If you're a regular visitor to the site, you'll probably recall that earlier this year, I asked readers to put forward: “your biggest question, problem or concern regarding your health and fitness right now.”
Well, the overwhelming 'quandary' cited by respondents, goes something like this:
“Clay, how on earth do I find the time?"
Excellent question! I'm going to address it below, giving you both the painful truths (sorry), and some pointers on how I manage to get it all done in a day — hopefully providing you with some practical and usable tips.
Since it's related, I also intended to leave you with tips on ‘boosting’ your metabolism. I find people often ask how they can do this – either to lose weight, or to stay lean.
However, since that would turn this post into a ‘long-read’ – and we're all pressed for time – we'll cover it in the future.
Back to today's topic – Time! Oh, if only I had more of it. Just imagine what all I could do...
But let's not waste another minute lamenting its shortage, because this is a reality that each and every one of us has to contend with.
Let's work on what we can change: ‘How’ we use time.
Whatever it is in life that you do manage to do, happens because you've allowed that particular event a certain level of priority over something else. In other words, it's a choice you've consciously made.
It doesn't happen by accident.
Now whether it's gardening, knitting, taking a course or getting down to finally cleaning out your garage/store room (if you have one of these) – it always and only happens because of your choice to prioritize it.
Same thing with fitness.
You're only going to enjoy superior health and wellness if you so decide.
No more, no less.
And if you want to make wellness part of your life – you'll definitely need to be mindful of awarding ‘appropriate’ priorities to ensure that they all continue to 'happen.'
Now, a popular theme in my circles, is the notion of how to achieve fitness and still have a life. Well it's quite simple really. It's because of that concept I coined years ago which I like to call: 'The Sensible Way.' (You can read more about this on the FAQ page.)
Deliberately conceived to allow a sustainable and enjoyable lifestyle — 'with' excellent levels of health and fitness.
Look no further than the effective, enjoyable and efficient Sensible Fitness Program! If you're already-acquainted – great! If not, you're missing out.
So how do I manage it all, along with a full work schedule, two young children, pets, a home, leisure/social stuff, my darling wife etc?
- Firstly, the workouts are really short and simple;
- Secondly, the eating plan I follow includes real food with no restrictions;
- Thirdly, wherever we are (home or on-the-go) my family and I stay organized and we work as a team. You may argue: “ah, well of course he can – the four of them are in it together!”
Not so fast!
Smaller families and single people have it easier, and they have more time to devote.
The above 3 points are pretty much what encompasses the Sensible Way, and makes the whole fitness-health-contentment ‘thing’ feasible (especially for my audience, aka Al).
You already know that hours of exercise per week and restrictive eating plans will only make your already time-pressed life more difficult.
So, here are the main points of ‘how’ I do it. It's now up to you to practice discipline, focus on your fitness goals and become more efficient all-round.
Now, I'd love to address all the topics of being more disciplined with time-management, ‘how’ to stay focused more and procrastinate less – right here and now. But these are huge fields to cover and as I already said: it's not my intention to take more of your time with this page than absolutely necessary.
However, you can find more information about those here: how to get fit.
What I will leave you with though, are 2 points, which you can begin implementing today – and where I believe you can make almost immediate progress.
Most people balk at this concept, probably because it represents something painful, regimental and unenjoyable.
But even artists, yogis and philosophers (to name but a few) need discipline in order to successfully undertake their day-to-day activities.
Nothing of significance can be consistently ‘had’, ‘achieved’ or ‘maintained’ without it – and remember, we're talking fitness for life.
But don't stress!
At first, any new task or chore will be tough to get on top of.
You're going to find it so easy to do something else. Anything! Just so you can avoid focusing on that seemingly 'painful' thing at hand. Yes, it'll be difficult to avoid distractions.
But you can get better at learning to actively denounce these by constantly reminding yourself that you're investing in your health and wellbeing. Especially if it matters to you. I sincerely hope it does!
What if your struggle with procrastination is so overwhelming that you find yourself powerless?
One of the most common habits is putting off those small 5-minute tasks, which together, add up to a ton of work. This gives the perpetual mindset that there's no time.
Your journey to becoming better disciplined starts with doing the little things that need to be done (like keeping your home tidier and packing things where they need to be) when they need to be packed away.
- Keep your kitchen orderly – all the time;
- Don't let your washing pile up;
- Discard your trash before it overflows;
- Do your grocery shopping before you run out of things.
It's these little ‘accomplishments’ which will actually help you feel a better sense of having more time and being ‘on top’ of the situation – and will reduce the number of distractions vying for your attention. (Feeling overwhelmed usually comes from an accumulation of simple things that need or should be done, but which have been put off.)
Staying with the concept of discipline, move on to taking better care of yourself. Don't feel that you need to move mountains to get your fitness program started.
Just start! Today.
Begin by planning it and committing to a start date. Yes, the word is ‘commit.’
A sustainable state of health and fitness is by definition non-negotiable. And it'll happen only if you prioritize it appropriately.
Start to build on the routine of self-discipline and eventually you too will be fully capable of getting it done – and staying the course.
Once you're into the routine, stick to it. Practice makes perfect. As time progresses, you'll find ways of becoming even more efficient.
Because when you actually think about it, we as humans easily gravitate to wasting time – whether inadvertently or otherwise.
BECOMING MORE EFFICIENT AT USING YOUR TIME
Being unfit and unhealthy because "you don't have enough time" – amounts to no more than an excuse. (Sorry I can't sugarcoat that.)
Because the flipside of that coin says that if this is your point-of-departure, then your state-of-health is not important enough to you.
I know it's tough – being short on time. But those who are in shape and living their lives – manage so because of proactive healthy choices and prioritization. And, yes this crowd (and myself), well – we've become better at wasting less time.
You know best ‘which’ activities in your life are essential, necessary, optional and/or unnecessary. Work at granting the appropriate time to these items while identifying those persistent time-wasting inclinations you’ve become used to.
Whenever you notice yourself wasting time – just for the sake of it – stop, and remind yourself that you're neglecting your chosen goal (in this case, your health).
Remember, wellbeing over the long term depends on what you do today. Choose wisely and remind yourself that a small pleasure or nice-to-have today may not be facilitating your big picture objective.
In short, smile, decline respectfully, and move on. If you stay focused on that overall fitness goal, and give it the priority it deserves, you'll find it easier to know how to prioritize, ‘what’ to refuse and ‘how’ best to invest your use of time.
Trust the process – you won't be sorry. I promise!