Time. The #1 complaint I hear from clients. Not enough time to plan and cook healthy meals. Not enough time to exercise consistently. And not enough time to sleep 8 hours at night.
Time — I get it. That’s the one thing you can’t manufacture more of no matter how hard you try. We all wish we had more time — not gonna lie — even in a pandemic I’m still not cleaning out my garage or the kid’s closets (like I said I’d do if only I had a weekend with no plans). Do you ever wonder how some people manage a healthy diet, exercise, take care of their children, spend time with their husband, go on walks, etc.
Yeah — I don’t know how they do it either. I’m not here to make you into the picture of organized perfection.
I promise you, time becomes much less of a factor when you decide your priorities and act accordingly. Most people who have trouble reaching their goals are living in a state of cognitive dissonance. This means they want to eat better or workout more but their actions conflict with those goals — they continue eating junk food and skipping the gym. Our brains hate living in this state and will default to our normal patterns of behavior, which explains why change is often so difficult.
“You might start this out of motivation to see changes or improve your health, but the only reason you’ll stick with it is if it becomes a part of who you are,” says author James Clear in his best-selling book Atomic Habits.
“Time will always be your biggest issue. Anyone can convince him or herself to visit the gym or eat better for a week or two, but if you don’t shift the belief behind the behavior, then it’s hard to stick with it for the long term,” he explains.
What would someone who has lost weight do?
Think like that person.
Would that person prep healthy meals for the week on Sunday afternoon or skip it in favor of going through the drive thru?
Would that person stay up an extra hour watching Netflix or would she turn it off and go to bed?
The more you think like that person, the more you will become that person.
3 Simple Steps to Get Started
- Go through your day and keep a meticulous track of what you do and when (example, 12:00–12:20 scrolled Facebook while eating a salad). There’s no judgement, just write it down. Once you have it laid out, you can see how you can make non-productive moments work for you. Example — check your daily screen time average on your phone (iphone users, go to settings, screen time). If you’re constantly complaining about lack of time, check this report first. Work to get the average down and use the new-found time to plan your meals, prep food or go for a walk.
- Block 3 days a week where you can go to the gym and train (include your going to, 30–45 minutes of programming and coming home). And two days a week where you can do some low to medium intensity cardio work. Obviously for now, this will be a time you can workout at home.
- Mark blocks where you can walk or otherwise do something other than sit — include chores, yard work, cleaning, taking the stairs, etc. Those times are non-negotiable. If you are working on a computer or tied to a desk, set a reminder to get up and walk around at least once an hour.
No one gets to interrupt Steps 2 and 3. This teaches your brain that fitness is part of your identity — you are someone who exercises.
This list is by no means comprehensive. Nor is it meant to be. Train your mind to think like someone who has accomplished the goals you want to achieve and you’ll find time becomes far less of an issue.
Let me know if you’ve found ways to open up more time in your day or if you’re really struggling, I’m here to help! Leave a comment or shoot me an email.