Don’t Find Time, Make Time

“With my busy schedule, I just don’t have the time to workout right now”. How many times have you found yourself saying there are just not enough hours in the to exercise, focus on a career, engage your personal life, pursue a family life, enjoy your hobbies, and give attention to other aspects of life that are important to you? When did our lives get so busy that we do not even have time to take care of ourselves anymore?  The key to actively living a healthy lifestyle is to make time for yourself, formulate a game plan, execute that game plan, and consistently make healthy habits part of your daily routine.

Success in life does not just happen arbitrarily, spontaneously, or whenever you can get around to it. You must have a strategy and a detailed plan of how to make time to be successful in all of your endeavors. Too often people try to “get around” to doing something when there is time to do it. Let’s be honest, if you procrastinate and just wait for something to happen, it will NEVER happen! Taking a few minutes to map out your daily activities, will guarantee a more efficient way to bettering the quality of your life.

Here are a few techniques to “free up” time for your health:

1)      Don’t Make Excuses for Yourself. Life gets in the way for us all, but the saving grace you can always fall back on is that YOU are in control of your life and the results you desire. Giving up on anything is easy. Finding a million reasons why you can’t do something is easy. But when you make excuses for yourself, inevitably you will run out of the ease in excuses; and all you are left with is a disappointing yourself. In dissecting the time you allot to each aspect of you life, everyone finds a few hours of wasted time where we could work a little harder, be more efficient in what we are doing, or be more organized. It’s all about accountability and the basic understanding that nobody is perfect. Everyone can improve upon his or her time-management skills. If you can realize making excuses is simply a way to feel more comfortable with your situation, and you are willing to break the mold and work outside of your comfort zone, watch how much time you will soon have to bettering your health.

2)      Make a Plan. Think of a weight loss plan in the same manner a teacher creates a strategy of how to teach his or her students each day. Teachers spend countless hours mapping out their curriculums with lesson plans, outlines, project deadlines, and unique teaching methods to enhance their students’ education. Well approach your weight loss efforts the same way. Don’t find time to eat right and exercise, create a plan that allows you to make the time to do so. Each night before you go to sleep, write down how you envision the next day to look in block increments of every few hours. Make sure your plan allows you to incorporate 30-60 minutes of activity in your day. If you can only ensure eating healthy by cooking at home, block off time after your workday that is devoted to cooking right. When you are detail oriented in your daily action plan, you always will guarantee to make time for what is important to you. Do NOT just scramble around mindlessly hoping you will get around to it.

3)      Time Gravitates Towards Priority. Do you know what is important to you? Is it your family, your job, your financial security, your friends, your love life? Well, just add your health to that list! Wouldn’t you agree you are more likely to make time for something you care about and have a passion for? Make a list of the different aspects that make up your life, and prioritize the things that are most important to you. If you make health one of your top priorities in life, you will always make time to ensure your health is well maintained. If you can make time to see your child’s dance recital, grab lunch with an old college buddy, or meet an important client for a sales pitch, you absolutely can make the time to better your health as well.

4)      It’s All in the Details. The more detail oriented you are in your game plan, the more time you will be able to create for yourself. Start by mapping out a proper exercise routine and daily meal plan to make your life much easier when striving for your weight loss goals. If you plan to eat 3-6 meals per day, preparing those meals ahead of time and writing down which meals you will eat at specific times, ensures you are surrounding yourself with the proper food choices you need to lose weight. If you want to exercise 3-4 days per week, mapping out when you will go to the gym, how long you will exercise, what types of workouts you will do each day, will all help support making your time useful. People who make appointments with themselves and manage their time appropriately, are always more successful than people who just try and find time to do something.

5)      Focus on the task at hand. The ability to multi-task is important in every part of your life, but when you are doing something specific, make sure that action is your primary focus. This is called the “bait and tackle” approach. Make a to-do list, and pragmatically work through your list to ensure everything gets done. So if you have many errands to run one day, or have simultaneous projects going on at work, ALWAYS include time for exercise or cooking healthy as part of what needs to be done for the day. Your time will open up drastically when you focus on executing one job at a time.

6)      Making Time for Others, Starts by Making Time for You.  The biggest reason most people never have enough time in their lives is because they are too busy putting other people ahead of their own personal needs. If you are always concerned with being the life of the party, being the loyal friend who is there for a shoulder to cry on, or putting in extra hours at work in hopes of landing a future job promotion, that is great! But you cannot do all these things at the expense of taking time away from what you need to do for yourself. You can be the model loved one in anyone’s life and still have time to do something for yourself. This holds true for your life outside of just health and weight loss. If you have certain interests or hobbies that make you happy, you must make time to enjoy them. When you give yourself a few extra minutes each day to do something that betters you in some way, you will inevitably be bettering someone else. Being healthier today, allows you to enjoy life’s most precious moments with your loved ones tomorrow.

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  1. Neil, these are excellent ideas! Thanks for the great post. I incorporate all of these things at Center for Thoughtful Weight Loss. Great to see it in one succint post. Ellen Resnick

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