“One always has time enough, if one will apply it well”
I love this quote by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. It’s so relevant to our busy lives’ today. Identifying our priorities and managing the time around them can be challenging. Oftentimes the slightest busy period is enough for us to lose focus on our priorities. We then become vulnerable to excuses.
More than 10 years ago, a career relocation gave me the opportunity to realign my own priorities. I used that shift in life to reset my definition of “free time”. During that time I chose to make health and fitness more important in my life. Since then I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve heard “I don’t know how to you find the time”. In fact, it came up again recently so I narrowed down a few ways in which I find the time. Here are five ways that I make health and fitness a priority:
1. Wake up earlier
Start small. Begin setting your alarm just 15 – 20 minutes earlier than normal for a quick early morning sweat. It doesn’t even have to be everyday so start with a couple of days a week. There are plenty of quick workouts online to help you earn that morning shower! I found these with one quick Google search: 10-Minute Workout | 10-Minute Workouts
2. Watch less television
This one drives me crazy! Did you know that North Americans watch an average of 30 hours of television per week! Wow! Don’t tell me that we can’t find the time for a 30 minute workout. Fun Fact: my dad used to disconnect our cable every summer to get us out of the house.
3. Make it a group thing
Join a group, a club, or rally some friends to start doing something active. It could be a sport or hobby that you’re already familiar with or try something new! We mountain bike and train within group settings and it’s extra motivating and more fun that way!
4. Take advantage of change
This one may not be for everyone because life-altering changes don’t happen often. Try introducing something new into your routine at a point of transition or change in your life. I made a complete lifestyle change during the time of a relocation. The same week that I was apartment hunting, I was visiting gyms and fitness centres. My physical activity before that consisted of maybe two bike rides a week, so this was a big change. By introducing a new habit into my new environment, it was a much easier adjustment.
5. Stick it out
It’s natural for us to need reassurance that we’re doing the right thing or that our efforts are paying off. That’s why it’s important to stick it out until you start seeing or feeling change! You’ll reach a whole new level of motivation when you begin feeling better or notice slight changes to your body!
I believe that most of us know when we’re making excuses and that we could prioritize differently. So take a step back and redefine your own free time. Start small, stick it out and I promise you that you’ll start seeing and feeling results!