Just a quick note on how I’m working to bust the “I have no time” excuse when it comes to health and fitness. I’d love to hear what you do!!
“I have no time”
I’ve used it before.
I’m sure you’ve used it before.
We all have!
Why? Because at the end of the day, prioritising other people is something that humans naturally do. So often, our own health falls to the wayside as we expend our energy helping others, ticking other people’s boxes and getting them further ahead. And at the end of the day, we are left with no energy or motivation for ourselves. Thus, it’s easier just to start off with an “I don’t have time” excuse rather than put it on the never ending list and never see it get crossed off.
Last term I was juggling quite a bit from normal teaching responsibilities, to tutoring, training for my first Boxing tournament, working at a gym…. honestly the list sometimes felt endless, and the days dragged long into the evening hours when dinner was sometimes eaten at 10pm.
During this time, I was an avid user of this “I don’t have time” excuse.
Luckily, because my motivation to train for the boxing tournament was stronger than my exhaustion, I usually managed to pull through.
But I won’t always have a boxing tournament I’m training for to push me to train regardless of feeling lethargic and only having eyes for my pillows.
So what can I do to stay active and not get caught up in a crazy-train downward spiral….
“oh no, what have I done!? This fitness break was only meant to be for a few days, but it’s been months since I’ve trained properly and I feel like I’ve lost all of my progress, and now I’m embarrassed to go back because the front desk receptionist will note that she hasn’t seen me in a while and ask if I’ve been on holiday, and when I go to pick up my normal weight, it’ll be so heavy it’ll rip my arm off, and no – it really is just best that I not work out today – I can’t face this today”
Sound familiar or is it just me???
Using your weakness
But then I realised something. I hate letting other people down (It’s why prioritising someone else’s deadlines and tasks is often easier than staying committed to myself and my health)
But by realising this, I was able to use it to my advantage. So I made plans nearly everyday to workout with someone. Sometimes it was boxing related and it was attending the training class, sometimes it was sparring, and other times it was just to have a training session with Mr. T because we hadn’t trained together in awhile.
But by having someone counting on me to show up, I was much better prepared to pull up my socks, splash some water in my face, and get on with it!
Requirement: I need help staying accountable, motivated and committed.
Action Plan: Join classes and online fitness accountability groups (more on these amazing life changers coming!!)
Another trick I’ve developed is becoming competitive with myself.
Before I left University I was able to do clapping pressups… You know the one where you start in plank, go down into a press up then spring into the air and clap your hands…. Ya that one!!
But as the old adage goes, if you don’t use it, you lose it.
And by the time I moved to England I couldn’t even do 1 press up.
Talk about a knock to the self-confidence.
But instead of letting it get to me (for too long), I used this as a challenge.
And every morning, I would get out of bed and immediately drop to the floor – I kid you not, usually my eyes were half-closed – and do as many push ups as possible.
At first, I struggled for one.
and gradually, I could do more and more!
And guess who can do the clapping push up again! That’s right.
So it doesn’t take ALOT.
It just takes SOMETHING DONE CONSISTENTLY.
A little bribery goes a long way
I have a confession:
I love leggings. It’s a true addiction, I just can’t help it! I love how comfortable they are and I love how great a new pair of leggings truly makes me feel fierce and confident which translates into my training!
But who needs 17 pairs of leggings if you don’t USE them properly.
So I’ve started a system. It may sound silly, but it’s totally working!
It’s the classic dangling a carrot act which means I’m showing myself something really appealing in order to motivate myself…
So because I’m doing a 3-week programme, I wrote 21 – 1 down the side of a page that sits near my bedside. Every day that I complete a workout, I cross off the day. It’s like a Christmas Calendar because every day I’m working out, I’m getting closer to earning money towards a new pair of leggings!!
So day one is 5.00 because it’s a tough thing to do, to start! Then I’ve assigned different denominations to each day depending on my schedule. For example Thursdays and Saturdays are really busy for me, so those days are worth more than a Monday – But every day counts because the end goal is to have as much money as possible to go towards a new pair of leggings!
And you know what, I’ve earned two pairs of leggings in the last 2.5 months because I’ve managed to stick to my routine and stay accountable. So it’s clearly working1
Now moving forward, I know that busy days are going to be a reality, and sometimes I literally won’t have the time. But my plan is
A) to stay as proactive as possible by scheduling myself into online accountability groups, classes, and workouts with friends.
B) to challenge myself with a movement every week and complete it every
morning as soon as I wake up before I tackle anything else.
C) to invest in myself – If a physical article is what my brain needs to get me into my running shoes and pushing play on my workout video every day, then I’m okay with that. Because I know that like my body, my mind needs to be trained too.
And if I’m honest, I don’t want to deal with the guilt and stress that comes to me from not working out. I’d much rather know that I have a system set in place that gives me peace of mind that I’m still putting myself and my health first every day – even if that means waking up and dancing to a few songs before I go eat.
Consistency is the secret to Success.
What’s your way of staying consistent!?