Time management has nothing to do with fitness right?
Well in a way no, because what will ultimately bring you results is eating and training appropriately to your goals.
But in order to do that you need to have time to get to the gym or your class or out for a run, time to shop and prepare meals. Sometimes with work and hectic social lives fitness goals fall by the wayside. The most common reason I hear from people struggling to get into a routine that allows them to reach their goals is ‘I don’t have time.’
The specifics vary. I’m busy with the kids, I work long hours, I don’t have time at the weekend to food prep and so on. Essentially though, many reasons come down to the fact that we feel like we are at capacity with what we already have on and adding extra to that feels impossible.
What I’m about to say from here on in may sound harsh. I don’t mean it to be but I feel it’s something that most of us need to hear and understand if we want to achieve our goals, and if I pussy foot around it maybe the message will be lost.
YOU ARE NOT BUSIER THAN ANYONE ELSE.
Chances are you objected to that statement as you were still reading it. I’m not saying you aren’t busy. In fact these days almost everyone is very busy a lot of the time, almost everyone has multiple commitments every day in a variety of forms. So I’m not saying you aren’t busy but I’m saying that pretty much everyone is busy, and some people do manage to fit training and eating well into their lives. It is not that those of us who go to the gym have fewer commitments, to suggest that is almost insulting to those people. What is the case is that those people have managed their time to fit training and eating that allows them to work to their goals into their life.
So if you aren’t too busy to fit some form of fitness into your life what is the issue?
It’s three fold:
You’ve already decided you can’t fit it in. I refer back to the paragraph above. Whilst I’m not saying everyone has lots and lots of time to devote to the gym, everyone can make some changes to work towards their goal. If, every time a PT, fitness professional or someone close to you suggests something you could do to get started you can think of an excuse then you are stopping yourself from even getting started. You need to be open to the possibility of changing your behaviour before you can change your body or health itself and if you won’t do this no amount of time in the world will help. So here, essentially, you need to decide if you really do want to change in the way you think you do. Do you want to drop a dress size, be able to run a 5k, be able to climb stairs and not get out of breath, whatever the goal do you actually want to work towards it?
You’ve accepted you need to make changes but what changes? Here is where you do need to be realistic with yourself. As established above we all have commitments which take up our time. There may be some commitments you can change or drop, there will be many you cannot. How much time a week do you actually have to train, to prepare food? What can you realistically do in that amount of time. If you have three hours a week aiming to become a body builder is setting yourself up to fail, but there’s lots you can do. If you have ten minutes a day aiming to train for an hour three times a week doesn’t make sense – training 5 times a week for 10 minutes would though. This is about accepting that this isn’t about following a set guideline of what you should be doing but about working out what you really can do to improve your health and then actually doing that.
Now you have your realistic goals it’s about managing your time. Here we go back to everyday life time management. I’m guessing you’re pretty good at managing your work diary? I’d put money on you know where the kids need to be and when all this week and that morning / bed time routines are probably military tight timing wise! Really, it’s about fitting your health goals into your week as you do all other appointments. Diarise workouts, block out that slot for meal prep on a Sunday, work out time saving hacks like you do elsewhere in your life- online shopping, meal prep companies, whatever works for you.
Essentially success with your fitness goals comes down to being good with time management. Working out when you can train, knowing when you need to think ahead food wise to prevent Uber Eats being utilised as a dinner option and being committed to wanting to make the changes you need to make within your week.