Finding time to exercise, eat right, take care of a family and still work full-time can be more demanding now than ever. But when everyday is already full, how can you expect to actually do those things? With these 5 practical tips, you’ll make more time for exercise and nutrition, even in your busy life.
For many of us most days it seems like meeting basic needs is all you can manage — work, food, clothes, taking care of the family. How are you supposed to find 8 hours of sleep and then almost get in an hour of exercise and time to prep dinner? And once you get the kids fed and in bed you are ready to put your feet up and watch TV or scroll Instagram for a couple hours before calling it a night. So how are you to ever make the time appear?
Check out the tips below to get a grasp on your time!
Start by Asking Yourself Why
Understanding exactly why you want to improve your fitness and exercise more gives you the motivation to prioritize it over other things.
Why do I want to eat healthier and exercise more?
Because I want to fit in smaller pants.
But why do I want to fit in smaller pants?
Because when I’m wearing smaller pants, I’ll look better.
But why do I want to look better?
Because when I look good, I feel good about myself.
But why do I want to feel good about myself?
Because when I feel good about myself, I’m more assertive and confident.
But why do I want to be more assertive and confident?
Because when I’m more assertive and confident, I’m in control, my fears won’t stop me, and I can finally go for my dreams.
Continue to ask yourself why until you find a compelling reason for the changes you need to make and use that as your motivation for change.
2. Identify Priorities
Think of your time as a jar, which you can fill with a finite number of rocks, pebbles, and sand.
The larger rocks (work, family, sleep and basic needs) can and will take up the most space. The pebbles are less important but tasks that must be completed for the day (finishing a work project, cleaning up the house, and walking the dog) to make sure you don’t create bigger problems for yourself in the future. The sand is all of the free time you have left (20 minutes laying in bed before getting up, 1 hour scrolling TikTok, 30 minutes zoning out on Facebook) that is typically wasted doing tasks that can be removed.
That “sand” time is the first place to start looking for time to give back to yourself to invest in your health.
3. Keep a Time Diary
Your schedule reflects how you’re prioritizing the activities in your life. Track your time for a couple days to find out if it’s consistent with your goals and values. You will likely be surprised!
Start writing down how you spend your time during the day. You will be shocked and almost appalled with how you spend a majority of your day. While down time is important to your mental health most people are blown away to see where the time goes once you begin to write it down.
4. Slowly Increase Your Activity
To start to align your schedule with what you want to accomplish, replace low-value activities with high-value ones, little by little.
Now that you are starting to see little sections of time you can free up to exercise or meal prep, it is time to start exchanging out those low value activities for much more rewarding ones. You don’t even have to start with drastic changes, it can be as simple as replacing a time spend on social media with a short 20 minute walk or jog around the neighborhood a few days a week.
5. Set Yourself Up for Success
With a little extra time and effort up front, you can create an environment that significantly reduces the time needed to eat well and move more.
With your new found time you need to make it even easier for you to put down your phone and get a workout in or prep dinner for the week. This means setting out your workout clothes for the next day or writing down the vegetables that need to be prepared for dinner for the week. Make it easy for yourself so you aren’t tempted to revert back.