We’ve all heard and used this excuse countless times “I would love to exercise, I just don’t have the time”! Everyone has jam-packed schedules, with days/weeks where we feel like there is no end in sight for all the happenings in our fast-paced lives, but there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. If you fall into the ‘too busy to make it work’ category, a little motivation and encouragement is just the thing you need to get you refocused and back on track to leading a healthy lifestyle.
The most important thing to remember; is that when you don’t think you have the time, that is when you need to make the time. Eating nutrient dense foods, exercising and getting good quality sleep are essential to health maintenance. Yet these are the things our minds tend to neglect during times of stress. I know when I am stressed out I lose sleep, crave sweet and salty foods and lack the energy to exercise or just don’t make the time for it. This is a vicious cycle because while my mind is being lazy, my body NEEDS these healthful outlets to reenergize and refocus. Below are a few tips for digging deep to find that self-motivation:
- Make a to-do list each day; one for personal use and one for work tasks. Every time something pops into your head and you experience a few seconds of panic, write it down immediately so you don’t forget. Checking things off your list each day gives a great feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment and keeps you on track.
- Make one grocery shopping trip per week/every two weeks. This is financially smart, and encourages you to buy only what you need, and less of the “middle aisle” items that are not as nutrient dense.
- Plan your workout schedule ahead of time. Work around the days you know are going to be the most hectic in order to find the days that you can take even a small break to get a good sweat in.
- Remember that at the end of the day small bouts of exercise add up; it is always worth it to take the stairs, park farther away, walk somewhere instead of driving, etc. Try wearing a pedometer/Fitbit to track your steps for a little motivation/encouragement when you can’t make it to the gym.
- Pack your lunch instead of buying something at work, when you have time to plan ahead you are much more likely to choose healthier meal options.
- Sleep is your friend. Find a nightly routine that is calming, silence your phone, meditate, count sheep, do whatever works to catch more Z’s!
- Do what works for YOU. The only way you will make healthy living a priority is if you tailor your routine to fit your goals and lifestyle.
- Remember that if you have a bad week or plans change; it is going to be okay. Don’t stress yourself out over what you can’t change, just refocus afterwards, keep your goals in mind and move forward.
It is all about preparation, finding what works and sticking to a schedule. It takes 21 days to start a habit, so start today.