How I Fit My Workout Schedule in My Busy Life
Everybody has goals and dreams of what they want their bodies to look like. You might want to lose weight to become healthier, to look better, or both. Maybe you feel weak or know that you could be stronger. However, I’ve noticed that when the topic of working out comes up, I often hear, “I don’t have enough time to work out every day” or “I’m so exhausted when I get home from work, all I can do is watch TV.” I used to feel the same way & say the same things, thinking that anyone that works out every day is waaaaaaay too into themselves. The only people that go to the gym all the time are meatheads that want to look in the mirror all day & housewives with nothing better to do.
One day I realized that looking down on people who are bettering themselves doesn’t shrink my waistline. It’s easy to put off the effort we don’t want to put forth by making up excuses and reasons why the people who are doing those things are wrong or self-centered. The gym is a tool to get the physical activity that desk jobs and TV shows deprive us of. Modern culture has us eating like we’re about to head into hibernation every single day & sitting on our butts while doing it, just to wonder why our butts don’t look right in skinny jeans. I got tired of trying to wish my way into the body I want & made the conscious decision to end that phase of my life. Starting today, I’m proactive. Starting today, I’m moving forward. Never again will I see this person in the mirror.
The conscious decision is the first step and the only way, in my opinion, to make space for fitness in your life. You have to want it more than you want a break, more than you want to binge-watch Stranger Things, more than you want to find the bottom of a new bag of chips.
& that’s the truth of it – there is no magical plan or certain day that everything will fall into place. You have to make time. You have to consciously decide to – every single day. Once you hit that point in your life – where the future you want is worth the effort today – don’t let anything hold you back. You have so much more control over yourself and your body than you realize. It’s one of the most empowering experiences to see your body change in a positive way and know your hard work is the only thing that made it happen.
It’s really important to me that I don’t just “lose weight” but I build muscle, strength, & endurance. I want to be the best version of myself that I can, & I’ve found that a healthy diet & training is the only path that will get me all of those things. Making the decision to change your habits and then following through with that decision changes the way your mind processes information. You’ll come to the realization that you’re no longer a slave to whatever was holding you down & you can change anything you want at any time you want.
All that being said, I now manage to fit an hour-long workout into my day 5-6 days a week, every week. The amount of time you spend working out, meal prepping, stretching, etc. is up to you. It’s often beneficial to start smaller – start working out for 30 minutes 3 days a week. Once you get comfortable, add another day or add more time. The key is adding it to your routine. I’ve always heard that on average it takes 66 days for a behavior to become automatic. Meaning, if you woke up every morning for 66 days and did some form of exercise, on the 67th day, you most likely won’t think about it at all. You get up, put your exercise shoes on, and just do it. It’s a matter of taking that first step and creating that routine.
The way that you carve out that routine will vary based on what motivated you. I’m a very task-oriented person, so I make this happen by planning and having something to check off. There are a million ways to exercise, but the path I chose for now is Beachbody’s program, 80 Day Obsession. This makes it easy to figure out what to plan because the plan is laid out for me. I made my own calendar to include these workouts, gave myself weekly goals, and rewards along the way for when I meet those goals.
If you’re not a list/calendar type of person, find what motivates you and use it to get to where you want to be. If you are held accountable by your partner, tell them your plan and let them know every day when you accomplish it – or not – so that you have one extra layer of reason to get moving each day. If you are motivated by money, bet someone you know that you can reach x and y goals. There is also a company called Way Better that can set this up automatically for you. They hold Step Bets, Run Bets, and Diet Bets where you bet money that you can reach a certain goal. You could also take the approach of creating a morning routine. Have a list of 6 things you want to accomplish each morning – for example, wake up, make your bed, brush your teeth, open the curtains, do your workout, take a shower. Every morning you wake up and do these 6 things and over time it will be automatic.
Just note, it’s important that you not use food is as your main motivator & you cease rewarding yourself for healthy choices/ achievements with unhealthy food. It’s common to “be here for the burritos” or do really well for 6 days so that on the 7th you can binge on cake or a bunch of fried foods. Falling into these habits will more than likely head you down the road toward binges & relapses which are not worth the 5 minutes of happiness you get from it. It’s more important to incorporate the foods you love into a healthier lifestyle. For example, if you really love cookies, it would be better to eat one cookie every day than think about them for 6 days and eat 15 on the 7th day. It’s easy to get caught up in trying to be perfect, but keeping up a less-perfect but much more sustainable plan is more likely to breed success in the future.
In any event, if you get anything out of this little ditty I wrote up, just understand that you have more power over your life than you think. Even if your aspirations aren’t fitness related, get up, get out there, and make that shit happen! I believe in you. X