’t about suggesting it is easy.
The reality however is that most of us see exercise and eating healthily as tasks that they must somehow ‘shoehorn’ in to an already busy,busy lifestyle, when in fact, different planning and different prioritisation is ALWAYS needed. As the old saying goes ‘If you fail to plan, you plan to fail’.
Consider, your boss gives you increased responsibility at work. Do you ...
a) Carry on with current day to day tasks and explain to your boss that you will get to your added responsibilities only if you get the chance.
b) Re-prioritise your tasks so that you can fit in the new ones. Maybe some old unproductive one’s now need to go?
c) Stay on later to do the new responsibilities in addition to the old
d) Sit down as a team and discuss some re-organisation of tasks, delegation etc
It is not likely to be A (is it??), and likely to be one or a mixture of B, C and D.
It is amazing what you can fit in when you must, or really want to.
If I were to give you a free ticket to a beautiful island get-away but you need to leave in a few days, it’s remarkable the re-organisation that takes place to get on board that plane (not in COVID times of course).
Providing you can truly feel the why and benefits of exercise and healthy eating (for some the why isn’t strong enough, until the body reminds you that it should be), then a fresh look at how you spend the precious commodity of time is an essential part of the journey to look and feel how you want.
So, what about time?
· There are 168 hours per week
· Everyone has the same time available to them
· It’s always there to use how we choose
· There are 112 hours still left after 8 hours of sleep per night
· There are then still 42 hours left if you have a 10-hour working day
· It is external to us, we cannot change it, we can only mould ourselves around it
Consider the incorrect mantra we all use ‘I don’t have time’
So, now that a new perspective has been laid down and our paradigm of time has readjusted😊 follow this tried and tested process to re-organise and FIND the time to fit in what’s important (it works not just exercise and food prep, but for any life alteration)
Take 30 minutes for this task.
There is no right answer, just an often-enlightening review of how we spend our lives.
Like the Boss scenario above, if exercise is something that you really want to fit in, what needs to give? What might need to go? Do you just add it on and need to get up earlier? What might need to be shared and delegated? Do you need to stop making the time excuse as you had lots available all along?
1. Make a serious and thoughtful guestimation and write down how much time (hrs and minutes) you spend.
a. Working (50)
b. Travelling (10)
c. Sleeping (49)
d. Time with children/friends/family (10)
e. Cleaning up & tidying (7)
f. Watching TV / Tablet (7)
g. Social media (7)
h. Cooking (7)
i. Eating (10)
j. Grooming (7)
k. Life admin (3.5)
l. Other (0)
How did that work out for you?
What have you learnt? Is your life really stacked to the brim? Or as sometimes happens, you have a surprising amount of time available and you’ve just had an AH HA moment.
In brackets above is an example of what time allocation might look like for a working professional. It’s busy right? It equals the weekly allowance time gives us.
2. You are now at a crossroads!!!
You can either decide that all of the time you spend on current life tasks is immovable and there is nothing that can give. If so, it’s bad news for your fitness I’m afraid. You’ll forever be a slave to ‘If time grants me some spare someday’.
Or you can make a life changing call on an alteration of life tasks to ensure exercise happens and is prioritised.
If so, what are your alterations? Write down how many hours of exercise you will do & what you have traded it for,if you need to?
3. Pick your time, put it in your calendar, set an alert & treat it like it’s a non-negotiable,just like you would eating breakfast or being on time to meet a friend.
When is the best time for you to ensure it happens?
Early morning because it gives you energy for the day & the evening is always unpredictable?
Lunch time because it gets you out of the office/house& gives you a second wind?
After work because your place of training is convenient to work & helps with the stress relief of the day?
The choice, and it is a choice, is yours.
It is highly recommended that you be consistent with your chosen time. Your brain and subconscious will learn that it is part of your habits, just like it knows when you brush your teeth or take a shower. Your brain thrives off routine, even if it feels difficult and different to start with. (We’ll look at this in another blog)
For those willing to put in the effort of going through this process, I know you’ll get to a great place. You are an adapter and willing to let go of tasks that you are subconsciously attached to. The results are yours for the taking.
For those not ready to self-evaluate, please expect to get what you’ve always got. There is no time fairy that will grant you 25 hours instead of the 24 but know that you are only 30 minutes away from making an important step.
I’ll leave you with this thought.
Imagine there is a bank which credits your account each morning with £86,400, carries over no balance from day to day,allows you to keep no cash balance, and every evening cancels whatever part of the amount you had failed to use during the day. What would you do? Draw out every pound, of course!
Well, everyone has such a bank. Its name is Time. Every morning, it credits you with 86,400 seconds. Every night it writes off, as lost, whatever of this you have failed to invest to good purpose. It carries over no balance. It allows no overdraft. Each day it opens a new account for you. Each night it burns the records of the day. If you fail to use the day's deposits, the loss is yours.
There is no going back. There is no drawing against the "tomorrow".Therefore, there is never not enough time or too much time. Time management is decided by us alone and nobody else. It is never the case of us not having enough time to do things, but the case of whether we want to do it.
Go get it Team!