Exercise Is Non-Negotiable
“I don’t have time to workout.”
Too many people let this thought halt their fitness efforts before they even start. But the truth is, you do have the time…what you don’t have is a plan.
You schedule everything else first and put everyone else before yourself, and by the time you get to “you” time, there is nothing left to give.
But here is the hard truth. If you do not make exercise a priority, it is going to cost you. You will perform worse at work, your energy and mood will plummet, your relationships will suffer, and your ability to do the things that make life meaningful will be limited.
Until you accept this fact, no amount of willpower will get you there. Once you realize that this is a priority that cannot be pushed to the side, you are ready to create a plan that will work.
The Secret to Making Fitness Part of Your Life
To start creating a balanced life that includes exercise, you have to have the right strategy. Here are the 5 steps you need to take in order to make time for fitness:
1. Clear your calendar.
That’s right! The reason that you struggle to exercise is that you try to schedule it around the rest of your life. This does not work.
Exercise is a priority, so you need to plan your life around your exercise. The best way to do this is to start with a clean slate.
2. Schedule what matters most.
It is said that you can tell someone’s priorities by looking at their bank statements and calendar. So, if you care about something, you need to put your money and your time toward it.
To your cleared calendar, begin blocking in your workouts, family time, quiet time, and everything else that makes life worth living (except your job). Think about what you need in your life to make you happy and healthy and add it in.
3. Add-in work.
I know this is going to be a hard concept for people, but this method has been proven time and time again. Work takes up exactly as much time as you give it.
When we have more time, we are less efficient and spend too much time on things that are not important. When we have less time, we do just what matters most. It all goes back to the Pareto principle: 80% of the results come from 20% of the work.
In other words, you could cut your work down to just 20% of the time and still get 80% of the result you do now. Keep this in mind as you block in your work-time to your calendar.
4. Protect your time.
Setting up your plan is one thing. Working the plan is another. Once you have your plan set up, you will need to make sure you are not letting the “unimportant but urgent” take over as Steven Covey talks about in his book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
So how do you do this? By keeping your commitments as best as you can and rescheduling the things you have to move!
So, if you have to miss a workout for an emergency team meeting, then move it to a different day. Don’t just skip that workout.
5. Reassess quarterly.
Life changes. Things happen. And we all get pushed around. If you just take some time once per quarter to step back and make sure that your calendar has not become overloaded, you will be able to reset before things get too far gone.
Don’t Lose Sight of What’s Important
We all have a tendency to put too much emphasis on what is in front of us instead of what is actually important.
If someone calls or texts, then all of a sudden that becomes the most important thing in our world. We feel a need to pick up or respond as soon as possible, even when we are in the middle of an important project or spending quality time with a friend or one of our kids.
We wouldn’t say the phone call is more important, but in that moment, it takes our attention. And attention is the ultimate judge of what we value.
So, if we can all agree that exercise is a foundational component of looking, feeling, and performing one’s best, then it’s time to step back and reassess if you are truly putting your top priority first.
Exercise needs to be a non-negotiable part of your life. There are too many benefits to ignore, and regardless of what your ultimate goals are in life, staying fit is sure to get you there faster and make you feel better along the way.
If you have struggled to make exercise a priority in your past, it’s time to take the 5 step approach to making time for fitness:
- Clear your calendar.
- Start with what matters most.
- Add in work.
- Protect your time.
- Reassess quarterly.
By following these steps, you will make sure you are clear on what matters most to you and actually make time for what is important.
You can start this process on your own today, or, if you’d like some help, you can check out our 28-Day Kickstart Program where we will give you all the guidance and support you need to start making fitness a priority in your life again.