The number one reason that most fitness programs and diets fail is quite simple – we don’t carve out the time to do them. And as women, we try to fit these things into an already busy and hectic lifestyle, so while the intention is there, our programs end up falling on the back burner and we end up feeling like we failed…yet again.
Health and fitness goals are undoubtedly some of the most important goals for women and yet they fall to our “want to do”, “should do”, or “like to do” lists. The reason for this is because as women, we are born connectors, nurturers and “the fixers.” We are the first ones to volunteer to help out with that extra project at work, pick up the kids from school, take care of an ill family member, or go to a friends’ party – even though we really don’t have the time for it. Then, we tend to fall into a state of denial about our health and fitness and don’t make it a priority.
But what if we asked ourselves a better question? If we don’t find the time to take care of ourselves now, how will this affect us as we age? What does our overall health look like in 5 years, 10 years, or even 20 years?
When we focus on the outcomes we want to achieve, we are able to move our health and fitness goals to the front burner. And the truth is you can start small and build from there. You don’t have to go to the gym 2 hours a day. Women can start out by devoting just 15-30 minutes to their health and fitness each day. Remember slow and steady wins the race!
So how do we find the time to exercise?
The best way is to have a solid plan. Think about the best time to fit exercise into your schedule and then enter it into your calendar on your cell phone as a recurring event.
When you see your reminders, get excited about your “future body” and visualize
yourself working out and feeling great. Envision yourself fitting into your favorite pair of jeans or that outfit hanging in your closet. Visualization with feeling and emotion is a great way to keep yourself motivated and get you excited about your work out.
The absolute best time to work out is always going to be the best time that works for
your schedule. However, starting your day with a workout has some major advantages vs. leaving it for after work.
People who work out first thing in the morning have a higher likelihood of keeping their program for life. Plus, morning exercise is super beneficial because it jumpstarts your metabolism and your body continues to burn calories even after you finish your work out. You are also less likely to reschedule if it is part of your daily routine. Plus, it is a wonderful feeling when you start your day with a sense of accomplishment.
Right now, think about what time of the day would work best for you to participate in an exercise program and write it down on your daily calendar. Set up recurring reminders in your phone. You may even want to include inspirational messages for yourself to get yourself motivated.
You may also want to consider laying out your workout clothes the night before and put them on immediately when you awake. Jump into your exercise routine as soon as you can so you can check it off your “to do” list.
Find an accountability partner who you will support you and cheer you on and you can do the same for them. Touch base with them at least 2 times a week. Make a pact not to accept excuses from each other. Exchange motivational emails, text messages and voice mails. Work out together when you can. There must be a sincere commitment to each other’s health and fitness goals. Research has shown that using the buddy system helps people to reach their goals even faster!
Remember that there are times you will get off track or discouraged. It is during those
times that you must stay focused on what it is you want and why you want it. Remove all fear and doubt from your mind. If you lose momentum, recommit yourself to start over again tomorrow. Make time to exercise. Give up other things that may be “sucking” your time and draining you. Be bold! Give yourself the gift of health and fitness. I am certain that your “future self” will thank you for it!!